The reason is partially because I don’t seem to
have time (i.e. make time) for blogging. But the main reason seems to be because I am terrible at not writing things down. And on those rare moments when I do actually write a recipe down, it is usually on the back of catalogue, bank statement etc… that gets filed away. Forgotten.
But thanks to my good friend, and Australian athlete @AngelineByrne for reminding me, prompting me, getting me to put fingers to key pad and upload this. (Thanks Ang ;-)).
I guess because of my background as food scientist, years of experience as a professional taste-tester and product-development technologist, I have an uncanny knack for just knowing what flavour combinations should go together, and can usually whip-up pretty much anything from scratch, on a whim, without a recipe, by just knowing instinctively how it should look so that it tastes right… make sense…?
When working in the industry, I am painstakingly vigilant in noting down the tiniest alterations in my lab book when developing formulations. Yet at home, where I do my best creative work, instinct and intuition takes over and a pen and paper and scale get forgotten. And then I have to try and accurate jot down the recipe from memory (usually 4 days later)… so for obvious reasons, I’ve been pretty lousy at writing down my own recipes.
However I am actively trying to change this. So I can re-create my whims. And you get to re-create it too. Happy days :-).
I now have permanently set up a nutritional digital scale on my bench. And a white board mounted by my kitchen so I can scribble my recipes as they evolve. So fingers crossed I’ll be more regular with the best of my recipe creations.
And this Quin-ocoa (quinoa and cocoa crossed, get it ;-)) protein energy balls are a perfect example of something that is so good, it tastes remarkably flavoursome and is just plain “yum.” There is no other way to describe it. I got my neighbour to try it out. She ate one, then another, and then another and then picked up the plate, walked into my kitchen and left it there – to stop herself from “over-indulging” it is that good!
Quinoa (pronounced Keen-wah) is commonly touted as a ‘superfood’. I hate the terminology “superfood”. It makes some foods look nutritionally amazing (cue quinoa, kale, goji berries and acai), and things like carrots, tomatoes, silverbeet, beetroot, lentils, lean grass-fed red meat are apparently just mediocre, not super amazing, when in actual fact these foods are all nutritionally amazing – in their own individual ways – prepared in ways that enhances the release of nutrients!
However quinoa is a pretty remarkable grain. It is the only grain that is a complete protein (i.e. it has all essential amino acids in it). Other grains (e.g. lentils, chickpeas) etc. are good sources of protein, but they lack one or more amino acids. However I will focus on the differences between plant and animal proteins in another post in the not too distant future ;-). Okay in the next 8 days. Pinky-Promise I promise ;-).
Getting back to these quinocoa protein balls: they are a complete protein, a source of predominantly healthy fats, are energy dense, and also moderately sweet from natural sugars in the dates and sultanas. I have included a nutritional breakdown per serve for your information as well.
This recipe will make 52 balls. And takes ~ 2hours from start to finish. The balls can be frozen as well. And if you’re really wanting to add an added layer of decadence, coating the balls in dark chocolate is will result in some pretty amaze-BALLS (mind the pun). Enjoy.
Anneline’s Quinocoa protein energy AMAZE-balls
- 40g finely chopped raw almonds
- 15g chopped pepitas
- 15g chopped sunflower seeds
- 1 cup raw quinoa
- 50g Almond meal
- 50g dates (medjool date flesh – no pits!)
- 50g sultanas (I use green sultanas as they are not as sweet)
- 50g rolled oats
- 30g skim milk powder
- 30g cocoa
- ½ – ¾ cup water
- 10g psyllium
- 75g 100% natural peanut butter
- 5g cinnamon
- 30g melted coconut oil
- Desiccated coconut
- Cook quinoa until fluffy and the water is absorbed. Allow to cool.
- Mix chopped nuts and seeds into the cooled quinoa.
- In a high speed blender, mix together almond meal, dates, sultanas, skim milk powder, cocoa, oats and ¼ cup of water and blend until combined. It does not have to be smooth – just combined.
- Add psyllium, peanut butter, cinnamon and ¼ of water and blend until combined.
- Add blended mixture to cooled quinoa and mix well.
- Add melted coconut oil and mix well to combine. Place mixture in refrigerator for ~ 20-30mins to set slightly.
- Remove mixture from fridge. Take tablespoons of mixture and roll into balls. Gently coat balls in desiccated coconut.
- Refrigerate for a few hours – ideally overnight.
Nutritional breakdown (I don’t really like chocolate – so this is for non-chocolate coated balls):
Per Serve – i.e. per 1 ball: