I am a huge fan of Energy Bites, the latest health food craze to take over Pinterest. I just created a recipe for Stone Ground using their Almond Espresso Butter, but I couldn’t resist sharing this one with you as well. These delicious Almond and Dates Energy Bites are made using Middle Eastern flavours like dried dates and apricots, almonds, orange blossom and grape molasses.
While I’ve used all of these ingredients, there is one that I’ve never actually used before.
Let me tell you a funny story about Grape Molasses, before I tell you more about it.
My mother in law brought freshly grape molasses with her from Lebanon a few years ago. She served it at lunch, drizzled over tahini to satisfy our sweet tooth. She was so excited about it and rightfully so! It was delicious. We dipped pita bread after pita bread in it. I couldn’t get enough. She told me how precious it was. How she received a bottle of this grape gold before she left Lebanon. You can’t get the fresh stuff in the USA she said. I nodded and dipped more pita bread into the bowl. When it came time to clear the table, I took over dish duty and inadvertently tossed the bowl with the tahini-grape molasses mixture into the sink. I didn’t realize what I did until my mother in law asked where the bowl of the leftovers was. My heart sunk. My legs almost gave it. No, no my mother in law isn’t a scary woman at all. We’re buddies. My reaction was caused by knowing that I just threw out the most delicious thing I had tasted in years and knowing that it is nearly impossible to get fresh Grape Molasses in the USA. To say she was disappointed would be an understatement. I’m pretty sure she has forgiven me but I haven’t forgiven myself….
Now that you know how precious it is for us Lebanese, let me tell you exactly what grape molasses is. Grape molasses is most common in Turkish and Greek cooking, but is also used in Lebanese cooking. It’s sweeter than pomegranate molasses (my personal obsession) which makes it a perfect way to sweeten recipes without artificial or refined sugars.
A jar of grape molasses has been sitting on my pantry shelf for a very long time. Why did I buy it? I don’t know. When did I buy it? In London. Why do I still have it? I don’t know. But I’m so glad that I still do! Occasionally being a food hoarder has it’s benefits. Holding on to this jar for about 3 years was worth it.
My only problem with grape molasses? I only have one jar! I’m going to have to grab more from Lebanon this summer, because the recipe possibilities are endless! You can use it in salad dressings, for grilled chicken and to replace regular molasses in recipes where you want to the unrefined sweetness of sugar but not necessarily the common molasses taste.
Almond Date Energy Bites are super easy to make. Just make sure to refrigerate the mixture before you roll them into balls and keep your hands clean when rolling them.
Yields 20-24 balls
These delicious energy bites are made using Middle Eastern flavours like dried dates and apricots, almonds, orange blossom and grape molasses.
10 minPrep Time
45 minTotal Time
- 15 dried Dates
- 15 dried Apricots
- 1 1/2 cup Oatmeal
- 3 tablespoons Grape Molasses
- 1/2 teaspoon Orange Blossom
- 2 tablespoons Flax Seed
- 1 cup Almonds, peeled
- Soak dates and apricots 10 minutes in hot water. Drain well.
- Pulse a few times in a food processor to create a thick paste, but keeping the fruit slightly clumpy.
- Add remaining ingredients and pulse until the mixture becomes clumpy, scraping the sides as needed. Don't over pulse them.
- Chill dough 15-30 minutes.
- Roll dough into 1" sizes balls.
- Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one week.
To easily peel the almonds, soak them in water a few minutes. The peel should slip right off.