ALMOND QUINOA PROTEIN GRANOLA BALLS
I do love my No Bake Protein Cookies…yes, I do. But, for some people (and I can’t believe I’m saying this out loud) chocolate isn’t wanted. These are full of good-for-you carbs and not too sweet.
These are prefect for mid-afternoon cravings and have enough protein to hold you over till dinner. Or grab one for breakfast with your pro shake.
For this batch I added in things that I had on hand – but use any nut, NSA dried fruit, chocolate chunks (ooops! some sneaked in…well, darn), whatever you want to customize for your own tastes.
**For the balls in the photo I used roasted, salted cashews and almonds, and dried cherries.
Variations that I LOVE:
~ 1/4 cup almonds, crushed, 1/4 cup sun seeds, 2 tablespoons finely chopped dates, drop or two of almond extract
~ 1/2 cup pistachios, finely chopped, 1/4 cup unsweetened coconut, 2 tablespoons crushed dried banana chips, drop or two of coconut extract
~ 1/4 cup walnuts, crushed, 1/4 cup pecans, crushed, 2 tablespoons chopped dark chocolate
~ 1/4 cup macadamia nuts, crushed, 1/4 unsweetened coconut, 2 tablespoons finely chopped NSA dried pineapple, drop or two of coconut extract
1/2 cup almond butter (or peanut butter)
1 1/2 tablespoons Agave nectar (or honey)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup quick-cooking oats
1/4 rounded cup COOKED quinoa (cooking instructions below)
1/4 cup almonds, finely chopped
1/4 cup cashews, finely chopped
2 tablespoons finely chopped dried cranberries/cherries/raisins/etc
1/2 cup vanilla protein powder
1-2 tablespoons water – AS NEEDED (see below)
To cook quinoa (this will make more than needed):
1 cup water
1/2 cup rinsed quinoa
1/4 teaspoon salt
In a small saucepan combine the water, quinoa, and salt. Bring to boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low, cover, and cook for 18-19 minutes. All the water should be absorbed and the “tail” or white ring of each seed should be visible. Fluff with fork. Leave uncovered and set aside to cool slightly.
In a bowl stir together the almond butter, Agave, vanilla, cinnamon, and salt. Add oats, quinoa, cranberries, almonds, cashews, and protein powder. Stir together until very well combined. If too dry, add 1-3 tablespoons water – 1 tblsp at a time. (The mixture should be moist and sticky, but not wet.)
In generous 1/8th cup portions, roll into balls, without pressing too hard, and place on waxed paper to set up. Store in an air-tight container.
OR line an 8×8 inch square pan with waxed paper, extending up two sides. Press the mixture into it the prepared pan. Cover and chill in the fridge for an hour. Lift the mixture out of the pan with the waxed paper and cut into 10 bars. Makes 10 pieces. Store in an air-tight container.
Per ball: Calories 190; Protein 10g; Tot Fat 8g; NET Carb 14g; Sugar 4g; Sodium 88mg