Pecans are not a well known or popular nut here in Italy. They’re extremely difficult to find and in the almost 3 years that that I’ve lived here, I’ve never seen them at the supermarket until very recently. They first appeared at the organic supermarket for a whopping 9 Euros per 100 grams, which I couldn’t bare to buy at that price. Luckily, I found them at the local Italian superstore chain for less than half that price, for triple the amount, but in shells.
The challenge was getting those little suckers out of their shell. It was kind of like that scene in Pretty Woman where Julia Roberts’ character sends a snail flying across the room, “slippery little suckers”, except in this case it was pecan shells all over the kitchen floor. It was a bit tricky, but I got the job done.
Annoying as it may have been to shell the pecans, I saved a few bucks and it felt a lot less wasteful than spending an obscene amount of money on pecans. I don’t have an issue spending money on healthy, good quality food, in fact that’s where most of my salary goes, but I’m well aware that pecans are not a bare necessity and something didn’t feel right about paying 9 euros for a small bag of them, knowing there are people out there struggling for clean water.
Nutcracker in hand I took to breaking open the pecans and created these Apple Butter Protein Bites to make use of some of the Apple Butter, of which I had recently made a double batch.
Pecans are loaded with antioxidants and vitamin E and boast about 10 grams of protein per cup (chopped). Here they are combined with Apple butter, oats, almond butter and chia seeds and coated in hemp seeds to give you an energizing nutrient dense two bite snack that’s packed with protein, fiber, antioxidants, and healthy omega 3 fatty acids among other vitamins and minerals.
Apple Butter Protein Bites
Recipe & Photography by Nissrine @ Harmony à la Carte inspired by this recipe on DeliciousLiving.com
These tasty two bite snacks are loaded with protein, fiber, antioxidants, and omega 3 healthy fats, and contain a good amount of vitamin E from the pecans, calcium and iron from the almond butter and zinc from the chia seeds and hemp hearts.
- 3/4 C Pecan, broken pieces (about 1 scant cup pecan halves)
- 1/2 C Oat Flakes (quick cooking oats)
- 1/4 Tsp Cinnamon Powder
- 2 Tbsp Almond Butter
- 6 Tbsp Apple Butter (click here for recipe)
- 1 Tbsp Chia Seeds
- Filtered Water, as needed to help form a paste
- 1/3 C Hulled Hemp Seeds/Hearts
- Pulse pecans, oat flakes and cinnamon in a food processor until you get a coarse flour. You don’t want this to be a fine grind as you want some texture and crunch from the pecan pieces.
- Add almond butter, apple butter, and chia seeds and pulse to combine.
- Add a bit of water, if needed, to get the mixture to bind nicely into a sticky paste. Use from a 1/2 to 2 tablespoons of water at most.
- Refrigerate to set the mixture for about 15 minutes then using a melon baller or round tablespoon, form little two bite balls and roll/coat them in the hemp seeds.
- Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week. I imagine they would keep longer, but we usually eat them all within a week so I couldn’t tell you for sure.