Well-balanced, nutritious, and satisfying, these no bake almond quinoa energy balls with figs are the perfect snack to #CrunchOn and take with you wherever you go.
Disclosure: I was asked to participate in the “#CrunchOn” campaign as a member of the Healthy Aperture Blogger Network. I was compensated for my time and also received free samples from California Almonds for recipe testing.
All my life, I’ve been a HUGE snacker. So when the studies came out encouraging us to eat every 2-3 hours instead of sticking to 3 square meals per day, I was totally on board. While the frequency at which my jaw gets some exercise hasn’t changed, what ends up in my mouth has transformed dramatically. I went from being the biggest junk food lover to what my husband affectionately likes to call me...the squirrel food aficionado. I can’t argue with that. I always have containers full of nuts, seeds, fruits, etc. They've gotten me through a lot of rough times and have saved me from losing all of my friends.
Hungry Min = “who are you?!"
One of the most common questions I get asked by my clients is "what makes a good snack?" and here’s what I tell them:
- Choose wisely. Healthful snacks must contain a combination of carbohydrates for quick energy along with protein and/or fats for staying power. And, of course, they must be wholesome, real foods. No processed foods here. By snacking smart, you’ll not only calm down your rumbling stomach, but it will prevent you from reaching for another snack too soon after or overeating at your next meal.
- Eat mindfully. It’s easy to overindulge if you don’t pay attention. I highly encourage you to stay way from multi-tasking during mealtime and snacktime and just eat. However, if you’re constantly on-the-go, this can be very difficult to implement, especially with snacking. Rather than skipping snacks altogether, be sure to have pre-portioned healthful snacks with you at all times. Eating straight out of a multi-serving package will most likely lead to overeating.
- Snack only when you’re hungry. Going along with eating mindfully, don’t eat just because it’s 10am, and you always snack at that time. Don’t let emotions fuel your hunger. Do listen to your hunger cues as each day is different. Don’t feel like you have to stick to a strict schedule or have to follow certain food rules you've set for yourself.
While I don’t mind munching on nuts by the handful, it’s nice to introduce some variety into the usual routine every now and then. Enter these no-bake almond quinoa energy balls...
I’m providing you with two different ways to prepare this power snack. If you’re a big texture person like me and want that crunch factor, go with option A. If you like things a bit more smooth and chewy (calling on all you cookie dough lovers), go for option B. Either way, they're both delicious and satisfying snacks.
No-Bake Almond Quinoa Energy Balls
Makes about 8 balls
- ¼ cup California almonds, chopped
- ¼ cup chopped dried figs (4-5 pieces)
- 1 cup cooked quinoa
- 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ cup California almond butter *
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
Hi Min - thanks for this recipe! Our autistic 4-year old is constantly asking for another snack, so your tips really shed some light on why he’s usually hungry quicker (not enough protein and fat). Kiddo can be a selective eater (sensory sensitivities: likes a lot of crunchy foods and also turned off by smells), but we tried your peanut butter protein balls and they were a hit! Now I’m going to try these and go with the crunch version and see how he likes them.
Oh I hope these will be a hit too!!
Can I sub dates for figs and peanut butter for almond butter?
can you substitute honey for maple syrup?
I haven't tried, but I don't see why not 😉
Sarah @ SnixyKitchen says
I'm totally a snacker too! I'm going to heed your tips and try to switch from candy to squirrel food too:) The quinoa in these sounds like it gives the best texture - I have to make these soon!
ellie | fit for the soul says
It's so true, Unnie! I snack way more than I originally intend to if I eat+drive. Never eat and drive, haha. These sound so yummtastic too--haven't had almond butter in forever which reminds me to get my butt to the kitchen and make some! Thank ya 😉
Sonali- The Foodie Physician says
Almonds are definitely one of my favorite go to snacks- I bring a little baggie of them to work regularly. These balls look phenomenal and for me, Option A is a no-brainer!
Katie (The Muffin Myth) says
These look so good! I love that they're portion sized and portable and crammed full of healthy things. Will definitely be trying this out!
Lauren | Just a Pinch says
Yummy! I love anything with a little crunch. Genius idea to mix this with quinoa!
Amy | Club Narwhal says
Min, I'm a total snacker, too! And I love all your tips on how to snack in a healthier way (these little guys sound right up my alley). I got an air popper a few years ago and now popcorn is my favorite snack!
Ooh! I should get one too ;). I bet you're getting pretty creative with the seasonings by now hehe
Alex Caspero MA,RD (@delishknowledge) says
Oooh, totally my kinda snack! I love the idea of adding quinoa to this- awesome texture! Can't wait to make these all summer 🙂
Kristina @ Love & Zest says
Genius!! I love the quinoa addition to this energy ball-- oh the texture!
Kari @ bite-sized thoughts says
I have made snack balls with quinoa flakes but never cooked quinoa! I love the idea 🙂
Dietitian Jess says
Yum! Love the addition of quinoa here- you dont usually see them in a snack ball- more staying power to keep you full for sure!
Katie @ Mom to Mom Nutrition says
I'll take option A and B please!!! I'm with you: snacking gets me through most days--- especially when I can't reach a friend 😉