Okay, team - say it with me. Quick. Quinoa. Protein. Balls. Now say it 10 more times, super fast. Tongue twister, am I right?
I made these little bad boys up just the other day when I had a hankering for something sweet for a snack, that was simple, clean and DELICIOUS. It's less than 10 ingredients. (I really wanted to say it was 5, but when I counted, it really ended up being 6. So less than 10 is what we're going with). They take less than 30 minutes to make, and one batch makes enough for 2 people to go ham on them. Or ya know... one person, like me, eating all of them by herself.
Each Quick Quinoa Protein Ball clocks in at 6 grams of protein, 8.5 grams of fat and 9 grams of carbs, so a pretty solid macro distribution when you're hungry and need something quick and delicious to munch on. And if you eat 4 in one sitting, that's 24g of protein right there! And these are addictive, so it's quite possible you will eat 4 in one go... don't say I didn't warn you!
1 1/2 Cup Cooked Quinoa
1/4 Cup Gluten Free Quick Cooking Oats
1/4 Cup Chocolate Chip Morsels (the mini ones!)
1/8 Cup Hemp Hearts
1/8 Cup Maple Syrup
1/2 Scoop Vanilla Protein Powder - Recipe Tested with Jay Robb's Egg White Protein Powder
1/2 Teaspoon Dried Vanilla
First things first, cook up 1 cup of quinoa. I did this in my Instant Pot, which takes 12 minutes and I let it sit for 5 minutes because I was too lazy to get off the couch and was mid-episode of Dance Academy.
That 1 cup of Quinoa will turn into about 3 cooked cups. You'll only need half of that to make a basic batch, and the other half for either another batch the next day or a healthy buddha bowl later on for dinner. You pick. You could also cook a 1/2 cup of raw quinoa, but that seems like a lot of work and a waste. So go with me on this.
Put 1/2 of the cooked, cooled quinoa in a mixing bowl. Add a sprinkling of hemp hearts, to bump up the protein powder, and then add 1/3 a cup of Jay Robb's Vanilla Egg White Protein Powder. You can substitute your own protein powder, but I make no promises on how it will taste. To that same bowl, add 1/4 cup gluten-free quick cooking oats, 1/4 a cup of mini chocolate chip morsels, 1/2 tsp of ground vanilla and a drizzle of maple syrup. Then, add a 1/3 cup of clean and simple, salt and peanut only peanut butter.
Mix that bowl up, taste test to see if you need a little bit more maple syrup or a pinch of salt until you get that perfect balance of sweet and savory. Using a mini ice cream scoop, scoop out bite-size balls onto a plate and continue doing so until you can't anymore (pretty straightforward scooping, if I say so). Once on a plate, place in the fridge for 30 minutes or overnight.
Then, when you're hungry - like I always am - sneak into your kitchen and grab a few balls. They're great for a snack on the go, as well as with a cup of tea!
A few things to note:
- These balls are NOT going to hold together like clay or dough - they are MEANT to be soft and easy to take a bite of
- You can add anything and everything to them. This is just a base recipe. I will say - the more chunky things you add - nuts, seeds, etc. - the more of a binder you need. I suggest going with nut butter, or if you're looking for additional sweetness, add more honey. NOT maple syrup - too much and they won't hold together.
- They're addictive. That's warning #2!
- My next variation is going to include a teaspoon of instant espresso powder to give these bad boys an extra kick