I’ve been curious about quinoa for a while. Recently I spent some time learning about quinoa and why it is considered a superfood. The result of this effort was a post called Simplifying Quinoa which summarizes many of quinoa’s highlights, and a post in Helpful Hints: The Many Faces of Cooking Quinoa. What I’m most thrilled with, however, is this recipe that “popped” into my head as I stood staring at my puffed quinoa. After learning how awesome quinoa is — being a plant protein and a “perfect” one at that — (for more info. hop on over to the Simplifying Quinoa post) I was desperately thinking of a way to make it appealing to kids. And . . . Pop-Q’s were born!
They are delicious bite-sized poppers that have a sublime maple flavor that is complimented by sweet bursts of golden raisins and tempered with the smooth flavor and crunch of sunflower seeds. These little guys are gluten-free, dairy-free, nut-free, vegan, processed-sugar-free and pack a delightful plant protein and omega-3 punch.
Let’s get poppin’ . . .
You will see how easy it is to turn this . .
Into this . . .
Ingredients for Pop-Q's
|1/8 teaspoon||Stevia sweetener|
|1/2 cup||Sprouted quinoa (uncooked and dry)Yields approx. 2 cups puffed quinoa|
|1/3 cup||Golden raisins, chopped|
|1/4 cup||Sunflower seeds|
|2 tablespoons||Maple syrup|
|1 tablespoon||Coconut nectar|
|4 tablespoons||Gluten-free oat flour|
|1 tablespoon||Coconut oil, melted|
|2 tablespoons||Popped quinoa or finely ground nuts|
To begin, you will need to puff 1/2 cup of uncooked, sprouted quinoa. This should yield approximately 2 cups of puffed quinoa. For more details on how to puff the quinoa please see puffing quinoa. There is a minor alteration to the puffing instructions. Before adding the dry quinoa to the water first add in the vanilla extract, stevia and sea salt and stir. From this point forward the puffing instructions are the same. Once the quinoa is puffed, fluff it with a fork and set it aside to cool (approximately 15 minutes).
Chop 1/3 cup golden raisins while waiting for puffed quinoa to cool.
Mix together in a medium-sized mixing bowl the puffed quinoa, chopped golden raisins, and 1/4 cup sunflower seeds.
Add 2 tablespoons of maple syrup and 1 tablespoon of coconut nectar to the quinoa mixture and thoroughly combine.
Then add 4 tablespoons of gluten-free oat flour and mix together.
Finally, add 1 tablespoon of melted coconut oil to mixture and stir.
Refrigerate mixture for 15 minutes.
Remove from refrigerator and roll into 1-1/2 inch balls. When forming the dough into balls, I scooped the amount for one ball out with a spoon, then pressed it together with my fingers. Once I felt like the dough had formed a ball I rolled it between my palms to smooth it out.
Finally, I rolled each ball in a small bowl containing 2 tablespoons of popped quinoa. However, if nuts are not a concern I think the Pop-Q’s would also taste great rolled in finely ground pecans or walnuts. I haven’t tried the nuts yet so please let me know how that goes if you decide to try it.
The Pop-Q’s will keep for several days in a tightly sealed container in the refrigerator. I have not tried freezing them yet but I have a feeling they would fare well. Again, please let me know if you try to freeze them or I will update the post if I try to freeze them in the future. The great news is my wish came true! These are kid tested and received two thumbs up. Stay tuned for the next round of Pop-Q’s where you’ll see the plant protein doubled and some new flavors added that are sure to be mouth-watering!
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