Thursday, April 26, 2012

Chocolate Chip Quinoa Trail Mix Balls

OK so this is really healthy compared to my other posts. Well, the chocolate chips help. Anyway I've been going to a Body Works class at LA Fitness for over a year. I look forward to going to this class. If you are a gym rat, then you know the instructor is awesome if you actually look forward to the class. My friends in the class suggested we should make CDs for our instructor's birthday (as a gift for her but so we can hear new music in class = win win). I saw this recipe at Eat, Live, Run and brought it to class for a "healthy Birthday treat".  I knew cupcakes would result in our instructor making us do more squats and lunges - she really cares about our butts. Her saying about our butts is "if you don't care about your butt then no one else will." Too funny!

The recipe was really easy and I was able to double it with no problem. The smell of honey and vanilla on the stove was invigorating! Skip this recipe if you don't like getting your hands dirty and buy packaged trail mix bars.  If you have never heard of quinoa then this is a good way to give it a try and click on the link to learn more about it. Everyone seemed to enjoy them and I had a few requests for the recipe!

Chocolate Chip Quinoa Trail Mix Balls
by Jenna at Eat, Live, Run
makes about 14 bite-sized balls
1 cup old fashioned or quick-cooking oats, dry
1/4 cup quinoa, dry + 3/4 cup water
1/4 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
1/3 cup unsalted sunflower seeds
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
1/3 cup dried cherries, raisins or cranberries
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 tbsp peanut butter
1/3 cup honey
Combine the quinoa and water in a small saucepot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about 12 minutes, until quinoa has absorbed all the liquid. Fluff and scoop quinoa into a large mixing bowl.
Add sunflower seeds, oats, dried cherries and coconut to quinoa and mix well. Bring honey to a simmer on the stove then stir in the vanilla extract and pour on top of nuts and seeds. Mix until well combined.
Let mixture cool before adding the chocolate chips, peanut butter and sea salt. Mix well with your hands so the peanut butter is evenly dispersed but be careful not to melt the chocolate chips!
Using wet hands, gently roll mixture into golf ball-sized balls. Place balls on a plate and chill for at least two hours until firm.
2 1/2 hours (includes time to chill)

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