It's no secret that I absolutely LOVE quick and easy recipes. Except, I like them to be healthy. And lots of times quick and easy isn't always healthy. Quick and easy is often less healthy, less expensive, and a heck of a lot more shelf stable. Which is a total drag, man.
I also love easy to grab snacks that I can inhale while on the run, while I'm at work, or while I'm making dinner. Yes, I snack while I cook dinner, and it drives my husband absolutely nuts. Not sure if that's so weird, but when he first noticed me snacking on completely unrelated foods while cooking dinner, he was shocked. Convinced it would ruin my dinner. Au contraire, mon frère!
I usually keep a box of Larabars in the pantry and another in my desk at work for when I need a quick boost. A tasty, easy snack that is transportable and contains ingredients that I can actually pronounce - a novel concept! There's like a zillion flavours of Larabars, and they are all really yummy, except they are expensive. And in my small Northern Alberta town, they are really hard to find. And things in this town that are hard to find are usually even more expensive.
So... I make my own. Like my Salted Chocolate Cranberry Bars - which are amazing. Dreams of those salted cranberry energy bars were dancing through my head last Monday when I was wondering what I should make for myself to bring to work so I wouldn't binge on crappy foods. I'm lookin' at you, 25c candy machine with my favourite Mike N Ike's in it.
Sometimes when I'm looking for recipe inspiration I just stand in front of my pantry and look at what's in there. While shopping, I'll often walk by foods and think to myself "hmm neat" and buy them just to creatively add them to foods. This leads to a massive variety of foods crammed into my smallish pantry begging to be used.
On Monday, while I was cuddling my coffee mug with my right hand, standing in front of the pantry, propping open the door with my left hand, I saw a small crinkled yellow-orange box. It was pretty beat up. I forgot what was in it, where I bought it, or how long I had had it. I pulled it out, checked the expiry date, we were cool. It had never been opened and was good until 2018. Seemed like a good of time as any to crack it open! And that's the story of why there's puffed quinoa in this dark chocolate quinoa energy bites recipe.
Here's Why it's healthy
These sweet, carbohydrate rich fruits are fantastic to quench your sweet tooth but also to provide your body with a quick, and easy source of energy! They are fibre rich, as well as a surprisingly good source of iron. They also contain many minerals, including potassium, calcium, and magnesium, as well as several B vitamins and vitamins A & K.
Almonds contain amygdalin, which makes almonds cancer preventing nuts. They are high in fibre, as well as vitamin E and some B vitamins. Don't forget that almonds contain decent amounts of calcium, copper, iron, phosphorous, potassium, and zinc!
This little pseudo grain has a fair balance of all essential amino acids, and a high protein content. Quinoa is also an excellent source of many minerals, including magnesium, iron, and copper, B vitamins and fibre.
Crave the good,
- 2 cups dried, pitted dates, I used Medjool
- 1 1/2 cup of nuts
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 tbsp coconut oil
- 1 tbsp nut butter, I used almond
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup puffed quinoa
- handful of dark chocolate chips, I used Enjoy Life - optional
- Add dates to food processor, and pulse until well demolished. Add the nuts and process until a sticky dough forms.
- Add maple syrup, coconut oil, nut butter and salt, and process until uniform.
- Add the puffed quinoa and chocolate chips and process until well combined.
- Scoop the sticky dough from the bowl of your food processor and roll into balls, and place on a parchment paper. Chill balls in the fridge or freezer until set up then transfer them to a storage container and keep in the fridge until ready to eat!