As a college freshman, I requested to live in the suite-style dorms. (Although farther from campus, the luxury of having two regular bathrooms—not shared shower stalls for the entire floor—was too good to pass by!) Throughout the year, my four roomies and I usually planned on eating a few dinners together each week. Despite the 3 other larger dinning commons, we often ended up at the small, cozy one closest to our suite.
But partway through the year, something went amok with their ventilation system, and our clothes started poignantly smelling like old grease and burnt oil after every meal. When we began digging through our dirty clothes hamper to put on “appropriate” dinner attire—aka shirts and pants we didn’t mind stinking before we even grabbed a plate—we realized it was time to transition to the better DC a quarter mile down the road.
If one of us had a mandatory discussion or extra midterm review session schedule during typical dinner hours, we waited for that roomie and attended the DC’s “Late Night” meal instead. The staff would clear away all of the more extravagant dinner options and only served typical midnight cravings: multiple platters of pizza, big subway sandwiches, and the ever-popular serve-yourself cereal and ice cream bars.
But the best part of the meal was always the warm, fresh-out-of-the-oven cookie tray, especially the oatmeal raisin section! It was basically a rule that we needed to eat two of every flavor—they were the best late-night study fuel and motivation imaginable!
Yet by the end of the quarter, that quickly added up to an extra pound or two on the scale… Thank goodness the university only ensured housing and food for freshman. I promptly moved into an apartment with less cookie temptations for the next three years!
Recently, I craved a sweet treat as fuel for writing blog posts and started longing for those Late Night cookies again, but I knew how quickly one would turn into two… then three… then four… So I decided to come up with a healthier snack that still tasted like our old-time favorite oatmeal raisin sweets.
These Oatmeal Raisin Energy Bites were the perfect match! With their soft texture and classic flavor, each little nibble tasted just like the cookies and brought a smile to my face, while my waistline sighed with happiness too. It can be our little secret that they’re 200% healthy—they’re clean-eating, gluten-free, and vegan too—and come together in less than 20 minutes!
Similar to my chocolate fig energy bites, we’ll hydrate the raisins and turn them into a paste to bind together the remaining ingredients. Depending on the size of your dried fruit, you may need more or less water to create the paste, but it’s better to err on the side of too little to start. It’s much easier to add more water to the energy bites than to take it away!
For the extra protein energy boost, I turned to Plant Fusion Vanilla Bean protein powder. No, this isn’t a sponsored post… I just really, really love their brand! I’m very picky about my protein powder, and Plant Fusion’s tastes incredible: pure vanilla flavor and no funky aftertaste. Plus it’s gluten-free, vegan, and clean-eating friendly too!
To assemble your energy bites, mix all the dry ingredients in a bowl, add in the raisin paste, and stir stir stir! If the mixture is still too dry to stick together, add in an extra teaspoon of water at a time until it comes together into a smooth ball. Then shape into little spheres, place on a sheet of wax paper, and transfer to an airtight container once they’ve set.
After their photo shoot, these Oatmeal Raisin Energy Bites barely lasted two days in my house! Dangerously accessible for easy snacking, the soft little guys practically called my name every time I passed through the kitchen, reminding me of their sweet fruity taste and satisfying chew. I actually reached for a couple of the bites after dinner instead of my favorite oatmeal cookies!
Better make a double batch next time…