I’ve partnered with California Almonds on this post and all opinions are my own.
I believe that one of the key elements in a healthy diet is including lots of plant-based foods into your daily routine. Plant-based diets are heart healthy and offer a number of benefits over some of the most popular / traditional diets.
Plant-based diets may*:
- Lower blood pressure
- Increase fiber intake
- Lower risk of diabetes
- Offer weight loss benefits
- Lower risk of heart disease
- Provide better brain health
- Provide reduce cancer risk
Plant-based foods include fruits, veggies, nuts, oils, whole grains, etc. They are delicious and for the most part can be enjoyed individually or combined to make a recipe or a meal. One of the misnomers about a plant-focused diet is that it’s difficult to get the protein you need when you restrict animal products in your diet but this simply isn’t true. Many plant-based foods are chock full of protein. One great example of that is almonds. A one-ounce serving of almonds is filling and provides 6 of protein. You can enjoy almonds on their own or use them in smoothies, breads, make nut butters or even milk from them. They are delicious and so super versatile. And California Almonds are sustainably grown making them a pretty ideal plant-based snack option!
One of my most favorite thing to do with almonds is to make no bake snack bites with them. I’m always looking for fun new flavors and varieties but the base ingredients are always the same – pitted dates and almonds. The rest of the ingredients I change up every time I make them. Somehow they always turn out delicious!
This particular recipe turned out a bit stickier than usual. Usually you can pick these up and not have to lick your fingers afterwards but that’s ok. It’s totally worth it. My kids can’t get enough of these and keep asking for a “sticky almond ball”! You could roll them in coconut to help reduce the stickiness, I bet they would be delicious.
- 3 cups pitted dates (approx. 1.25 lb.)
- 1-1/2 cups almonds
- ½ cup almond butter
- 1 tbsp vanilla
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1-3 tbsp water (optional)
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- Combine dates, almonds, almond butter, vanilla, maple syrup and salt in a food processor and puree until combined and sticking together. You may need to use the pulse feature as this is a large amount of sticky stuff to add to your food processor. Or process it in 2 batches.
- If the mixture seems a bit too dry, add water and continue to puree. You probably won't need it.
- Remove mixture from bowl take small pieces of the mixture and roll into small balls. These ended up being a bit stickier than other energy bites I have made but they taste so good, it's worth it.
- Using your fingers sprinkle a small amount of cinnamon over the top of each ball.
- Chill until eaten.
I love having snacks like these on-hand for my kids. They enjoy them and I can secretly feel good that they are snacking on things that are better for their bodies.
You can find more information about California Almonds, their sustainable practices and the importance of plant-based protein at Almonds.com. The Power of Plant-Based Meals handout is also a great resource.
Also make sure you follow California Almonds on social via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest. You can also visit the California Almonds blog for great recipes and other information about the benefits of including California Almonds in your diet.