What's your favorite candy, of all time? If you can't guess mine, I'll tell you; Reece's Peanut Butter Cups, hands down. This is followed by Snickers and then Milky Way (Payday might be tied with Milky Way). Like I said the other day, I think I have Halloween on the brain...I need candy! Of course, I'm trying to stay healthy, practice what I preach, and keep my weight normal as I creep deeper into my 30s (and you know, the whole fertility thing is important too), so when I get candy cravings I need to come up with another plan, hence today's post.
You might be thinking it's strange that I chose Almond Joys as my candy to "Recreate" today, since it wasn't even on my top five favorite candy list, but, I love Almond Joys and they happen to be on my husband's top five (maybe even top three). I'm such a good wife. I know, I know.
Almond Joy Quinoa Bites
1/3 cup dry quinoa
2/3 cup water
12 whole dates (or 14 prunes or 14 figs) - no sugar added variety
1/2 cup whole almonds, with skins **
1/3 cup grated sweetened coconut **
1/4 cup mini dark chocolate chips
Optional: 1 tsp. coconut oil
Optional: 1 tsp. coconut oil
** NOTE: If you are following a low FODMAPs diet be aware that coconut and almonds contain FODMAPs, but the amounts called for in this recipe should not cause any problems (as long as you stick to 1-2 bites in a sitting). For most people 1/4 cup coconut and 12 almonds is the max recommended amount to consume if sensitive to FODMAPs.
1. Add quinoa and water to a small saucepan, cover and bring to a boil. Allow to simmer for ~15 minutes (or until water is all absorbed). Cool to room temperature and refrigerate at least 2 hours (or put in the freezer for ~30 minutes, which is what I did).
2. Using a food processor, add dried fruit and pulse until the fruit forms a ball. Remove the fruit and place in a bowl. Add almonds to the food processor and pulse until finely minced. Be careful not to turn the almonds into mill.
3. Add fruit, almonds, coconut and quinoa to the food processor and pulse until ingredients are well combined (add optional coconut oil here too). Return the ingredients to the mixing bowl and mix well. Add the chocolate chips and combine with the rest of the ingredients (**or, alternatively you can go on to step 4). Start making small bites (~2 Tbsp each) and place on a baking sheet.
** 4. If you did not add the chocolate chips to the bites, go ahead and melt them in a double boiler. Once melted, drizzle over the bites, or dip the bites directly into the chocolate. Set the bites back on the sheet and put in freezer for at least 1-hour. Then, enjoy!
If you're wondering why the coconut oil was "optional" it's because not everyone has a jar of coconut oil, and let's be honest, it aint cheap! The first time I made these I didn't use coconut oil, and they were just fabulous. The second time I did use the oil and they were also wonderful. So, you choose.
Estimated Nutrition Facts for 1/18th of recipe
(without coconut oil)