Category Archives: Snacks

Snack recipes to fill the hungry time between meals.

Chocolate Chip Seed Balls

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In my hunt for more snack foods, I have always been intrigued by all the ball recipes I see on the web.  I have posted a few of my own recipes over the last year. ( Check these balls out and these are super yummy too.)  I like to try to make all my balls bursting with flavor while still including lots of amazing, energy producing ingredients.  My latest ball incantation meets all these requirements.

IMG_1188I love that these balls include energy producing, fiber filled Bob’s Red Mill Oats , Omega-3 rich Raw Chia Seeds and Hemp Hearts  and Enjoy Life Semi-Sweet Chocolate Mini Chips- so much goodness in such a small little bite!   These are such a great, quick snack to have on hand for a burst of energy any time.  They can even be used as a quick grab and go breakfast.

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Here are all the healthy ingredients mixed up and ready to head into the fridge to help them stick together.  Putting them in the fridge for about 30 minutes is key to helping them hold together.  I definitely advised making sure you don’t skip this step!!

IMG_0238 I found it was easiest to squeeze the dough into balls instead of trying to roll them.  They don’t look too pretty but they sure taste good.

Chocolate Chip Seed Balls

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of dry oatmeal
  • 1/2 cup coconut flakes, unsweetened
  • 1/2 cup of hemp seeds
  • 1/4 cup of chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup of peanut butter or other nut butter of choice
  • 1/2 cup of ground chia seeds
  • 1/3 cup of maple syrup
  • 1 tsp of vanilla
  • 1-3 tsp of almond milk

Instructions

  1. Put peanut butter and maple syrup in a small pot on the stove.
  2. Slowly heat, stirring to combine .
  3. While peanut butter heating on stove, add oats,coconut, seeds, chocolate chips and vanilla to a large bowl.
  4. When peanut butter and syrup combined, add to dry mixture.
  5. Stir to combine.
  6. Add almond milk as need to make sure dough is wet enough to stick together.
  7. Once well combined, chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.
  8. After 30 minutes, remove from fridge and roll into balls.
  9. Enjoy!
  10. Store leftovers in airtight container in the fridge.
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Chocolate Chip Quinoa Snack Bars

IMG_1143In my never ending quest for new snack options for my boys, I have tried some strange combinations.  It can be so hard to find something they like that is not loaded with sugar or additives.  Making my own snacks can be a good option but I don’t always have the time for complicated recipes.  I was so happy when I saw this recipe for Quinoa Bars from My Whole Foods Life .  It was easy and had very few but yummy ingredients.  I love quinoa- every cup has 8 grams of protein, 5 grams of fiber and is a good source of manganese, magnesium, folate, phosphorous and B vitamins.  It is a gluten free seed with some serious nutrition!  I had never tried quinoa flakes before so was curious to see what they were like.  I bought Ancient Harvest Quinoa Flakes.  They were so nutty and yummy that I used them again this am in some chia seed pudding.  I could see a lot of uses for them!

I wanted to make a few tweaks to the recipe but pretty much left it as it was designed.  I decided to add some chocolate chips to these bars to entice my boys to eat them.  I really like Enjoy Life Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips because they taste like regular chocolate chips but are gluten, soy and dairy free- so yummy!  Finally, I had a weird assortment of nut butters that I cobbled together because I didn’t have much of any particular type.  I used  Mara Natha All Natural Roasted Almond Butter, Maranatha Cashew Butter and a tiny bit of a local pumpkin seed butter.

The recipe from My Whole Foods Life was for raw bars but I wanted to try to bake them to see if I could get them to hold together better.  (I often find my raw bars tend to be crumbly.)  I wasn’t sure if it would help but decided to give it a shot.

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Chocolate Chip Quinoa Snack Bars

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups quinoa flakes
  • 1 heaping cup almond butter (I used a combination of almond, cashew and pumpkin)
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup (you could substitute honey)
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 cup of chocolate chips
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Place quinoa flakes in bowl with cinnamon, and salt.
  3. Heat nut butters, syrup, coconut oil and vanilla over low fire until well combined.
  4. Stir wet ingredients into dry ingredients.
  5. Add chocolate chips. They will melt if you don't allow the dough to cool. I like them melted so didn't cool the dough.
  6. Spread dough in 8X8 parchment lined pan.
  7. Press down firmly to compress the dough.
  8. Place in oven for 20-25 minutes depending on your oven.
  9. Allow to cool and then enjoy.
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Chocolate Apricot Seed Balls

Balls all ready for snacking.

Balls all ready for snacking.

As I continue on my real foods journey, I find one of the aspects I struggle the most with is finding good quality, quick snacks.  My kids are still stuck in the “it has to be in a box to qualify for a snack” mode.  It is incredibly disheartening to go to the store, read package labels and realize how much crap is in the food marketed to kids!  Even food under the “health halo” of  gluten free or organic is often loaded with sugar listed in different forms to disguise how much sugar is actually lurking.  IT DRIVES ME CRAZY!

I was recently wandering around the internet looking for new snack ideas when I stumble upon My Darling Lemon Thyme’ s recipe for Raw Apricot, Dark Chocolate and  Coconut  Bites .  These sounded amazingly yummy to me but I wondered about tweaking them a little bit to add some protein.  I am incredibly obsessed with chia and hemp seeds right now so I immediately thought about incorporating them.

I am use to using dates in many of my raw snacks so I was intrigued with the idea of trying apricots for a different taste.  I try to find unsulfured apricots because the preservatives tend to give me a headache and upset my stomach.  I bought  Dried APRICOTS here.  I know they look discolored and a little unappetizing but I promise they taste just as good as the sulfured ones! I eat Hemp Hearts  and Organic Raw Chia Seeds every day for breakfast so they were a natural addition to these balls.

Ingredients.

Ingredients.

Into the food processor everything went.

IMG_1106It was important to keep grinding and grinding to break down the apricots and to get a paste to form.  Be sure to scrape down the sides of the food processor as needed.  Gradually adding a little water also really helped the balls hold together.  Checkout all that seedy goodness in the photo down below.

Balls before going into the freezer.

Balls before going into the freezer.

I know these are not the most visually appealing snacks but they definitely taste better than they look!  The raw chocolate on these balls is so yummy and not too sweet!  It is amazing combined with the orange flavor from the zest.

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Chocolate Apricot Seed Balls

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups unsulfered apricots
  • 3/4 cup of coconut
  • 1/4 cup of chia seeds
  • 2 tbs of hemp seeds
  • 1 tbs of orange zest
  • 11/2 tbs of melted coconut oil
  • For Raw Chocolate
  • 3 tbs of melted coconut oil
  • 3 tbs of cacao powder
  • 2 tbs of maple syrup
  • pinch of sea salt

Instructions

  1. Place apricots, coconut, seeds, zest and 1 1/2 tbs of oil in the food processor.
  2. Grind until a paste forms and mixture holds together when rolled into a ball.
  3. (I added a little warm water to help this process along.)
  4. Roll into balls.
  5. Place balls in freezer for 10-15 minutes to firm up.
  6. While balls are freezing, mix ingredients for raw chocolate together.
  7. Remove balls from freezer and roll in the chocolate.
  8. (You can completely cover the balls or cover only half of them depending on your taste.)
  9. Enjoy immediately or store in fridge for later snacking.
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These balls turned out super yummy and I have been snacking on one or two of them a day for the last few days. Even though they are small, I find they give me sustained energy.   The boys also declared them a winner- which is great, but then I have to share them!  I would love to have readers share any of their snack ideas.

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Dark Chocolate Oat and Seed Snacks

Chocolaty oaty goodness!

Chocolaty oaty goodness!

When I was a kid, occasionally my mom would make Chocolate Chow Mein Noodle Cookies.  I, of course, thought they were the bomb and gave no thought to all the processed ingredients in the noodles or conventional chocolate chips!  I still often feel a nostalgia for some of the “treats” of my childhood but now I have begun to look for ways to make them healthier.  This recipe came out of that nostalgia.

I knew I wanted to keep the feeling of the noodles covered with chocolate but without the unhealthy fat you get from using a fried noodle.  I decided to use Bob’s Red Mill Organic Oats  to take the place of the noodles.  Also,  I wanted to incorporate more protein and healthy omega-3′s in this snack so I added Trader Joe’s Organic Tricolor Quinoa,  Navitas Naturals Organic Raw Chia Seeds,  and  Manitoba Harvest Hemp Hearts.  I added cinnamon for its blood sugar balancing and anti-inflammatory properties and cardamom to aid in digestion.  Finally, instead of using regular milk chocolate, I  switched to Newman’s Own Organic Premium Chocolate Bar, 70% for all the heart healthy flavonoids that come with dark chocolate.  These were VERY  easy to whip up and don’t require any baking!

Everything all mixed up and ready to go in the muffin tins.

Everything all mixed up and ready to go in the muffin tins.

I made sure to press hard on the oat mixture as I added it to each tin so all the ingredients would be compressed and hold together better.

Chocolate oat mixture before it hits the fridge.

Chocolate oat mixture before it hits the fridge.

I have to admit, I wasn’t sure how these would end up.  I worried the oats wouldn’t offer the same feel as the fried noodles.  However, between the oats and the seeds you still got the feel of crunchy, chocolaty goodness!  These turned out super yummy!  Unfortunately, this recipe only produced 7 treats so the next time I make them, I am going to be sure to double the recipe!  (These are best stored in the fridge because the chocolate tends to melt quickly.)

Treats all ready to eat.

Treats all ready to eat.

Dark Chocolate Oat and Seed Snacks

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cup of oats
  • 2 tbs of quinoa, toasted
  • 1 tbs of chia seeds
  • 1/4 cup of hemp seeds
  • 1/4 cup of dried cherries
  • 1/3 cup of coconut oil
  • 2 tbs of cocoa powder
  • 4 squares of dark chocolate
  • 2 tsp of cinnamon
  • 1 tsp of cardamon
  • a dash of salt, to taste
  • 1-2 tsp of maple syrup, use to taste

Instructions

  1. Toast quinoa in a dry pan.
  2. Shake pan often to keep from sticking and/or burning.
  3. Remove from fire when quinoa is lightly toasted.
  4. Put chocolate, coconut oil and cocoa powder in double boiler and melt over light heat.
  5. Once melted, stir in the cinnamon, salt, maple syrup and cardamon.
  6. Taste to see if sweet enough for your taste. If not, add more maple syrup.
  7. Once combined, stir in the oats, quinoa, chia seeds, hemp seeds and dried cherries.
  8. Stir until all the dried ingredients are covered with chocolate.
  9. Spoon "dough" into lined muffin cups.
  10. Place in fridge to set.
  11. These will keep best in the fridge.
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Dark Chocolate Nut and Seed Bombs

Dark Chocolate Nut and Seed Blasts- Good for your Heart!

Dark Chocolate Nut and Seed Blasts- Good for your Heart!

I have been so intrigued by all the raw truffle recipes on Pinterest.  Every time I see a recipe for truffles or energy balls, I have to click over to the actual website to see how they are made.  I can’t believe how many different versions there are!  After reading so many recipes and dreaming about how yummy they all sounded,  I decided to try to make some of my own.

Since I am always looking for ways to get more nutrition into my kids, I wanted to be sure my nut and seed bombs offered some health benefits.  Given how each nut and seed has it’s own distinct nutritional benefits, I decide to try to incorporate as many different types of nuts as possible.  I used walnuts for their short chain omega-3 alpha linolenic acid to benefit the heart and give copper and manganese.  I include pistachios for their high fiber content and carotenoids.  Almond butter was used for almond’s high vitamin E, manganese, copper and fiber content.  Finally, hemp seeds were included for another dose of omega-3′s

Chopped walnuts for healthy omega-3's.

Chopped walnuts for healthy omega-3′s.

After grinding up the dates, nuts and seeds, I added the melted dark chocolate.  The dough turned a beautiful, rich brown color and tasted so yummy!

Dough all ground up before heading to fridge.

Dough all ground up before heading to fridge.

I found the balls rolled the easiest by squishing them into loose balls and then rolling them in the chopped pistachios.  After they were lightly covered with pistachios, I would roll them into tighter balls.  (Unfortunately, my ball rolling skills aren’t perfect- the balls are a little lopsided but they still taste delicious!)  It also seemed best to VERY finely chop the pistachios.  They adhered the best when finely chopped!

Blasts all ready to eat.

Blasts all ready to eat.

Dark Chocolate Nut and Seed Bombs

Ingredients

  • 20 dates ground into a paste
  • 1/3 cup of almond butter
  • 1/3 cup of hemp seeds
  • 1 3.5 oz dark (70% or above) chocolate bar, melted
  • 1 tsp vanilla almond milk
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp of cardamon
  • 1/2 cup raw walnuts
  • 1/4 cup of pistachios, finely chopped

Instructions

  1. Grind pitted dates in a food processor fit with an s-blade until a paste forms.
  2. Place chocolate in a double boiler over low heat, stirring occasionally until melted.
  3. Add walnuts and pulse until combined.
  4. Add hemp seed, almond milk, cinnamon, cardamon and sea salt. Pulse until well combined.
  5. Add in melted chocolate and pulse until well mixed with the nuts and dates. You may have to stop and scrape the sides a couple of times.
  6. Place food processor bowl in the fridge for about 20 minutes.
  7. Take nut mixture out of fridge and carefully roll the dough into balls.
  8. The balls can be rolled in chopped pistachios or other nuts according to your tastes.
  9. (I found it was easier to lightly squeeze the dough into balls and then roll them in the pistachios and then roll them some more to make the balls stay together.)
  10. Enjoy!
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A single blast of nutty goodness.

A single blast of nutty goodness.

I love the bright green of the pistachios contrasted with the brown of the chocolate!  It is so pretty!

A whole bowl of nutty goodness.

A whole bowl of nutty goodness.

Feel free to substitute different nuts or nut butters for any of the ingredients.  I think you can never go wrong with a nut.  Enjoy!

Shared with Rock My Vegan Socks, Girl Meets Nourishment, Today’s Creative Blog, The Novice Gardner and Real Food Fridays.

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5 Great Road Trip Snacks

Road trip picture.

Road trip picture.

Summer  has definitely hit and it seems everyone is on the move.  People are visiting family, headed to the beach or checking out the National Parks.  I can’t wait til we get to hit the road.  Beyond the hassles of packing, boarding the dog and planning the trip, one of my biggest concerns is what to bring for car snacks. I don’t want to undue all the healthy eating we have been doing at home by failing to be prepared!!  It never fails that we have barely made it out of the driveway and the kids are already asking what we have to eat.  I have been giving this a lot of thought and this year I am prepared.  Here are five snacks I will be packing.

Blueberries.

Blueberries.

Blueberries.  Blueberries are an amazing car snack.  Pick or buy them, wash them and then store them in your container of choice.  They are a tasty, healthy, sweet alternative to candy and other junk food you might be tempted to pack.  Plus they provide a shot of anti-oxidants, vitamin C and fiber.  Perfect to keep you regular when your routine is out of whack.  Read more about the benefits of eating berries here.

Nut butter stuffed Dates

Nut butter stuffed Dates

Nut Butter Stuffed Dates.  These portable little beauties offer a hint of sweetness with a little bit of salty thrown in.  There are currently so many options for different nut butters.  I often use pistachio but experiment with what is your favorite.  Here is a recipe but they are so simple to create.  Just slice the date down one side, remove the pit and then stuff with the nut butter of your choice.

Trail Mix.

Trail Mix.

Trail Mix.  The great thing about trail mix is it can be completely customized to your own individual taste.  Take the kids to  a store with bulk bins and let them choose what they would like in their own “special” trail mix.  Chocolate chips, nuts, dried fruit, sesame crackers- it is all good!  Just be aware that some dried fruits have added sugar.  Once the kids have chosen their ingredients, you can pack each kid their own bag of “special” mix.

Fermented Blueberry SodaFermented Blueberry Ginger Soda.  This snack takes a little more planning because creating the ingredients for the ginger bug takes about a week.  However, having a cool, refreshing, healthy alternative to soda while on the road is well worth it.  Plus it will provide your gut with healthy probiotics while you are traveling. Here is the recipe for Fermented Ginger Blueberry Soda.

Yum!  A whole container of granola!

Yum! A whole container of granola!

Granola.  Jane’s Chocolaty Gluten Free Granola is a great road trip food.  Portable, healthy and no refrigeration required.

These are just a few ideas!  I would love to hear about what other families take on their road trips.

Shared with REal Food Forager, Gluten Free Homemaker,  Urban NaturaleReal Food Wednesdays and Allergy Free Alaska.

Car Photo by Les Chatfield on flickr with text added by me.

Trail mix photo by Sara Milne on flickr.

Blueberry photo by Mr. TinDC on flickr.

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Glo Bar Obsession

Glo Bars all ready to eat.

Glo Bars all ready to eat.

About  a week ago, I picked up Angela Liddon’s The The Oh She Glows Cookbook: Over 100 Vegan Recipes to Glow from the Inside Out
.  Since then I have become totally obsessed with making recipes out of this book.  Now, neither I nor my family are vegan but it has not mattered.  Everything I have made from this book has been super yummy!  As I have stated before, I am always on the hunt for healthier snack bars to feed my family so when I saw the recipe for her Glo Bars, I knew I had to make them.  Usually I make some substitutions or additions to recipes but these sounded so good I made no changes.

Oats and crispy rice cereal- the two main components of the bars.

Oats and crispy rice cereal- the two main components of the bars.

These bars were very easy and required very little time spent actually cooking- right up my alley.  These bars are gluten free, no bake, refined sugar and oil free- yummy!!

Finished bars.

Finished bars.

Glo Bar Obsession

Ingredients

  • 1 1?2 cups gluten-free rolled oats
  • 1 1?4 cups rice crisp cereal
  • 1?4 cup hemp seeds
  • 1?4 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1?4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds
  • 1?2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1?4 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
  • 1?2 cup, plus 1 tablespoon, brown rice syrup
  • 1?4 cup roasted peanut butter or almond butter (I used almond butter.)
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1?4 cup mini non-dairy chocolate chips (such as Enjoy Life brand) (optional)

Instructions

  1. Combine ingredients through sea salt in a large bowl.
  2. Place brown rice syrup and nut butter on the stove until begins to liquefy.
  3. Watch carefully and stir frequently.
  4. Pour hot liquids over the dry ingredients.
  5. Stir well till all dry ingredients are coated with syrup mixture.
  6. Stir in chocolate chips after mixture cools a bit. (I got impatient and stirred them in before it was cool and the chips melted a little. Fortunately, I like having the chocolate distributed throughout the bars!)
  7. Spread mixture in parchment lined pan and put in fridge until hardens.
  8. Once hard, take out of pan by lifting from parchment paper edges.
  9. Use pizza cutter to cut into bars.
  10. Store uneaten portions in the fridge.
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My son on as a sous chef!

My son on as a sous chef!

Eat up!

Eat up!

Enjoy these tasty bars!

This post shared with The Nourishing Gourmet, A Glimpse Inside, The Idea Room, Food Renegade, Urban NaturaleHello Veggy and Homespun Oasis.

 

 

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Dark Chocolate Covered Seed and Nut Bars

Finished bars all ready to eat.

Finished bars all ready to eat.

It has suddenly gotten amazingly hot and sunny here in the Pacific Northwest.  I LOVE IT!  I am a total sun girl- everything seems better with a little  sun!  The only bummer is our house gets incredibly hot as the day goes on.  As the mercury rises, trying to avoid further heating of  the house with cooking becomes a consuming obsession.  Imagine my joy when I came upon these amazing raw seed and nut bars from This Rawsome Vegan Life while surfing Pintrest (you can find me here on Pintrest).

All the yummies that make up these awesome bars.

All the yummies that make up these awesome bars.

 

These bars have everything you could possibly need for a little pick me up in a busy day.  Healthy sugar from organic dates and raisins, omega-3′s from chia seeds, walnuts and flax seeds and protein from all those seeds and nuts.   Pumpkin seeds further contribute to the omega-3′s but they also give a much need boost of zinc (read here about the benefits of zinc.).The medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) in the coconut oil provide a blast of increase energy expenditure compared to the same amount of calories from longer chain fats.  And, of course, I couldn’t resist adding a dark chocolate covered topping to increase my antioxidant exposure.  (Read more about the benefits of dark chocolate here.

Dark chocolate squares melting in double broiler.

Dark chocolate squares melting in double broiler.

I put the dark chocolate squares on the stove in a makeshift double broiler while I started the grinding of the seeds and nuts in the food processor.  After the nuts and seeds resembled a course crumb, I gradually added the raisins and dates.  Mixing this all together required some time, with multiple stops to scrape down the sides of the food processor.  I used roughly 2 tbs of coconut oil but you will have to judge the stickiness of your own dough.  The moisture content of the dates and raisins seems to impact how sticky the dough becomes.

All the ingredients before being ground.

All the ingredients before being ground.

 

Melting chocolate for the topping.

Melting chocolate for the topping.

Bars with melted chocolate ready to go to the fridge to harden.

Bars with melted chocolate ready to go to the fridge to harden.

Finished bars.

Finished bars.

These were super easy to whip up and so tasty!  I think they might be my new favorite bar!

Dark Chocolate Covered Seed and Nut Bars

Ingredients

  • 1 cup walnuts
  • 1/3 cup chia seeds
  • 1/3 cup ground flax seeds
  • 1/3 cup hemp seeds
  • 1/4 cup cacao nibs
  • 1/4 cup coconut flakes
  • 3/4 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1 cup dates
  • 1-2 tablespoons melted coconut oil, if needed
  • 4 Dark chocolate squares for topping.

Instructions

  1. Melt dark chocolate over double broiler on the stove.
  2. Put all ingredients except raisins, coconut oil and dates in food processor.
  3. Process until you have a course crumb mixture.
  4. Add raisins and dates.
  5. Process until dough starts sticking together.
  6. Add coconut oil as needed to help with sticking.
  7. Put dough in parchment lined pan.
  8. Use your hands to press to uniform depth throughout the pan.
  9. Pour melted chocolate over top of bars.
  10. Spread chocolate.
  11. Put bars in fridge for about an hour.
  12. Once firm and chocolate hardens, take out and cut.
  13. Store in fridge.
  14. Enjoy!
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This post was shared with Gluten Free Homemaker, A glimpse Inside, Homespun Oasis, The Nourishing Gourmet, Rock My Vegan Socks, Food Renegade,  Today’s Creative Blog  and Live Laugh Rowe..

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Chocolate Almond Butter Energy Blasts

Chocolate Energy Blasts

Chocolate Energy Blasts

Who doesn’t love a little ball of chocolate protein yumminess?  I know I sure do!   A no bake way to sneak  more protein in my diet?  Sign me up!!  I have been seeing variations of these balls all over the internet and finally decided to break down and try them for myself.  They are super easy and quick to make- even little kids can make them. I based my recipe on one I found on the Whole Foods website with a few minor changes.

Ready to eat.

Ready to eat.

I used almond butter for my Energy Blasts but I know peanut butter or any other nut butter would be just as yummy!  I also used dried blueberries because I had them in the house but the original recipe called for raisins.  I think dried currants would also be tasty.  These balls lend themselves to all sorts of substitutions so don’t be shy about experimenting with your own personal ideal Energy Blast.

Chocolate Almond Butter Energy Blasts

Ingredients

  • 1 cup almond butter
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 2 tbs of unsweetened organic cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup dried blueberries
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut, divided
  • 1/4 cup sesame seeds
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped nuts (walnuts, pecans, etc.)

Instructions

  1. Place almond butter, honey, cocoa powder, blueberries and 2 tbs of coconut in food processor.
  2. Process until well combined.
  3. Put sesame seeds, coconut and walnuts in three separate bowls.
  4. Using about a tablespoon of dough roll into a ball until fairly well formed but not perfect.
  5. Roll ball in either coconut, sesame seeds or pecans depending on your taste.
  6. Continue rolling until reaches roundness.
  7. Enjoy!
  8. Store leftovers in the fridge. These will get sticky if they get hot.
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As you can see my kindergarten play dough rolling skills are not that great but these will still taste great even if they are not perfectly round.

Enjoy your Protein Blast!

This post was shared with Food Renegade, Allergy Free AlaskaNatural Living Monday,  Gluten Free Friday, A Southern Fairy TaleToday’s Creative Blog and She Eats.

 

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Pistachio Nut Butter Stuffed Dates

Nut butter stuffed Dates

Nut butter stuffed Dates

I am always searching for the quick snack that is the perfect blend of salty and sweet-ready on a whim and easy to grab and go.  These pistachio nut butter stuffed dates meet those requirements.  They  are so easy to make and can be adjusted to include any nut butter you have on hand.  Don’t like pistachios?  Make yourself a walnut butter for a blast of healthy omega-3′s.  Have a jar of almond butter that has been hanging around for awhile?  Grab it, stuff it in some dates and chow down.

I find these dates a perfect snack for pre and post workout.  The nut butter provides a hit of protein for muscle recovery, while the dates give a blast of sugar to help fuel your workout.  ( Even though dates have sugar, they are considered a low GI food because they provide both some protein and fiber to slow the absorption of the sugar.  They are also a good source of  Vitamin B6 and the minerals Potassium, Copper and  Manganese.)

I happened to have pistachios on hand so I decided to make a pistachio nut butter.  However, any nut will do.  I also decided to add some ground flax seed to add some healthy omega- 3s.

Flax seeds ready for grinding.

Flax seeds ready for grinding.

I pre-ground the flax seed in a coffee grinder because I find my food processor has a difficult time grinding them finely. dates

Pistachio Nut Butter Stuffed Dates

Ingredients

  • Pitted dates
  • 1 cup of pistachios
  • 1/4 cup of ground flax seeds
  • 3 tsp cacao powder
  • 1/4 tsp of salt (taste your butter and adjust based on your taste)
  • 1 1/2 tbs of melted coconut oil (more if needed)
  • coconut for sprinkling

Instructions

  1. Grind your flax seeds.
  2. Slice dates down the middle but not all the way through. You want them to open up but not break in two pieces.
  3. Put pistachios, cacao and salt in food processor.
  4. Begin to grind nuts.
  5. Stop to scrape down sides as needed.
  6. Add oil and flax seeds.
  7. Grind some more.
  8. Nuts will gradually break down and form a crumb texture. Continue grinding until crumbs begin to stick together and a nut butter forms. This may take a few minutes.
  9. Carefully spread nut butter in the inside of the dates.
  10. Sprinkle with coconut.
  11. Enjoy!
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What nut butter would you like to try?

Shared with Food Renegade, Today’s Creative Blog, Six Sisters Stuff, A Southern Fairy Tale  and The Idea Room.

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