Friends! Summer is rolling along and now school season is almost upon us! How does it go so fast?
I have been spending less time in the kitchen, but I am still obsessed with making ‘healthy bites’. The small, nutrient-packed, and super portable snacks we take everywhere!
Today I am sharing my recipe for healthy ‘cacao’ bites. I’ve been making these all summer and they are a hit!
What you need:
Stove Top Pan
Bowl and spoon
Parchment Paper or Aluminum Foil
Cutting board and knife
1 cup cooked Quinoa
*if you have dry quinoa, you’ll want to prepare about 1/3 cup dry quinoa to yield about 1 cup cooked. Quinoa increases 3x in size as it cooks.
1/2 cup Almonds. I like raw, unblanched.
2/3 cup powdered peanut butter (+ mix with 1/3 cup water)
*can also substitute 1/3 cup of any nut butter you already have.
1/3 cup cacao nibs
Small pinch of sea salt
8-10 dates, pitted and diced
If you don’t have cooked Quinoa, start by cooking it. Use the directions on the package for best results. Basic cooking instructions: add 1/3 cup of dried quinoa and 2/3 cup of water to a pan and heat to boiling. Then cover and reduce heat to simmer for about 15 minutes, or until the water has fully absorbed. Keep checking the quinoa after the 12-minute mark so you don’t accidentally burn it.
While the Quinoa is simmering, combine powdered peanut butter and water in a small bowl. Mix well. The consistency should be the same as regular peanut butter when it is fully combined. If it’s too thin, add more powder. If it’s too thick, add a small amount of water. Set aside.
Chop almonds in a food processor until they are small, evenly sized pieces. I like to use the ‘pulse function’ to get them broken up.
Cover a cookie sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Set aside.
Next, add the dates, peanut butter, cacao nibs, cooked quinoa, and a pinch of sea salt to the food processor. Mix well. You may need to occasionally scrape down the sides of the food processor to ensure all ingredients are combined.
Once you have a well-formed ‘ball’ of ingredients, turn off and unplug the food processor. This is super important before reaching your hands in!
Next, scoop a generous tablespoon of the mixture into your hands and roll into a ball.
Ideal ‘bite-size’ is around 1″ in diameter. This size will yield about 16-20 balls. If you like ’em bigger, go for it! 2″ diameter will yield about 10-12 balls.
*Flavor option: If you are looking for more flavors or to switch things up, try rolling the formed balls in unsweetened coconut flakes or in powdered peanut butter for additional flavor. You’ll want to do this step before placing them on cookie sheet.
Evenly space the rolled balls onto a cookie sheet, and refrigerate for 1 hour.
After about an hour, the balls have firmed enough to eat or transfer to a glass/tupperware-type of container. They will keep for up to a week in the refrigerator.
Enjoy this healthy, natural, and low sugar option anytime!!
Give this recipe a try and let me know your thoughts! If you’ve got a great topping idea or mix-in you swear by, lemme know in the comments! I’d love to hear from you!