Quinoa Almond Energy Bites

I feel like I have been using quinoa a lot on this blog lately. I swear I eat other grains! I have just been on a kick of making big batches of quinoa at the beginning of the week and using it in salads or as part of our dinners throughout the week. Anyway, #sorrynotsorrry about the quinoa overload lately. 

I have started exploring the world of barre classes lately. I have been going to Pure Barre and Barre3...and I have to admit, I love it. I haven't talked much about fitness on here before, but I am a busy bee when it comes to staying active.

Here is the cliff note version of my workouts for the past few years...

I have always been a runner so that is usually my preferred workout. Running is extremely therapeutic to me and has been part of my life for a long time. I ran cross country and track in college at Miami University (Go Redhawks!), but by the time college was over I was completely burnt out and began craving something different. That's when I fell head over heals in love with yoga. Heated power vinyasa yoga to be exact. I lived in Cleveland for a while after college and found a studio that I loved where I practiced consistently for about 2 years before moving back to Columbus. Unfortunately I struggled to find a place I loved as much as my studio in Cleveland. I began running more, got back in the groove, and found my passion again. This past winter and spring I trained for the Nashville Marathon with my best friend, however after doing ALL of the training I developed a hip injury that prevented me from running the race. I actually got a call from my sports med doc while I was boarding the plane to Nashville (the day before the race) saying that after he reviewed my MRI it was probably best that I sit this race out. Disappointing to say the least. I took another break from running to let my hip heal and have slowly started back up again this summer. I was excited to get back into it but to be honest, ever since my injury I have been feeling a little "blah" about running. Scott has been encouraging me to seek out some different workouts that I have been interested in trying. I have heard a lot about barre classes lately and thought I would give it a try. So far, so good! Not to mention, I think these barre classes will be great cross training for my running. A lot of the hip work I have done in class is similar to what my physical therapist has me do for IT band syndrome recovery (which I have struggled on and off with).  It's been so fun to feel excited about a new workout :) 

 I have mostly been going to classes straight from work in the evenings. I am always STARVING after work. The first thing I do when I get home is head straight to the kitchen for a snack. Since I have been doing barre classes after work lately, I have needed to plan my afternoon snacks a little better since I don't stop home first. I need something that will satisfy my hunger and provide some pre-workout fuel. 

These energy bites have been the perfect solution! They give me tons of energy, and are a good source of protein and fiber. Perfect for a pre (or post) workout snack. I love the fact that the ingredients are all wholesome and nourishing and much prefer these energy bites to packaged bars. They are also extremely portable which means I can nom on them in the car. Essential. They have a deliciously nutty and sweet taste and a lovely texture. They come together quickly, but can be made in no time if you have your quinoa cooked ahead of time! 

Quinoa Almond Energy Bites (V + GF)

Whip these energy bites up for a perfect, portable snack or enjoy them as nourishing pre or post workout fuel! 

|Makes 10-12|

Ingredients

  • 10 dates (pitted)
  • 1/4 cup natural creamy almond butter
  • 1-2 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup raw (unsalted) cashews
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • unsweetened shredded coconut for rolling

Instructions

  1. Combine dates, almond butter, cashews, coconut oil, and cinnamon in a food processor and pulse until combined. Be careful not to pulse for too long. The mixture should have small chunks of nuts and dates. Over pulsing will make the mixture too wet and sticky. 
  2. Add the cooked quinoa and pulse until just combined. 
  3. Refrigerate for about an hour (optional but recommended). 
  4. Once chilled, shape mixture into balls using your hands. 
  5. Roll formed bites in shredded coconut and enjoy!

Notes

*If you cook the quinoa right before making the bites, be sure to let the quinoa cool to room temperature before combining it with the pulsed date/nut mixture. 

*If coconut isn't your thing, you can roll the bites in cocoa powder or chopped nuts. Mmm!

xoxo,

Lauren

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