Pistachio, Cocoa Nib and Quinoa Bliss Balls
Okay, it’s kinda a long name for a little ball. A little ball of goodness. Not only are these guys yummy, they really do hit the spot and do the job of keeping you satisfied when you can’t get to a real meal. They’re the perfect size to carry along with you when you’re going to work, school, a day of sightseeing, or even hiking. Or for those road trips. And of course, these are fabulous when flying. These days airlines are making us pay for even a napkin it seems, let alone the customary bag of peanuts. I haven’t paid for snacks yet. And it’s because of just these little energy balls
Not too long back I had a few in my messenger bag. There were three in the plastic bag next to my wallet. Slowly I snacked on these, and next thing I knew, they had kept me completely satisfied from breakfast till I got home to cook dinner. Yep, they do exactly what we want energy or bliss balls to do: supply some energy. But more than that, they taste yummy at the same time.
There are so many fantastic energy ball recipes out there in the blogosphere. And I’ve probably tried a dozen of them. And then I just started winging it and putting in whatever happened to be handy that day. Some great ones can be found at Gimme Some Oven. However, many tend to have oatmeal as a base. Instead, I opt to use Quinoa Puffs (I used this brand) One, being quinoa, they’ve got some fantastic fibre and protein. Two, they’re little balls! So its balls inside of balls! And then there are all the prerequisite nuts, seeds and dried fruit. I love pistachios, both for flavour and for an added stroke of colour. But you could totally go almonds or walnuts, or even pecan. In all cases, just chop them up small enough so that they won’t interfere with the rolling and subsequent eating processes!
Dried fruit is totally up to you. I love dried cherries. But what about dried blueberries? Or of course, dried cranberries or even apricots? All are worthy contenders. For me the fun part of this recipe is throwing in some raw cocoa nibs. They add that chocolate flavour, but not in a sweet way. So the anti-oxidant factor is covered, without too much added sugar.
And yes, hemp, chia, sunflower seeds etc all can make an appearance. The important thing is to have some or all of them. They provide even more fibre, minerals, and protein.
And they all get glued together with nut butter. In my case, I love sunflower seed butter (I use this brand) But obviously you can use almond butter, cashew butter, or good ole peanut butter. And finally, to make it completely decadent but totally acceptable, I use a bit of my Bourbon Caramel Sauce for added ‘glue’!! This truly makes them a treat.
Once you have a recipe like this in your repertoire, it will be a go-to. They are easy to whip up, there is no baking required. And they store beautifully in the fridge. Put out a small bowl in front of friends while you’re playing Yahtzee or Parcheesi (what, isn’t that a thing anymore?) and you will see that the bowl will soon be empty. A grab and go snack for everyone in the family. You’ll quickly figure out that they are as indispensible in your bag as your keys and phone. And make up bag. And extra hair ties. And notebook. And your reusable water bottle. You get it…
Pistachio, Cocoa Nib and Quinoa Bliss Balls
The perfect little snack: a powerhouse of protein and fibre, disguised with caramel and chocolate. No one will know that these are good for you!
- 1 cup quinoa puffs
- 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut lightly toasted
- 1/2 cup raw cocoa nibs
- 1/2 cup sprouted ground flax meal
- 1/4 cup pistachios or almonds chopped
- 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
- 1/4 cup dried cherries or cranberries chopped
- 1 tbsp hemp seeds
- 1 tbsp chia seeds
- 1 cup + 1 tbsp almond, cashew or organic peanut butter
- 1/4 cup honey the liquid kind
- 2 tbsp caramel sauce see blog archives for recipe
Combine the quinoa puffs through the chia seeds in a medium bowl. Stir well.
Add the nut butter, honey and caramel sauce. Combine with the dry ingredients until the mixture is thoroughly mixed together.
Refrigerate the mixture for about 30 minutes.
Roll into balls that can be eaten in 2 or 3 bites. Not too big or too small. You should get around between 24-28. Place onto a sheet pan covered in wax or parchment paper.
Refrigerate the sheet pan until the balls are firm. They can then be transferred to a sealed container.
These will easily last two weeks in the fridge. Grab a few as you leave the house for the day, and kiss those stomach growls at 2pm away!