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Trail Mix Bites – Deliciously Healthy Energy Bites

Start your New Year’s eating plan right with these healthy, delicious, energy-boosting, fun little Trail Mix Bites. No baking, no gluten – just lots of plant-based goodness.

A pyramid stack of four Trail Mix Bites

On Sunday, I decided to dig into one of my New Year’s resolutions — read more books — and pulled out my long-ago-discharged Kindle and charging cable. I had already purchased the book on tap for the day and only had to download it to my Kindle. I leaned over to plug in the charger and was met with a shower of plastic pieces. White plastic, everywhere. Whaa?

The coating on my Kindle cable was cracking and falling off wherever I touched or bent it, leaving only a twisty bundle of silver wires that I was not inclined to attach to an electrical outlet. With all of the technology I’ve owned over the decades, I’ve never, ever had the coating on a wire disintegrate like that.

After a few moments of blinking confusion, I, uh, got all blue up in here. (Which meant that I thwarted not one but two resolutions — the second being not to anger so quickly (SoupAddict has her prickly moments) — already on the very first day of the year. Drat!)

Quick research on the web revealed this is a common, pretty much universal, occurrence with the 2nd Gen Kindle cables. Amazon responded to my report very quickly, and I should be back up and running with a new cable on Saturday.

So, with my Kindle plans derailed, I was back on the laptop, back on the interwebs, catching up on all the holiday posts I missed. (It’s impossible to complain about that — man, do I love the foodie blogs!)

As I clicked here and there, I noticed a mini-revival of the sugar plum: ping pong balls of sweet treats made from nuts and dried fruit, and of course, sugar, inside and out.

They looked delicious. They really did. Like something I would enjoy eating just about any other month of the year.

Nuts, dates and figs on a cutting board

But, it’s January, people, and I’m completely sugared out.  Sugared. Out.  They stuck in my brain, however, intrigued by this sort of wheatless granola bar in ball form.

So, on Monday, I got to work and gathered up my favorite dried fruits, nuts and seeds. Maple syrup and almond butter would do the binding.

(I love almond butter, but made the mistake of buying a brand that needed a lot of stirring. No headroom in the jar meant that I had oil everywhere. Sigh. Must remember to pick up a jar of Justin’s this weekend.)

Ingredients for Trail Mix Bites chopped up in a food processor

Instead of coating the trail mix bites in sugar, ground pistachios — my favorite nut ever — would do the job.

I think the pistachio coating makes these energy bites even more tempting!

Trail mix bites spread out on a sheet of white parchment paper

Now, these babies aren’t sugar-free — they have sweet dried fruits and maple syrup, afterall — but they’re healthier than sugar plums, gluten-free, dairy-free, and vegan. No baking required. And far more fun to eat than granola bars. I’ve been snacking on trail mix bites all week at work, and another batch is in the plans for the weekend.

A little reading on the Kindle, a few trail mix bites, a few miles on the treadmill. (And, yes, probably a nap, too. I’ll own up to that.) I think it will be a fine weekend.

Karen xo

Trail Mix Bites 4
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5 from 3 votes

Trail Mix Bites

Healthy, delicious, energy-boosting little Trail Mix Bites. No baking, no gluten – just lots of goodness.
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Prep Time20 mins
Total Time20 mins
Servings: 24 bites
Author: Karen Gibson


  • 1/4 cup pistachios
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
  • 2 cups mixed nuts and seeds I like pistachios, almonds, walnuts, flaxseed, sunflower seeds and pepitas
  • 2 cups dried fruit I used equal amounts dried cranberries, dates and figs. Chop the larger fruits so everything is about the same size.
  • grated zest from one medium orange about 1 tablespoon
  • 1 tablespoon almond or peanut butter
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 pinch sea salt a finishing salt like Maldon’s is nice


  • Place 1/4 cup pistachios in a food processor and process until finely chopped (just short of a powder). Combine with sesame seeds in a small bowl and set aside.
  • Add nuts, seeds, and dried fruit to processor bowl and process until finely chopped. Add zest, nut butter, maple syrup and salt and pulse several more times. When the mixture is ready, it will begin to clump together and pull away from the sides of the bowl.
  • Remove mixture to a bowl and knead mixture briefly to consolidate. Pick up about 1 heaping tablespoon of the mixture and squeeze tightly in one palm. Use your fingers to compress the mixture into a ball. Drop in the pistachio-sesame seed bowl and roll to coat.
  • Refrigerate for 15 minutes to set. Store at room temperature in an airtight container.
Nutritional information, if shown, is provided as a courtesy only, and is not to be taken as medical information or advice. The nutritional values of your preparation of this recipe are impacted by several factors, including, but not limited to, the ingredient brands you use, any substitutions or measurement changes you make, and measuring accuracy.

Trail Mix Bites

Recipe Rating

Make Something, Monday! « The Compost Cook

Monday 2nd of April 2012

[...] Tasty Trail Bar Bites,yet another tasty treat from SoupAddict that serves as a perfect on-the-go food These tiny bites look gorgeous and taste sinfully [...]


Thursday 2nd of February 2012

Thank you for this recipe! Mine ending up tasting like a grown up version of a peanut butter and jelly bite--so good.

Carolyn Jung

Monday 9th of January 2012

A great twist on trail mix. So portable. And easier to maintain portion control, since I'm someone who easily loses track of how many handfuls of the loose mix I actually end up eating. With this, one or two of the "bites'' should do the trick. ;)

Leslie Cunningham

Sunday 8th of January 2012

These are so good. Just another yummy way to eat a trail mix. I spilt my recipe in half and added mini semisweet chocolates to half... added a few more calories. But a great treat when you have the sweet craving. Great recipe.

Sprigs of Rosemary

Saturday 7th of January 2012

Brilliant! I was planning to make some granola bars today -- and Ina recipe -- but this is much more intriguing!