An easy, raw, bite-sized, naturally sweetened snack that’s perfect for fall! The flavor of apple pie without all the hard work and sugar!
I have this thing about apple pie.
I freaking love it, and every time I see it somewhere I HAVE to have at least one piece. Have to. I don’t even need it warmed up, or with ice cream (although it’s of course even better with both of those things) – I just need to have it.
There’s something about the combination of apples and gooey cinnamon sugar goodness that I can’t possibly resist. It’s impossible. It’s not a skill I possess.
But making apple pie is a pain
However, when it comes to MAKING apple pie… I almost never do it. I always have these grand plans to make pie dough from scratch and then pick a gazillion apples to pile it up nice and high so that it’s overflowing with awesomeness and it’s going to make my house smell freaking amazing.
And then I remember how much flour, butter, shortening, and sugar I need and my stomach goes, “Stop right there, young lady”.
Apple pie isn’t usually diet friendly
I have PCOS, and PCOS doesn’t agree with… well, basically all of those things in apple pie. I just shouldn’t be eating it. And I KNOW I shouldn’t be eating it, so because I know how much work goes into it, how much of each of those ingredients goes into it, and how long it will take… it’s much easier to turn it down.
But if you show up at my door with a hot apple pie I’m going to yank it from your hands and shove it in my face – consequences be damned. If I’m feeling nice, I might even invite you in to watch me demolish it.
All the apple pie flavor, but easy and healthy!
That’s why I’ve set myself on a mission to find others ways to enjoy the flavor of apple pie, without all the hassle and detrimental amounts of butter. My first foray (well, first successful foray) into the realm of healthier options led me to these apple pie energy bites.
I contemplated calling them “apple pie energy balls” but I didn’t love that, so then it was going to be “apple pie bites”, but then people might think I’m telling them that an apple pie is going to bite them and that’s just misleading and terrible.
These are not going to bite you. I promise. If you make these small enough, you don’t even need to bite them!
Well, that’s not true. I guess I could say you won’t need to bite into them because you can just pop them in your mouth, but eventually you do need to bite down with your teeth and chew them because otherwise you might choke and then I’ll be very sad that my apple pie energy bites killed you. Don’t make me sad – chew your food.
Making apple pie energy bites
Dried apples. You’re going to need dried apples for this recipe, not fresh. You can certainly dehydrate fresh apple slices yourself, but they definitely need to be dried for the sake of this recipe.
Otherwise it’ll be like you’re making applesauce with some chunky nut pieces in it and… yeah, no, that’s not what we’re going for here. Most of your ingredients are actually going to be dry, with the exception of the dates and vanilla extract.
Pitted dates. You want those dates to be pitted and moist, so if you take them out of their package and they feel on the drier side, just soak them in hot water for 10 minutes or so. That’s where all the moisture you need for these is going to come from, along with the sweetness!
Dates are naturally sweet, and have an almost caramel flavor to them – so if you think about it, these are almost like healthy little balls of caramel apple pie. I mean, how do you say no to that? You don’t, that’s how.
If you want to jazz them up a little bit and turn them into more of a dessert, drizzle them with some white chocolate. You won’t regret it, I swear. For me, it’s the perfect amount of sweetness and indulgence.
Do these taste just like apple pie? No, of course not. That’s some Willy Wonka magic that I do not (yet) possess. But the flavor is reminiscent of it, and just the lightly cinnamon apple scent gives me the warm fuzzies.
Storing apple pie energy bites
Make a batch of these, toss them in the fridge in an airtight container, and pop one or two when you need a snack and avoid the temptation of those carb-heavy treats that start to fill your office and home around the holidays.
Feel the satisfaction of making a good food choice instead of shoving your face into a bucket of cheesy poofs.
Of course I’ve never done that before. Why do you ask?
After you’ve made this recipe, please consider coming back to share your experience with others by leaving a comment below with a star rating!
Apple Pie Energy Bites
- 1 cup dried apple slices
- 12 dates, or about 1 cup, pitted
- ½ cup almonds
- ½ cup walnuts, shelled
- 1 tablespoon chia seeds
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
- Pinch of salt
- Honey, maple syrup or agave (optional and as needed)
- White chocolate, optional
- Place parchment paper or a non-stick silicon mat on a baking sheet. Set aside.
- Make sure your dates are pitted and moist. If needed, soak them in hot water for about 10 minutes to soften them, and then drain them before adding them in the next step.
- Combine apple slices and dates in a food processor, pulsing until chopped and combined and forming sticky crumbs. Place in a bowl and set aside.
- Combine almonds, walnuts, chia seeds, cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla and salt in food processor, pulsing until you have a relatively fine crumb, free of big chunks.
- Add the date/apple mixture back to the food processor and pulse until it forms a dough-like consistency. If it seems too dry, add water (1 tablespoon at a time) or honey (1 teaspoon at a time) and pulse again to combine. You should be able to squeeze the mixture in your fingers and have it all stick together.
- Use a small cookie scoop or tablespoon (or smaller, depending on your personal preference) to scoop out the mixture and roll them into balls. Place the balls on the prepared baking sheet.
- If desired, melt white chocolate and drizzle over the top of the balls – making sure to let it set completely before storing.
- Store in an airtight container in the fridge until ready to eat. Enjoy!