Pumpkin Pistachio Energy Balls

No bake Pumpkin Pistachio Energy Bites are a tasty bite of pumpkin pie flavor. The perfect healthy snack for anytime!

I haven’t tested a new energy ball recipe in a while. These Pumpkin Pistachio Energy Balls reflect what I’ve been up to these days and what’s on my mind food-wise.

It’s full-on pumpkin season, so there’s that. I also visited the Wonderful Pistachio company last month and I’ve been itching to make something delicious with pistachios.

Normally you would think of using walnuts or pecans with pumpkin, so I was excited to see how pistachios would taste. Let me tell you, these little guys are delicious. They literally taste like little bites of pumpkin pie. They’re super moist with just the right amount of pumpkin and spice. This batch only made 9 balls and they are going pretty quickly over here!

Moist and delicious no bake Pumpkin Pistachio Energy balls are a tasty bite of pumpkin pie in every bite! The perfect healthy snack for anytime!

I’d like to think these little bites are healthy, too. I never use added sugar in my energy balls, just Medjool dates for the base. They’re super simple to make, you can whip these up in less than 15 minutes. I think it took me longer to clean my food processor than it did to make these pumpkin bites. I used pistachios inside the dough and coated on top. Pistachios are full of  good fats and fiber. In fact, 90% of the fat in pistachios is the healthy kind. 

pumpkin-pistachio-energy-balls

Pumpkin itself is healthy, too. It’s full of the antioxidant beta carotene, as well as fiber and minerals. Am I selling you yet that these sinfully delicious snacks are healthy? I hope so!

I store my no bake energy balls in the freezer (I like them to be super cold), but you can also keep them in the fridge. I think these Pumpkin Pistachio Energy Balls would be lovely as a morning or afternoon snack with a warm mug of tea. They’re also Nourish-friendly, which is an added bonus!

Here’s how I made them:

Pumpkin Pistachio Energy Balls

Yield: 9 balls

Pumpkin Pistachio Energy Balls

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup raw pistachio pieces
  • 1/4 cup raw cashew pieces
  • 10 Medjool dates
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin puree
  • pinch sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Place 1/4 cup pistachios in the food processor and ground until resembles coarse sand. Remove from bowl and set aside. Then add cashews and remaining 1/4 cup pistachios into the food processor and process until well ground. Add dates and remaining ingredients. Process until well combined and smooth. Taste for flavor and adjust as needed. Roll into balls (warning, dough will be sticky) and place each ball into the bowl of pistachios, coating fully. Store in freezer or fridge. Makes 9 good size balls.
http://foodconfidence.com/2016/10/06/no-bake-pumpkin-pistachio-energy-balls/

Moist and delicious no bake Pumpkin Pistachio Energy balls are a tasty bite of pumpkin pie in every bite! The perfect healthy snack for anytime!

 

Back to School: Low Sugar Breakfast, Lunch, and Snack Ideas

I was on my local WUSA channel 9 news at noon recently talking about low sugar food options for the kiddos.  Being on live TV is always a bit intimidating…but it’s kinda fun, too.  I’ll admit I was a little starstruck chatting it up with KC Hayward, since I grew up watching her on the news!

The idea for the segment was to replace the traditional high sugar breakfast, lunch and snack options with lower sugar swaps.  We started the segment with switching from cereal in the morning to a low sugar, high fiber option, like KIND Healthy Grains Granola.  I’ll admit, I’m not a big cereal person and I’m usually not a granola person at all. So when KIND sent me a few samples to try I was not optimistic. However, I was pleasantly surprised with their granola…they really try to health it up! They use 5 gluten-free whole grains and keep it pretty low sugar. I love the idea of having your kids start their day with a bowl of quinoa, oats, millet, amaranth and buckwheat.

In addition to the KIND granola, I also recommended eggs, yogurt with fruit, or a smoothie (I love Yasso, too) for breakfast! Not to mention you can also try some great smoothies and Top Juicer Recipes from a great resource compiled by zestycook

For lunch, I suggested switching from a “Snackables” type lunch to a mom-made lunch and swapping the fruit snacks (which are basically gummy bears) with real fruit. Also, send lower sugar options for drinks by swapping out juice boxes for milk (or coconut milk) boxes.  For after-school snacks I suggested “real food” instead of sugary snacks or convenience foods — offer hummus with veggies, fruit with peanut butter or nuts, fruit and yogurt smoothie, a peanut butter sandwich, or a sliced apple with cheese.

I know your kids WANT the sweet stuff, but there’s a time and place for that. I tell my daughter if she’s hungry, she has to eat real food and not sugary snacks that won’t fill her up.  Over time, it makes sense to them.  She’s only five and she already knows the difference.

What low-sugar foods do you offer your kids when they’re hungry?

 

Disclaimer: I worked with KIND as part of the TV segment on WUSA. I was not compensated for this post.

Chocolate Quinoa Snack Balls

What do you get when you mix quinoa with chocolate?

You get people going crazy for these delicious no-bake chocolate quinoa snack balls!

For Meatless Monday this week I posted a photo on my Facebook page of these quinoa snack balls I had made the day before. Well, this post went as “viral” as I’m probably ever going to get in this lifetime.  I tell you, people go crazy for quinoa! These delicious little snack balls are a mix of chocolate and quinoa with dried cherries and oatmeal. They are my favorite treat to whip up when I’ve made a little too much quinoa. I store them in the fridge and enjoy 1-2 in the afternoon with some tea. They are the perfect pick-me-up!

Since I got over 40 “shares” of this recipe, I thought the least I could do was share how I made them with you, my awesome blog readers.   🙂

quinoa-snack-balls

Here’s the recipe, enjoy!

Chocolate Quinoa Snack Balls

Yield: 10-12 balls

Ingredients

  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1/3 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1 cup oats
  • 1/3 cup dried cherries
  • ¼ cup unsweetened coconut
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 Tbsp almond butter
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, combine the quinoa, sunflower seeds, oats, dried fruit, and unsweetened coconut, mix well.
  2. Then add maple syrup, vanilla extract and almond butter to bowl, mix again until well combined. Then add your dark chocolate chips and sea salt.
  3. Mix well again until just combined.
  4. Using wet hands, gently roll mixture into golf ball-sized balls.
  5. Let chill for 2 hours before eating!
  6. Store in fridge.
http://foodconfidence.com/2012/05/23/recipe-chocolate-quinoa-snack-balls/