A few of my favorite summer fruits are apricots, cherries, strawberries, kiwi…I could go on but I won’t bore you with my seasonal favorites but I will say that I have some good news about these blueberry pie energy bites. Although, blueberries are the sweetest (and probably less expensive) in the summertime, you can still make these mini blueberry pies blitz into energy ball perfection any time of the year by using dried wild blueberries. The same goes for apricots and cherries—they make great energy bars when you use the dried versions of these fruits.
I grew up eating dried fruit but for whatever reason, I have never had a dried blueberry before and like a dodo, I didn’t realize they even existed until I was in the grocery store the other day. I was so excited I bought a few bags and for the last few days I’ve been day dreaming about all the blueberry no-bake treats I plan to make with them. Like all dried fruit, these dried berries have key differences to their fresh counterpart. Significantly, the calories and sugar are quite a bit more when the blueberry is dried.
A cup of fresh blueberries contains about 84 calories and 15 grams of sugar but one cup of dried blueberries has over 500 calories and 100 grams of sugar. Portion size is key when it comes to the dried berry. Although they may be tiny, they pack a nutritional punch that often qualifies them to be a super-fruit and for good reason! They are packed with antioxidants and loads of fiber—especially when dried! And in my opinion, when baking with dried blueberries, it gives you a more intense blueberry flavor. Perhaps, it’s from all the extra sugar packed into those shriveled up blueberries but none the less, they are delicious and fiber-licious and that’s a win in my book!
- 1 cup raw almonds
- ½ cup dates, pitted and chopped
- ¼ c unsweetened desiccated coconut
- 3 tbsp. pure maple syrup
- 1/2 cup dried blueberries
- Place all your ingredients in a food processor and pulse until a sticky mixture forms and the almonds are in small crumbly pieces.
- Transfer to a large bowl and add the dried blueberries. Use your hands to fold and mix.
- Separate into 11 evenly sized balls.
- Store in an airtight container.