Friday, April 20, 2012

Tasty Trail Mix Bites

The last few weeks have been pretty busy as my roommate and I have been trying to find our next apartment.  We probably looked at ten different apartments before finally finding one.  It is a little bit closer to the city and in a cute neighborhood.  We move in less than two weeks, so I have been figuring out what moving company to use, switching the utilities over, and packing.  

However, amidst the craziness that is moving there was a lovely little blogger meet-up this past weekend.  Originally we had planned on a picnic, but the weather didn't cooperate so Marisa offered her place for a midday potluck lunch.  I worked early in the morning and ended up being a little late, but we had a nice time.  It's always nice spending time with these ladies.  We chatted and enjoyed the food we all brought.  Diana brought a quinoa salad, Marisa a bean and avocado salad, and Alyssa and Katie each brought fruit salad; which were all really good!  My contribution to the potluck were some delicious Trail Mix Bites.  
Diana, me, Alyssa, Marisa, and Katie
In trying to decide what to make I kept in mind the other ladies diets (vegetarian, gluten-free, etc).  I then saw a recipe on Pinterest that sparked my interest and thought it might work for the meet-up.  I wasn't really sure how they would turn out, but used the recipe as inspiration to create a trail mix bar.  The idea of it in compact form sounded good to me!  I thought they were great and I think everyone at the lunch enjoyed them too.  They make a great pre-workout snack or after dinner treat!  So here is the easy and tasty recipe:
Trail Mix Bites
Makes about 12 squares
1/2 cup cooked, plain quinoa
1/3 cup sunflower seeds 
1 cup dry old fashioned oats
1/4 cup chopped almonds
1/4 overflowing cup shredded coconut
1/2 cup dried fruit (cranberries, raisins, cherries, etc)
1/3 cup agave nectar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp coconut extract
1/3 cup dark chocolate, chopped or chips
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1 tbsp + 1 tsp natural peanut butter

1.  In a small sauce pan heat the agave nectar to a simmer (this only takes a minute).  Then stir in vanilla and coconut extract and remove from heat.
2.  In a medium mixing bowl combine quinoa, sunflower seeds, oats,  almonds, coconut, and dried fruit. 
3.  Pour the agave nectar mixture over the combination in the mixing bowl and stir to combine.
4.  Let the mixture cool a bit before adding in the peanut butter, chocolate, and salt.
5.  Once everything is mixed together use your hands to shape the mixture into small balls or flatten the mixture into an 8x8 pan.  Let cool in fridge for at least 2 hours for the bites or bars to set.
adapted from Eat, Live, Run