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Take a bite out of energy lag

You may have seen them on display in your local Hy-Vee. They’re the cookie dough-shaped balls that look too good to be healthy. So, what are they, and should you be eating them? Here’s a few things to help you decide.

1. Each Energy Bite is handmade by a Hy-Vee registered dietitian and pre-packaged for on-the-go snacks.

2. They might taste like peanut butter cookie dough, but they’re loaded with nutrition from whole grain oats, chia, flax, and coconut. Plus a few mini chocolate chips to satisfy a sweet tooth.

3. Each one provides at least 3 grams of protein and 2 grams of fiber—two nutrients that help you feel full.

4. Compared to a chocolate chip cookie, they have fewer calories and two-thirds less sugar.

5. At around 130 calories a pop, they provide quick yet sustainable energy for pre- and post-workouts.

Healthy snacks between meals can prevent you from over-eating. They can also help you stabilize your blood sugar and stave off a snarly mood that might come from hunger. But the trick to building the perfect healthy snack is to combine carbohydrates with protein and a little bit of fat. This combination is ideal for feeling full and satisfied, so you’re less likely to dip into the office candy bowl.

For more dietitian tips and recipes, visit Hy-Vee.com/recipes-ideas.

Apricot-Almond Health Balls

Makes 20 Balls

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Total time: 40 minutes

Similar to the Hy-Vee Dietitian Energy Bites, these no-bake snacks provide healthy carbohydrates and protein for sustained energy.

What you need

•1 cup Hy-Vee old-fashioned rolled oats

•1 cup whole grain brown crisp rice cereal

•1 (2-oz.) pkg. Hy-Vee sliced almonds

•½ cup chopped Hy-Vee dried apricots

•¼ cup ground flaxseed meal

•2 tbsp. chia seeds

•2 tbsp. Hy-Vee mini semisweet chocolate chips

•¼ tsp. Hy-Vee salt

•1 cup unsalted almond butter

•¼ cup agave nectar

•1 tsp. Hy-Vee vanilla extract

What to do

1. In a large mixing bowl, stir together oats, cereal, almonds, apricots, flaxseed meal, chia seeds, chocolate chips and salt.

2. In a 2-cup liquid measuring cup or small bowl, combine almond butter, agave nectar and vanilla; stir until well mixed. Add to oat mixture; beat with electric mixer on medium-low speed until well-mixed.

3. Shape mixture into 1-inch balls. Place balls in a baking pan. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

4. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week or in freezer for up to 1 month.

Nutrition facts per ball: 150 calories, 10g fat, 1g saturated fat, 65mg sodium, 14g carbohydrate, 3g fiber, 6g sugar, 4g protein