If you're hoping to up your healthy snack game, this is the recipe for you! These 5-Ingredient Vegan Fudgy Protein Amaranth Energy Bites are perfect for your sweet tooth cravings and they're filled with plant-based protein and satisfying flavor. Make a batch (or two!) and keep them in your freezer for an easy-to-grab bite whenever you're feeling snacky.
Protein Energy Bites
This one-bowl recipe is gluten-free, soy-free, oil-free, butter-free, refined sugar-free, vegan and has a nut-free option. They come together in less than five minutes and then you just pop them in your freezer to set. I usually do mine overnight but three hours is enough time for them to harden. You will want to enjoy these fudgy bites straight out of the freezer. This recipe works great for warmer weather months when you don't want to use your oven. It is one of those no-fuss, go-to recipes that I just love. You are not left with a lot of mess and the results are so rewarding for minimal effort. My kind of recipe!
They are the perfect snack or dessert, and since they're stored in the freezer, you can make a ton and always have them on hand. I filled this recipe with almond butter and amaranth for plant-based protein and a kick of sustainable, natural energy to last all day. They're sweetened naturally with maple syrup and get a deep cocoa flavor from cocoa powder. It's the perfect combination of flavors and would totally satisfy your candy bar craving without all the refined sugar and hard-to-pronounce ingredients. Plus, they're really easy to make and only require a mixing bowl and clean hands. Let's make a batch!
Ingredients in Vegan Protein Amaranth Energy Bites
These are some of my absolute favorite ingredients! I almost always have everything I need for this treat right in my pantry, so the minute I decide I want a sweet snack, I can whip up a batch. It's as simple as measuring, scooping, and freezing!
- Popped Amaranth - I buy mine on Amazon. It is loaded with incredible nutrients and offers a complete source of plant-based protein. See below for more information about amaranth nutrition.
- Unsweetened cocoa powder - Look for high-quality cocoa powder that's vibrant dark brown in color.
- Pure maple syrup - This one is my favorite. I like a big container since I use maple syrup in so many of my recipes. I buy mine in bulk at Costco or on Amazon subscribe and save.
- Almond butter - For the best results and flavor, look for one that's creamy, raw (not roasted), and unsalted.
- Pure vanilla extract
You simply mix all the ingredients together and then scoop into tiny balls. Place them on a parchment paper lined flat surface and freeze for a couple of hours. That's it! Pretty straight forward and simple!
Health Benefits of Amaranth
Amaranth is such an undercover superfood. It isn't as well known as quinoa, for example, but has such incredible nutrition properties. First of all, amaranth is a complete source of plant-based protein with all essential amino acids, which is so important if you are keeping a vegan diet. Research has shown that the protein in amaranth is among the most nutritious vegetable-based protein and can be considered on par with animal based protein (source). I love knowing why certain foods are so much better for our bodies...it's one of the reasons I got a Master of Public Health degree and became a Master Certified Health Education Specialist (MCHES) through the National Commission of Health Education Credentialing (NCHEC). If you're hoping to add a complete source of plant-based protein to your diet, I'd suggest adding amaranth.
Amaranth also offers dietary fiber and minerals, such as magnesium, calcium, potassium, copper, selenium, phosphorus, zinc, iron, and manganese (source). Amaranth contains abundant natural antioxidant phytochemicals such as vitamin C, betacarotene, flavonoids and more (source). These phytochemicals defend against several diseases, such as cardiovascular diseases, cancer, cataracts, atherosclerosis, retinopathy, arthritis, emphysema, and neurodegenerative diseases (source).
Studies have shown that amaranth also has anti-inflammatory properties that accompany several chronic health conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. It also has been shown to have cancer preventing properties and cholesterol lowering properties (source).
Incorporating amaranth into your diet is easy with a recipe like this that feels like dessert. I leave them in my freezer and grab one or two whenever I need a sweet, nutrient-packed boost.
Health Benefits of Cocoa
Unsweetened cocoa powder is made by roasting and grinding cocoa beans. Years of nutrition research has shown that chocolate may provide health benefits from antioxidants called flavanols found in the cocoa solids (as opposed to the cocoa butter). When consumed in large amounts, studies have shown that flavanols in chocolate may lower blood pressure, promote lung and brain health, and even improve your mood (I know I'm always happy when I'm eating chocolate!). Look for cocoa powder that's a vibrant dark brown color.
Looking for more delicious vegan, gluten-free and refined sugar-free chocolate recipes?
There is no shortage of chocolate recipes on this blog. I truly am a chocoholic at heart and that will likely never change. Here are some of my favorite chocolate recipes that are ALL dairy-free, egg-free, gluten-free, soy-free, refined sugar-free and peanut-free. Many are also nut-free.
- No-Cook, No-Avocado Vegan Chocolate Pudding
- Healthy Chocolate Vegan Protein Smoothie
- The Best Vegan and Refined Sugar-Free Hot Chocolate (made in your blender!)
- Chocolate Granola
- Classic Chocolate Chunk Cookies
- Chocolate Sweet Potato Frosting
- No-Bake Brown Rice Crispy Treats with Dark Chocolate Shell and Flaked Sea Salt
- Creamy Chocolate Fudgesicles
- Chocolate Chia Seed Pudding
More Energy Bites
This chocolatey snack offers plant-based protein and a variety of nutrients, it's easy to make, and is absolutely delicious!
These vegan protein amaranth energy bites are vegan, gluten-free, soy-free, and contains no refined sugar. I also provided an easy nut-free option below. I hope you make it, and if you do, please tag me on Instagram so I can see! You can also leave a review on this post, which helps me out SO much as I continue to develop and share recipes.
These fudgy protein amanrath bites are perfect for your sweet tooth cravings and they're filled with plant-based protein and satisfying flavor.
- 1 cup popped amaranth
- ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder (I love Whole Foods 365 brand for the best flavor)
- ¼ cup pure maple syrup
- ¼ cup raw creamy almond butter (or any nut or seed butter)*
- ¼ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon fine salt
- optional: add a scoop of your favorite unsweetened, unflavored protein powder [use code ELAINE20 for 20% off for my favorite]
- Add all ingredients into a small mixing bowl. Stir well to combine.
- Use a 1.5-in. cookie scoop to scoop into balls. Line a small baking sheet with parchment paper and place the scooped balls onto the parchment paper so they are not touching. You can roll them into balls with your hands if you prefer them to be smooth or you can leave them more rustic (as pictured) and just scoop them directly from the cookie scoop onto the baking sheet. It should make 9-10 energy bites. Place the baking sheet into your freezer and freeze until solid and enjoy straight from the freezer. You can thaw out for a couple minutes before enjoying for a softer bite. Energy bites will "melt" at room temperature after about 20 minutes.
- Once the energy bites are frozen solid, consolidate them into an airtight container and store in the freezer for up to 3 months.
* Be sure your nut or seed butter is runny and not hardened. If it is a new jar, stir well to fully incorporate the oils. My favorite is raw creamy unsalted almond butter from Trader Joe's.
Pro Tip: sprinkle flaky sea salt on top for that salty, sweet chocolate combo that never disappoints!
- Prep Time: 5
- Category: Snack
- Method: Freezer
Keywords: protein amaranth bites