This past Friday, after consulting our town’s fireworks schedule, we hopped in our truck at 8 pm to navigate across town to the big grassy field behind the high school. With last year’s scarring experience of circling for 20 minutes desperately searching for a parking spot in the neighborhoods nearby—and nearly missing the spectacular show—we planned on arriving over an hour early to score a spot for the truck next to a curb close to the park.
We eased into one just over two blocks away (much better than our previous year’s half mile trek!) and slowly strolled towards the high school, along with half of the town. We spread out our oversized polka dot beach towel towards the edge of the field for a quick exit and sank down. I tightly zipped up my worn hoodie; despite reaching a scorching 105° during the day, our crazy weather quickly cooled off in the evening with a nippy breeze.
Although fairly quiet when we first arrived, the park slowly began to fill with families and college kids. The teenagers and twenty-somethings ran around barefoot tossing a football, nearly clobbering a few innocent passersby with a couple of wayward throws. Once convinced our blanket lay outside of their danger zone, we turned our attention to the small toddlers wriggling in the grass on our other side.
With their red, white, and blue outfits and star-spangled sunglasses, those tiny kids melted my heart as they rolled around and waved glow sticks in each other’s faces in their friendly childhood way. They exuberantly dashed around in casual games of chase, tagging each other with their flexible neon wands, and eventually collapsing next to their parents before squirming around like dogs on their backs in the cool grass.
At last the much-anticipated fireworks began, bursting in the sky with their rainbows of gracefully streaking speckles of light and igniting a few car alarms with their deafening booms. Although mesmerizing and incredible, the fireworks memory failed to stick with me as well as those adorable kids, so the next morning, I set out to make a delicious snack that was just as sweet and full of energy as those toddlers.
Rich and tangy, these healthy Chocolate Cherry Energy Bites completely capture those precious personalities with their cute little size and bright fruity flavor. With the chewy texture of oatmeal cookie dough, these fun bites taste almost as decadent as dessert! Although I may have found them a little too chocolaty and irresistible… I refused to share a single one!
This skinny recipe is incredibly simple; you only need 5 ingredients! The most important one (well, other than the chocolate of course!) is the protein powder, which puts the “energy” in these energy bites. I used Plant Fusion Vanilla Bean protein powder. Unlike whey protein powder, this plant-based one carries no funky aftertaste—just pure vanilla flavor with a subtle sweetness. Plus it’s gluten-free, vegan, and clean-eating friendly too! I found my canister at Whole Foods, but you can also find it at other shops and online as well.
(And no, this isn’t a sponsored post… I just really love this protein powder!)
Once hydrated, the dried cherries act as the glue that holds together these energy bites. But because we quickly hydrate the cherries by zapping them in the microwave, we need to cool down the paste before mixing in the chocolate chips. Otherwise those little morsels melt, and it’s not quite as satisfying as biting into a nugget of chocolate!
Just pop the cherry paste into the fridge for 10 minutes to allow the hydrated fruit to cool off. If you remembered to plan ahead (unlike me!) and have enough time to let it rest on the counter, that’s fine too.
Shaping the bites is a slightly messy affair. It’s not quite as bad as my favorite healthy truffles, but you’ll still end up with some of the chocolate mixture stuck to your hands.
Once shaped, store the little round balls in an airtight container. They’re fine on the counter; no need to refrigerate! But it’s slightly dangerous leaving them out… I found it a little too easy to nibble on a few every time I walked through the kitchen!
Bursting with chocolate and tangy fruit flavor, the entire batch of these low-calorie Chocolate Cherry Energy Bites disappeared within 48 hours after I rolled them out. And since my guy hates chocolate, you know I was the only one sneaking them! I even ignored my gourmet dark chocolate stash after dinner one night just to savor a few more of these bites…
Yes, they’re that good!
P.S. Don’t forget to enter my CVS Gold Emblem Abound Giveaway by midnight on June 9! With how many healthy snacks we’re giving away, you don’t want to miss it!