Breakfast Bites

Sometimes a little advance effort has a big pay-off. That’s most certainly the case with breakfast — the last thing most of us want to do first thing in the morning is spend a lot of time preparing/scrounging for something to eat. Specifically, something that will taste good, be healthy, and be satisfying enough to last until lunch. All three of those conditions are impossible to fulfill — although those with a sweet tooth would probably argue that the “tastes good” criteria would be met — with what you’ll find in the cereal aisle or the reduced-fat dairy section in most supermarkets. (Also known as the Aisle of Sugar and the Section of Sugar departments.)

If you’re willing to spend a little time making these breakfast bites while you listen to your favorite podcast, though, you won’t face a first-thing-in-the-morning crisis. With three kinds of whole grains, two seeds, eggs, extra-virgin olive oil, and natural sweeteners in the form of raisins and dates, these little guys taste great, are healthy, and won’t leave you hungry by 10 a.m. Plus, they’re bite-size and highly portable. How convenient is that?

Breakfast Bites
Makes approximately 60 bites.

1/4 cup sunflower seeds, coarsely ground in a food processor
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds, coarsely ground in a food processor
1/4 cup teff flour*
3/4 cup sorghum flour*
3/4 cup brown rice flour*
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 cup date sugar
1/2 cup raisins
3 eggs, separated
1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
1 tsp. vanilla
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Powdered sucanat for rolling (optional)

Preheat oven to 350F and cover 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. In a large bowl, whisk together seeds, flours, cinnamon, baking powder, and date sugar. Stir in raisins, separating them by hand if they’re clumping together.

Crack the egg whites into a large bowl and put the yolks in another large bowl. Whip the whites with the cream of tartar — since the cream of tartar is acidic, it helps set the whites faster — until you have almost-stiff peaks (the kind that very slowly and gently starts to fall over after you’ve lifted up the beater).

Using the same beater, whip the yolks with the vanilla and oil until the mixture is frothy and thick. Stir the dry ingredients into the yolks. The dough will be dry, but that’s okay — you still have to fold in the whites. After you’ve folded them in with a spatula, start rolling the dough into 1″ balls and placing them on the baking sheets. I find that the easiest way to do that is pinch the dough together, use your fingertips to form it into a rough ball, and then give it a little finishing “polish” roll in the palm of your hand.

Bake for 12 minutes until bottoms are golden brown. If you like, roll the hot-out-of-the-oven balls in powdered sucanat to give them a little more sweetness. I do like to roll them, so I bake the bites in 2 batches — that way, I can get the first batch sucanat-ed while they’re still hot. Let bites cool completely before storing them in an airtight container.

Enjoy!

* These are gluten-free flours. If you’d rather make a wheat-based version, use an equivalent of kamut, spelt, and/or whole-wheat flour.

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