Republished from Rocket Fuel: Power-Packed Food for Sports and Adventure by Matt Kadey, RD, with permission of VeloPress.
Chocolate Quinoa Energy Balls
There is a good reason why energy balls like this chocolaty incarnation remain one of the most popular DIY fuel options for athletes. They can provide a tasty instant hit of energy when you need it most—whether it’s before breaking a sweat or during exercise. They’re also great as a snack at the office to dampen vending machine temptation. You can take these balls into different flavor directions: Add some zing with orange zest or blend in a touch of chili powder for a Mayan taste. And of course, cinnamon can only make anything with chocolate better. Or go even more decadent and pulse in 1/2 cup of dark chocolate chips along with the quinoa.
Dairy-free, Freezer-friendly, Gluten-free, Vegan or Vegetarian
Active time: 20 min.
Puffed quinoa is simply quinoa that has been puffed (popped) using heat to give it a crisp texture. Look for it at natural food stores or in the health food section of larger grocers among other boxed cereal and also in bulk-food bins.
1 cup raw almonds
1 cup pitted dried plums (aka prunes)
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tablespoons almond butter
2 tablespoons honey
1 cup puffed quinoa
Place almonds in a food processor and blend until almonds resemble coarse sand. Add plums, cocoa powder, almond butter, honey, and a couple pinches of salt. Blend until the mixture sticks together when pressed between your fingers. Pulse in puffed quinoa.
Form mixture into 1-inch balls. You should have about 16 balls. Keep chilled in an airtight container for up to 1 week.
GAME CHANGERS Use pecans or walnuts instead of almonds + Swap out dried plums for pitted Medjool dates + Replace honey with agave syrup or brown rice syrup + Pulse in puffed millet instead of puffed quinoa