Did you read the latest news about eating junk food during pregnancy? It made me think that perhaps both my mom and Nick’s mom binged on junk food throughout their entire pregnancies with both of us. Why? Because the study showed that eating a lot of junk food (typically really sweet and fatty foods) during pregnancy can cause changes in the opioid signaling pathway of the unborn child, therefore making it difficult for the child to get that “feel good” feeling from eating certain foods (like high fat and sugary foods). So, in theory, this would mean the child would need to eat more of the food to get that “feel good” feeling. Do you have a sweet tooth? Do you like high-fat junk foods? Nick and I both have major sweet tooths (although he is much, much worse than mine, can you believe I got blessed with marrying one of the few men on this planet who actually likes chocolate more than his wife? Yeah, I’m a lucky woman).
While I’m not pregnant, I do have many friends who are expecting and who have complained to me that their sweet tooth is just insatiable. That scares me. I can’t imagine what mine will be like when the time comes……yikes. This recipe is for anyone who is pregnant and wants a sweet treat that is actually packed with nutrition (and for those of you who aren’t pregnant, you can enjoy this too, it’s just a healthier treat for any occasion!).
Evan (the initial creator of this recipe) makes some of the most amazing recipes I’ve ever seen, and I know this not just because I look at his wonderful photos, but I have probably made at least a dozen of his recipes. I saw these granola bites on his blog not too long ago and thought they sounded, as always, wonderful. But the best part was that they sounded easy. Of course, I did make some modifications in order to make them low FODMAPs, and to appeal to my “spicy” side (I’m obsessed with adding cayenne to anything even slightly close to granola).
Spicy Granola Bites
- 5 cups old fashioned oats
- ½ cup peanut butter
- 3 Tbsp. maple syrup (or cane syrup)
- ¼th cup dark chocolate chips (semi-sweet)
- ½ tsp. cinnamon
- ½ tsp. cayenne (or more for extra heat!)
- ¼ tsp. nutmeg
- Preheat oven to 250 degrees.
- Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl and form a sticky dough. Start forming 1-inch balls with your hands, adding more peanut butter if the dough is too dry.
- Place the balls on a non-stick cookie sheet.
- Bake for about 20 minutes, or until the outsides have browned a bit.
- Let the granola bites cool and then store them at room temperature for 2-3 days (or in the fridge for a week).
** These are low FODMAPs.
The Candid RD
The Candid RD
So tasty right out of the oven!
Nutrition facts for 1/18th of recipe
Nutrition Highlights: Under 150 calories, low fat, very low sodium (I used no salt added peanut butter), only 3 grams of sugar (because of the semi-sweet vs. milk chocolate chips)
But what if you want more protein in your snack?
– Add some powdered peanut butter to your dough
– Add some chia seeds to the dough (they will soak up moisture so you may need more nut butter or cane sugar if you do this)
– Add some more nuts/seeds of other types
– Add whey protein (I thought about doing this….)
– Serve your bites with some greek yogurt or a glass of milk
Want more ideas for “healthier indulgence” recipes? Check out my “raw” board on Pinterest, which contains plenty of delicious “bite” and “ball” options, also my “Healthy Snacks” board. I also thought these larabar-like snack balls from Anna sounded really delicious. I’ll have to try them soon.