Healthy Vegan Buckeyes with Popped Quinoa
You want to hear the story of how these delights came about?
So, we were invited to a vegan bake-sale picnic in De Waal Park in Cape Town. Why have I never been there before? A serene and green park amidst the hustle and bustle of the city. Sunshine, shady trees, green grass and a close-up view of Table Mountain. Urban bliss! And if that wasn’t enough reason to visit, Vegilicious hosted a vegan bake sale which was part of a worldwide fundraising initiative.
I packed a picnic of homemade hummus, pesto and guacamole; along with a sourdough french loaf and nacho dippers. The spread went within minutes as everyone wanted to grab a vegan treat before it sold out. The truth is just because something is ‘vegan’ doesn’t necessarily make it healthy, so I went for the healthiest option, and in my opinion it was the best treat on sale! When I asked for the name I was surprised as I hadn’t heard of it before, nor ever seen these delights. Millet Buckeyes! I spotted the person who was responsible for bringing out more to the table and begged for the ingredients list.
Made with mostly millet and peanut butter and dipped in dark chocolate, I had to make my own version. With no millet on hand, I popped quinoa (yes, just like you pop corn) and together with my homemade roasted peanut butter made the most delicious balls of heaven!
(Makes about 10-12 balls, depending on size)
15 dried dates (soaked until soft, and drained)
¼ cup smooth peanut butter
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ cup popped quinoa
Pinch of sea salt or Himalayan Salt (if peanut butter is unsalted)
60g dark chocolate
1 teaspoon coconut oil
Start by soaking the dried dates in warm water until soft enough to blend, and drain.
While the dates are soaking you can pop your quinoa –
Heat a medium sized pot over medium-high heat. Pour a ¼ cup quinoa into the heated pot, place a lid on the pot, and wait for it to start popping. Give the pot a little shake every few seconds to avoid the tiny seeds from burning. It doesn’t pop as vigorously as popcorn, but you’ll hear it’s gentle pop. Once the popping dies down, remove from heat and tip the popped quinoa into a small dish and set aside.
Pulse the dates in a food processor and pulse until the dates are in small pieces.
Add the peanut butter and vanilla extract and process until the mixture is well combined. Add a drop of water to the mix if it looks too crumbly and process until the mixture combines.
Add in the popped quinoa and pulse a few more times to incorporate quinoa.
Take roughly 1 heaped tablespoon of the mixture and roll into a ball and place them on a dish or tray with wax paper. This mixture should give you about 10 – 12 balls, depending on how small or big you want them.
Place the balls in the freezer to set, while you prepare the chocolate.
Heat chocolate and coconut oil in a bowl over another bowl of hot water and stir until melted and smooth.
Take each ball and dip the bottom in the chocolate. Place each ball back on the wax paper and repeat with remaining balls.
If you have leftover chocolate, drizzle chocolate over the top.
Place in the fridge or freezer to set.
Best to store these in the fridge or freezer as the chocolate tends to melt at room temperature.
We love to eat these straight out of the freezer.
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