4 o'clock No-bake Energy Bites

We keep these on hand for a little late-afternoon energy boost. Start with all ingredients at room temperature. Also, different brands of peanut butter yield slightly different results, you can adjust as needed. And, yes to substituting honey, or almond butter, or a different type of ground seeds. 

1 cup lightly toasted old-fashioned rolled oats
3 tablespoons chia seeds, ground in mortar & pestle
1/4 cup chopped chocolate (or chips)
3 tablespoons good maple syrup
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup unsweetened, toasted coconut flakes
2/3 cup well-stirred natural peanut butter
sea salt, to taste

Combine the oats, chia seeds, chocolate, maple syrup, vanilla, and coconut in a medium bowl. Toss until well combined. Add the peanut butter, and use your hands to really work the ingredients together. Adjust a bit if necessary, adding a bit more peanut butter if the mixture won't stay in a ball shape. Alternately, add more oats if the mixture is too sticky. You can shape into balls by hand, but I find it is easier (and less messy) to press the mixture into a rounded tablespoon, then press it out (see photo). Arrange on a parchment lined baking sheet or plate, and refrigerate or freeze. Carry around in a small jar, or any small structured bento or container.

Makes ~2 dozen energy bites.

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