Toasted Quinoa & Almond Date Balls

To ensure your summer road trip, family picnic, or plane ride is free of processed snacks that can have a skyrocketing amount of sugar, salt or processed oils, plan ahead. Individual packs of guacamole, hummus, nut butters, whole-grain crackers, and unsweetened applesauce are convenient and nutritious, as are sticks of carrots, celery, jicama, and other crunchy veggies. Here, three recipes to make and pack:

Ingredients:

1 cup cooked (and cooled) quinoa 1 cup rolled oats
1⁄2 cup sliced almonds

  1. 5  teaspoons real maple syrup
  2. 6  ounces pitted Medjool dates

1⁄4 cup almond butter
1 tablespoon virgin coconut oil 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1⁄4 teaspoon grated nutmeg

1⁄8 teaspoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons hulled hemp seeds 1 tablespoon chia seeds

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Preparation:

Heat the oven to 350°F. Pour the quinoa and oats into a medium-sized mixing bowl, and drizzle with maple syrup. Use your fingertips to combine the quinoa, oats, and syrup, making sure the quinoa and oats are evenly coated. Pour out the grains onto
a sheet pan lined with parchment paper. Bake 20 to 25 minutes, stirring once halfway through, until grains are golden brown and crisp. Let cool.

Put the almonds in a small skillet over medium heat. Cook, tossing often, until golden brown and toasted, 3 to 5 minutes. Let cool.

In a food processor, combine the dates, almond butter, coconut oil, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Pulse several times until combined and smooth. Pour into a large bowl. Add the almonds, hemp seeds, chia seeds, and toasted quinoa and oats. Mix well with your hands.

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