This easy-to-follow recipe is a great place for kids of all ages and skill levels to get into the kitchen and make their own fun and tasty Cashew Butter + Chocolate Energy Bites! All you need is 1 bowl and 9 simple ingredients to make these yummy treats.
Since these bites are Dairy, Refined Sugar, Gluten and Peanut Free, they are great for allergy aware playdates and school lunches!
If I am being honest, cooking with my kids is not my favorite thing in the world.
Does that make me a bad mom?
Does that make me a bad mom food blogger?
Not sure. But I am just being honest, so no judging me over here.
It actually feels really weird admitting that I don't like cooking with my kids since I have built a career talking about how to get kids to eat healthy. But here is the thing, my kids are messy. And they are especially messy in the kitchen. Messy as in they like to play with all of the ingredients with their hands, they like to taste every ingredient that we are using ranging from straight up butter to baking soda, they don't listen to me when I ask them not to lick their hands after they lick butter off of them and then put those hands back into the bowl with food in it, and they don't realize that we are aiming on getting the entire measurement of food into the bowl and not on the counter, our bodies or the floor. Pretty much, they are a big mess and leave an even bigger mess in their wake.
Cooking with my kids just gets to be tooooooo much for me to handle sometimes.
But I am stubborn. And I am beyond determined to get both of my girls into the kitchen so that one day, they can make their own food and leave me alone whenever they are hungry, which is every 5 seconds. We are talking about big dreams here!
So I am starting a kids in the kitchen series that will focus on recipes that are 1) healthy, because duh, it's my mission in life. 2) easy for ALL ages of kids 2 and up to make 3) easy to clean up, because getting the kids to do the dishes is not even on the radar at this point.
This Cashew Butter + Chocolate Energy Bites recipe uses only 1 bowl, 9 simple ingredients (most of which you probably have on hand) and is great for for all skill levels and ages of kid chefs - from beginners to advance.
I included a step-by-step instruction guide that will visually show your little ones how to make these as well as ideas on how to approach this recipe for all levels and ages of kids (in recipe section below).
I did the Beginner Chef approach with my 3 and 5 year old and while my 3 year old was timid, my 5 year old jumped right in and I would have her move on to the Intermediate Chef level next recipe. For the Beginner Chef level, I had all of the ingredients pre-measured out and I helped them form their ball shapes. Other then that, they did this recipe all on their own. And when I asked them if they had fun, they screamed 'YES", so I am calling this a big win!
Since this is a new series, please comment below and let me know if you need any additional information or pictures to make getting your kids into the kitchen even easier.
Step-by-Step Instruction Guide
In a large bowl, add in the following ingredients:
Mix everything together with a spoon or your hands.
Place bowl of dough into the fridge for 30 minutes to chill.
Take out bowl and roll 1 tablespoon of dough into ball shapes.
Serve and enjoy!
Cashew Butter + Chocolate Energy Bites
1 cup oats (see note on oats)
1/4 cup shredded coconut, unsweetened
1/2 cup crispy rice cereal (use a gluten free brand if needed)
1/4 cup ground flax seeds
1/3 cup honey
1/2 cup cashew butter (almond, peanut or sunflower butter will also work)
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup mini chocolate chips (this is the brand of healthy and allergy friendly chips we use)
1. Place all of the ingredients into a large bowl, it does not matter which order the ingredients go in. Mix together with a spoon or with your hands.
2. Place the bowl of dough into the fridge for 30 minutes. This is to make them not as sticky and easier for the kiddos to shape into balls.
3. Remove from fridge, and take roughly a tablespoon of the dough in your hands and roll into a ball. If dough gets too sticky you can put the bowl of dough back into the fridge or wet hands with a little water to help the dough not stick to your hands. You may have to help younger kids measure out the right amount of dough and get the balls roughly started. It was frustrating for my 3 year old to get the balls started but if I pressed them roughly into shape she could finish forming them. All the balls will not be the same size or even be in ball form. This is completely okay! We don't want a Pinterest picture here, we want a fun experience with a sweet treat.
4. Store the balls in an air-tight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
Note on Oats - You can use either old-fashion or instant oats in this recipe. I have found that for toddlers the instant oats are easier for them to chew because the grain isn't as big. If gluten free, make sure to use a brand that is labeled Gluten Free on the packaging (this is our favorite brand)
Levels for all Kid Chefs
Beginner Chef - To help the little ones, you can have all of the ingredients pre-measured out before you get started. Then all the kids have to do is dump the ingredients into a bowl and mix. I also like to hand them a pre-measured and mostly rolled ball for them to finish off. My 3-year old got frustrated rolling her own balls.
Intermediate Chef - They can help measure out all of the ingredients and roll their own balls with your supervision and help.
Advance Chef - They can use the step-by-step pictures below to get out all of the ingredients from the pantry and make the bites for themselves.
Ages to Make - 2 years and up
Ages to Eat - 1 year and up
Prep Time - 15 minutes
Chill Time - 30 minutes
Roll Time - 5 minutes
Yield - roughly 20 balls
Storage - store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks
Tools that I used for this recipe -
I love using these Curious Chef Measuring Cups and Measuring Spoons with my kids because you can tell them 'use 1 red cup of flour' instead of saying 'use 1/2 cup of flour'. While talking about fractions and how they work is a great teaching moment with the kids, I also find that it's easier for them to wrap their heads around if colors are involved.