If you’re looking to change up your mid-morning or post-workout snack, these Cacao Almond Protein Bites are just what you need! They include cacao powder and almonds, as well as quinoa flakes, dates, protein powder and moringa powder. So you get a little extra protein and fibre with an added energy boost!
We are rolling into the Victoria Day long weekend here in Canada, and while we sometimes get snow in Newfoundland, it really does feel like the unofficial start of summer! So to those celebrating this holiday, do you have any plans for the long weekend? Camping? Road tripping? Barbecuing?
If the weather cooperates, we are definitely firing up the grill for some steaks or turkey burgers, and we will probably go on a hike or two. And what better fuel for a hike than these Cacao Almond Protein Bites!?
Why do protein bites make a great healthy snack?
They’re called by many names – energy bites, protein balls, bliss balls – but the common denominator is that they’re usually packed with clean eating and filling ingredients like nuts and seeds, dried fruit, nut butters, oats and various superfood powders.
If you’re a long-time reader of Crumb Top Baking, you know I love my energy bites! The ingredient combinations are endless, and they’re such an easy snack to make ahead for busy weeks. Just throw the ingredients into your food processor, roll into balls and store in your freezer!
What you’ll need to make these Cacao Almond Protein Bites
- Raw almonds and almond butter. You can sub in another type of nut butter, but stick with the raw almonds. They don’t get as oily as some other nuts when processed in the food processor, and they create little crunchy bits in the protein bites!
- Cacao powder. It’s less processed that cocoa and adds a nice chocolatey taste to these bites. Of course, if you like your protein bites sweeter or only have cocoa on hand, go ahead and substitute. If you’re curious about the difference between cacao and cocoa powder, I briefly explain it in this post.
- Vanilla protein powder. For the first time ever, I added protein powder to my energy bites. It adds a subtle vanilla flavor and a little sweetness, and of course, some extra protein.
- Instead of rolled oats, I added quinoa flakes for additional fibre. I find the smaller texture of the flakes work really well in energy bites.
- And lastly, I added a tbsp of moringa powder, which adds a little extra nutrition to these protein bites.
What is moringa powder?
According to the March 2018 issue of Clean Eating Magazine, moringa is the new matcha! I’ve never quite taken to matcha so this is perfect for me. Moringa is considered a superfood since the leaves are rich in nutrients, including vitamins A and C and iron, and they have anti-inflammatory properties. I’ve also read that moringa can act as an energy booster, and can also help lower blood pressure and aid in sleep. Again, these are just things I’ve read, but I’ve been adding it to my smoothies for the last few months, so I thought a tablespoon of the powder would work well in these Cacao Almond Protein Bites! If you’re skeptical, you can totally leave this out of the recipe.
Now that you know all the goodies that go into these Cacao Almond Protein Bites, I hope you give them a try! You can pin for later or let me know what you think in the comments below!Print
Cacao Almond Protein Bites
These Cacao Almond Protein Bites make a perfect mid-morning or post-workout snack! They include cacao powder and almonds, as well as quinoa flakes, dates, protein powder and moringa powder. So you get a little extra fibre and protein with an added energy boost!
- Prep Time: 10 minutes (plus time for dates to soak)
- Total Time: 40 minutes
- Yield: 12-14 balls 1x
- Category: Snacks
- 1/2 cup dates, dried or medjool
- 3 tbsp hot water
- 3 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup raw almonds
- 1/4 cup natural almond butter
- 1/2 cup quinoa flakes
- 2 tbsp unsweetened coconut
- 2 tbsp cacao powder
- 2 tbsp vanilla protein powder
- 1 tbsp moringa powder
- 1 tbsp mini dark chocolate chips
- Optional: toasted coconut and cacao powder for rolling
- In a small dish, combine the dates with the hot water, maple syrup and vanilla and let soak for 20-30 minutes.
- Add the date mixture (including the liquid) to a food processor and process on high until the dates are broken up (about 30 seconds).
- Next, add the almonds and almond butter and process on high until the almonds are chopped but not too fine. Add the quinoa flakes, coconut, cacao, protein powder and moringa powder, and process on high until well combined. This should only take a minute or two. It’s okay if the mixture is still a little bit chunky, but it should be a bit sticky. You may need to stop the processor a few times to scrape down the sides or break apart the mixture.
- Add the chocolate chips and pulse for a few seconds. Shape the mixture into 12-14 balls, and roll in toasted coconut or cacao powder (optional).
- Store in an airtight container in the fridge or freeze for later enjoyment.
- The dates soften up in the hot water, which makes them easier to process in the food processor.
- You can substitute cocoa powder for cacao powder. Just note that the protein bites will taste sweeter.
- If you don’t have moringa powder, you can leave it out.