I have to say, this recipe may be my biggest prize of all. Tonight, I came home to find that my husband had polished these off on his own without any of my coaxing. I didn’t even use him as a taste tester so this is kind of a big deal. This means he went out of his way to try something I made on his own, knowing darn well that it was probably ladened with healthy, unknown ingredients! Who knew this day would come!
Are you one of those people who hears all about how good quinoa is for you and yet you just can’t seem to fit it into your diet? Or maybe you have been too scared to cook because you haven’t done it before. I came across a recipe a few months ago that called for quinoa flakes. I had never heard of them before but was intrigued because it seemed that these were so simple to use based on the recipe. Finding them was my obstacle. I assumed they would be in the grains, rice and quinoa section at the grocery. So I searched Kroger and Whole Foods but to no avail. (I know, I know, I am not sure why I never asked anyone that worked there either, because that would’ve been the smart thing to do!) After a bit more research, I realized these flakes fell more into the category of oats and oatmeal as they are flakes like you would use to create a hot cereal. They are made by pressing the quinoa into light flakes. Just like regular quinoa, they provide a complete protein as well as fiber. They are also a great source of Magnesium and Manganese. For those who don’t do gluten, these flakes are gluten free! A lot of wins here.
Here’s the one concern I had: cost. I saw them at Fresh Thyme in our neighborhood for $9.99! I thought that had to be wrong. I know that quinoa can be pricy but that just seemed steep. At our Kroger the next day, the same box was selling for $4.99. So just be aware of where you are buying these as prices are quite different. I plan on making some breakfast quinoa recipes with these as well so stay posted for those!
For these Peanut Butter Quinoa Protein Bites, I did something a bit different. A lot of my peanut butter recipes use actual peanut butter. With this one, I used whole, roasted unsalted peanuts and the flavor blew me away. The nice thing about this recipe is really any nut or seed should work so if you have a no peanut zone in your house, try almonds or maybe even cashews. The quinoa flakes are so light that processing them in is very easy. You can press these into bars if you prefer or roll them into balls, either should work. There’s no added sweetener so this recipe is a major win in my book! Enjoy!
Peanut Butter Quinoa Protein Bites
- 1 1/2 c unsalted peanuts
- 3/4 cup quinoa flakes
- 10 medjool dates pitted
- Dash of sea salt
- 3/4 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 T water
- Optional: mini dark chocolate chips
- In a food processor, combine peanuts and quinoa flakes. Process until a grainy texture
- Add in all remaining ingredients except for the water. Process until dates are completely chopped.
- Add water and process until a dough is formed.
- Stir in chocolate chips if desired.
- Roll into bite sized balls and refrigerate for about 30 minutes before serving.