GRAND RAPIDS, MICH. - The warmer weather is on its way and that means road trips! And it doesn't have to mean unhealthy snacks for the car.
WZZM 13 Health Reporter Valerie Lego has a few recipes that are not only easy and tasty but will keep to full, too.
Chocolate peanut butter quinoa bites
This snack idea is guaranteed to hold the family over for a long drive in the car.
The quinoa and nut variety fill these on-the-go treats with protein that will keep you full for longer, offer fiber and provide a natural source of energy. Dates and nut butter offer natural sweetness and heart healthy fat that gives this snack a dessert feel. Dark chocolate is a probiotic food and a natural source of antioxidants. It also lowers blood pressure, fights cardiovascular disease and lower cholesterol.
- ⅓ cup quinoa, rinsed in cold water
- ⅔ cup water
- 16 whole (pitted) dates
- ½ cup raw skin-on almonds
- ⅓ cup smooth almond butter or favorite nut butter
- ⅓ cup dark chocolate chips
- Pinch of salt
- Bring the quinoa and water to a boil. Cover and simmer for 12 to 15 minutes, until the water is absorbed.
- Process the ½ cup of almonds in a food processor until finely chopped.
- Add the dates to the food processor. Pulse until they are also finely chopped and the mixture starts to ball together.
- Add the hot cooked quinoa, salt, almond butter, and the chocolate chips. Pulse until the mixture balls up around the blade and the chocolate has melted.
- Roll into 2 inch balls.
- Refrigerate for an hour to set.
This snack is super easy to pull together.
The kids can help with it, too! Almost tastes/feels like the crunch of popcorn, but offers more flavor and good nutrition. Protein, fiber, magnesium, potassium, iron and heart-healthy carbs. If you make a large batch it can be a snack that lasts for a long road trip!
- Cooking spray
- Two 15 ounce cans of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1-2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1-2 teaspoons sea salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1-2 teaspoons garlic powder (optional)
- 1-2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
- Position oven rack in the center and preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- Spray baking sheet with cooking spray to avoid sticking.
- Drain, rinse and dry chickpeas thoroughly.
- Mix oil and seasonings together.
- Toss chickpeas in oil mixture.
- Spread evenly in one layer on baking sheet.
- Bake for 30-50 minutes until browned without burning.
- Cool for 30 minutes and chickpeas will continue to crunch.
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