I was planning to call these trail mix cookies, but they’re really much more than that. So they are endurance bites. Sounds official, yes? Now that my ultra-marathon-runner boyfriend has gotten me hooked on all the pocket fuels and bars for hikes and runs, I realized I needed to make my own, unprocessed, ones. These are literally endurance bites, as in they give you the lasting energy you need and fulfill your sweet tooth in just one bite. Easy to eat on the go, which is a bonus for pretty much anyone…athletes, moms, workaholics, backpackers, etc. During the workday, I especially appreciate that I can sneak one in without the kiddos noticing! 😉 That being said, this is a pretty great option for kid-friendly snacks too – all the sugar is from fruits!
I decided to make two versions of these endurance bites. Both are vegan/gluten-free, but one is also grain-free, which does make it taste a little like a Lara bar, whereas the one with oats tastes more like a traditional cookie. Both are full of healthy nuts and fruit, and are easily digested when all ground together and baked. Both are also easily adaptable with different types of nut butter, mix-ins, and grains. Neither of these cookies have any butter, oil, or refined sugar of any kind! Yet they still have that delicious, sweet trail-mix taste that I love, and the fuel to keep me going. I eat plenty of these while I bake and straight out of the oven, but these do taste especially amazing when on the top of a mountain!
- 2 small bananas, mashed
- 1/4 cup applesauce
- 1/4 cup peanut or other nut/seed butter
- 1 1/2 cups oats
- 1/2 cup gluten-free flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
- 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
To make grain-free version, omit oats and flour, and instead use 1 cup almond meal and 1 cup shredded coconut! Everything else stays the same.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Combine all ingredients (except walnuts and chocolate) in a large bowl and stir well to combine. Make sure mashed banana and nut butter is smooth and mixed in throughout.
- Add chopped walnuts and chocolate chips and stir in to combine.
- Roll dough into tablespoon-sized balls and place on greased or lined cookie sheet. (Dough will be wet – that’s ok).
- Pat down dough to form disc shapes (won’t spread during baking).
- Bake for about 12 minutes, or until golden on the bottom.
- Let cool on wire rack or enjoy immediately! Will keep for a week in tupperware.