Toasted quinoa and dates energy balls

toasted quinoa energy balls with dates

Brains use about half of the body’s energy requirement. It is no new fact that a growing body needs nourishing food. Teen us there fire a phase were the brain connections are made differently and this is a complex process which requires a bit more than empty calories. Now, if your teen is heading to exams, be that calm person in their life. I know, you are going to say “Yeah ye ash nice try there Seema, try mine”
It is no doubt a hard one and mine are no better. But, I am trying to consciously realize my levels of fatigue and change my tone as I so am to mine. It doesn’t work always.  That’s when (purely by experience) we all need to grab a snack.

Pause, think and proceed

Simply anything from a soda to a celery stick will actually work. But here are some things you want to keep in mind. The snack that you pick at times of tiredness and your teen when not the happiest (well, pretty much always) is going to be high sugar with empty calories. This us how our brain is… survival mode.

What ideas work as brain revitalizing snacks?

Don’t crack your brain here.  As mums, we tend to overthink, as my kids call it its mum-complication. Over a period of time, I do have learnt my lesson. Keep it simple. Check out this list that I seem to keep in stock forever.

Start with an apple with some nonsugary peanut butter. Try this Sun butter for a change.
Cheese and cracker work well. Ditch that processed cheese. How about the hard cheese instead of the processed ones. Here is one that
Popcorn – Pinacolada ones please.
Jowar Chivda with a gentle spicy kick.
Date aval ladoo
Today’s recipe is a keeper for these times. One that unfreezes perfectly and works for breakfast, snack, lunchbox or that late-night study, you name it.

Toasted quinoa

Most recipes you will come across on the internet are the ones with cooked quinoa. It is not so often that you will see roasted quinoa recipes as this is a slightly watchful process.

Here are a few of our quinoa-based recipes

Chipotle rice and beans with quinoa and corn

Quinoa and oats idly

Quinoa pegan salad bowl

South Indian zesty lemon rice or quinoa


When you roast quinoa and try it it will be slightly bitter. This is an evolutionary precaution to prevent the grain from being eaten by animals and birds. This chemical coating, saponin, thereby ensured that the quinoa seeds could propagate and not be digested. This bitter flavour is distinct when uncooked or improperly toasted.  Saponins being water-soluble and foaming gets dissolved and removed when we wash and cook the quinoa, thus leaving it favourable to taste but upon dry roasting, it remains to give the taste.  (source.)

quinoa ladoo no sugar added

To achieve the perfectly toasted quinoa with little or no bitterness, wash the quinoa well for a couple of times under running water. Rub them gently with your hand as you do this to rub off the layer of saponins. Drain well and spread on a kitchen towel so that the water can be slightly more absorbed. Add this to the pan and slow roast on medium heat till a few of the quinoa start popping. you can use this as such to top the bowl of salad or powder it to use in energy balls. 

This recipe contribution

From the alphabet A to now at Q we food bloggers have been contributing recipes to A-Z recipe challenge. It is amazing to see the variety that we have created through this Challenge. This group has actually inspired me to create new and unique recipes to add to this monthly challenge. I hope you look forward to this as much as I enjoy creating new ideas for each month. Check out the details by entering the A-Z recipe challenge in the search bar of this blog. Hope you will try out this snack and save up a bit of your sanity as well. I sure am losing and holding on to mine as the second one is teening too!!

Stay safe, take care and see you soon



toasted quinoa energy balls with dates

Toasted quinoa and dates energy balls

Nut-free, , grain-free, butter-free, oil-free, no added sugar snack perfect for post-workout, exam time and all teen tantrums.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 37 minutes
Course Desserts, Snacks, Sweets and savories
Cuisine Autumn, Fusion, gluten free, Indian, International, Kids choice, One pot, Spring, Summer, Vegan, Vegetarian, Winter
Servings 20 small pieces


  • 2 cups quinoa
  • 1.5 cup Dates use soft mejool dates.
  • 1/8 tsp cinnamon powder


  • Wash and toast the quinoa till they start gently popping.
  • Cool the quinoa and powder it in a spice grinder (or the Indian mixie).
  • Add the cinnamon powder and mix well.
  • Pit the dates and add small portions of these dates and churn further.
  • As you add more of the dates, they will come together as a small mix.
  • Pinch off small balls of this mix and make small balls.
  • Chill for half-hour and enjoy.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
5 3 votes

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3 years ago

WoW! These small cute bites looks really amazing, using the quinoa must be the great idea. I’ve quinoa in my pantry, will try it for my sweet cravings. Indeed a good and healthy recipe!

Vidya Narayan
3 years ago

This is a delicious and low effort dessert recipe that is also healthy and can be made, stocked at home for anytime snacking or satiate sugar cravings. Toasting seeds like quinoa actually brings out a lovely aroma and taste.

3 years ago

Perfect healthy and such a easy recipe to try for diwali. Looks too tempting. Love the addition of dates as sweetener. Would love to try it sometime.

Niranjana Sankaranarayanan
3 years ago

Healthy and guilt free laddoos made with quinoa after toasting it sounds delicious. We can make this for the upcoming festival as a guilt free sweet.

Shobha Keshwani
3 years ago

Very nice recipe with just 3 ingredients. Thanks for sharing the detailed explanation about quinoa. Though the process of washing and slow roasting is tedious and time consuming but it is worth the efforts.

Poonam Bachhav
3 years ago

I have been using quinoa regularly in my Kitchen from a couple of years now but never tried roasting them. These dates quinoa energy balls sound absolutely healthy snacking option. Would love giving this recipe a try.

Mayuri Patel
3 years ago

A simple and healthy recipe Seema. I should try this as its healthy and takes care of sweet cravings. I’ve come across recipes that suggest using toasted quinoa for topping on salads and oats but have been a bit apprehensive to try. I should, I guess.

3 years ago

Wow thats a super quick and healthy option for our sweet cravings . These days when we have cut out sugar completely this quinoa dates energy balls are sure the savior for those dessert craving after dinner . Loved it.

3 years ago

with the online classes going on in full mode, I think these would make for a healthy munch on for the kids ! great idea.. bookmarking !

Sujata Roy
3 years ago

Quinoa dates energy balls looks super healthy and absolutely delicious. Its also perfect for guilt free munching. I would love to try these nutritious energy balls soon.

3 years ago

these balls are so perfectly healthy ones …
Love the addition of dates as sweetener here seema !
I would love to try these tempting ones

2 years ago
Rating :

Oh what a beautiful blog you have here, Seema. Each recipe I read, I want it all. So I have tried this quinoa energy ball too. It tastes fantastic. Took it to work and my friends love it as well.

Mayuri Patel
1 year ago
Rating :

Seema I tried toasted quinoa and dates energy balls and they taste so good. A guilt free snack and naturally sweet too.I made a batch with a bit of cocoa powder in it. Takes care of my chocolate cravings.

1 year ago
Rating :

Wow this is definitely a wonderful way to add quinoa in diet. Hubby loves these energy balls with dates. He does not mind the quinoa now.

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