These quinoa chocolate chip bites are made with almonds and dried cherries for a healthy and fun way to snack!

I kind of like these random Saturday posts. It gives me a chance to blabber about all the weird things I think/see/do throughout the week and don’t get a chance to share. Ready for this week’s?

-October is breast cancer awareness month which pretty much everyone knows unless you’ve been living under a rock, right? I think it’s great that companies contribute to the cause in all the different ways they do but, I was incredibly annoyed and bothered by Delta’s approach while flying this week. They spend money (or make their flight attendants spend it, not sure how it works) on pink uniforms and then contribute 100% of the profits if you choose to buy a $2 Minute Maid pink lemonade on one of their flights this month. There are 2 things that bother me here: 1. wouldn’t that money for the pink outfit be better spent if it was just directly contributed to fighting the disease instead of outfitting flight attendants? 2. why are they picking a drink whose second ingredient is HFCS (water being the first), and contains a whopping 13% juice as their “representative” item for donations? Isn’t that quite a hypocritical statement? Let’s fight cancer/disease by encouraging people to put crap in their bodies. Good intentions, bad execution Delta.

Quinoa Crack Balls

-After much back and forth, the blue dress made it’s appearance Thursday night in an event to honor my grandfather for his life’s work in the brick industry.

Awards ceremony

Family at awards ceremony

Very proud of you, Grandpa.

-At said event, the Trump organization was also honored for it’s contributions to NYC’s buildings. Accepting the award was the executive vice president, Andrew Weiss. I’m still shocked by the fact that someone with the charisma of at best a snail, holds such a prominent (public) position within that organization. I’m also perplexed by the fact that he looked like he hadn’t brushed his hair in about 3 years. Interesting choice, Don.

-I will continuously order and attempt to like dirty grey goose martinis with extra olives every.single.time I’m at a fancy event. They always taste the same though, disgusting. A little too reminiscent of the high school days drinking vodka straight from the bottle before going to some party in the woods.

-Immersion blenders scare the hell out of me.

Immersion blender

I feel like I’m going into a fight every time I use it. Luckily, I won this one with minimal battle wounds.

-Yesterday, I told someone I hadn’t really been sick in almost 2 years. Today, I have a sore throat and can’t stop sneezing. That “knock on wood” shit doesn’t work.

-I’ve never done crack, but I’m imagining the addictiveness of these quinoa balls to be quite similar.

Quinoa chocolate chip bites

If you liked these, I highly suggest making these crack balls, as I’m calling them. Similar ingredients and flavor but with quinoa and all it’s complete protein glory.

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5 from 1 vote

Quinoa Chocolate Chip Bites

Servings: 12 servings
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 45 minutes
Total: 50 minutes
These quinoa chocolate chip bites are made with almonds and dried cherries for a healthy and fun way to snack!


  • 1/3 cup quinoa
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 3 tablespoons dried cherries
  • 1/8 cup almonds
  • 2 tablespoons dark chocolate chips
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon almond butter


  • Rinse quinoa.
  • Combine water and quinoa in a small sauce pan. Bring to a boil and then lower to a simmer and cook covered until water is fully absorbed (you want it on the dry side.)
  • While quinoa is cooking, combine cherries and almonds in food processor and pulse until finely chopped.
  • Transfer to small bowl.
  • Once quinoa is cooked, spread out on baking sheet or another flat surface to let it cool for a few minutes. Once cooled, add to bowl with almond/cherry mixture.
  • Add maple syrup, almond butter and chocolate chips and fold together.
  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or silpat.
  • Roll quinoa mixture into balls and place on sheet (this is a messy process, embrace it by licking your fingers at the end.)
  • Bake at 375 degrees for about 20 minutes, until quinoa becomes golden and crispy on the outside.
  • Let balls cool on baking sheet for at least 10 minutes.


Serving: 1SERVINGCalories: 64kcalCarbohydrates: 9gProtein: 2gFat: 3gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 0.02mgSodium: 5mgPotassium: 67mgFiber: 1gSugar: 4gVitamin A: 134IUVitamin C: 0.01mgCalcium: 24mgIron: 0.4mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Snacks
Cuisine: American

Tell me something random from your week.

What are your thoughts on the pink themed stuff for breast cancer awareness?  Good branding or stupid use of resources?

Founder and Writer at Running to the Kitchen | About

Gina Matsoukas is an AP syndicated writer. She is the founder, photographer and recipe developer of Running to the Kitchen — a food website focused on providing healthy, wholesome recipes using fresh and seasonal ingredients. Her work has been featured in numerous media outlets both digital and print, including MSN, Huffington post, Buzzfeed, Women’s Health and Food Network.

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Recipe Rating


  1. I made these and they are yum! Re-reading your instructions confirms my suspicion that I should have cooked the quinoa a bit more, so I’ll try that next time. Thanks for the great snack!

  2. I was just wondering what you may substitute the almonds and almond butter for so they are nut free? I personally want the nuts, but I’d love to send these to school with my son!!

  3. These sound like a perfect healthy dessert snack. I have dried cranberries at home so figure I’ll give it a whirl with those. In terms of pink themed stuff for breast cancer – I’m not a fan.

  4. These look great! I just wish you could get a decent protein bar or protein ball in something other than a sweet flavor. Wonder if these could be made into something savory? Maybe a sour cream and onion? or something that isn’t sweet. My hubby must eat a lot of protein each day (he had gastric bypass) and so he eats a protein bar each morning for breakfast. Some days it would be nice not to have to eat sweet for breakfast. Maybe we can modify this recipe to taste like bacon….Hum…not sure about that either, but you never know.
    Thanks for sharing

  5. I have been putting quina in my chocolate chip cookies so I am anxious to try these quina balls. Ever consider adding in a little cinnamin?

  6. I just made these and they didn’t turn out so good…what did I do wrong?? they would not stick together in balls at all. Its very crumbly. Please help, I want to try again!

    1. Jamie-not sure what happened?! They were definitely messy to roll into balls for me, which I said in the directions, but I was able to get them into that shape and then bake them. Once baked, they held together fine. You could try adding more maple syrup or maybe the quinoa was too dry if it was crumbly before baking? It definitely was not crumbly when I was trying to shape them into balls, actually more wet than anything.

      1. I had the same problem…I could NOT get these to stick together. Did you use a natural almond butter or one that is more “sticky”?

        1. Kristen- I’m sorry you weren’t able to get them to stick either. I use Trader Joe’s almond butter. I actually made them again after Jamie’s comment just to make sure I wasn’t losing my mind and didn’t leave out an ingredient or something and they worked the same as the first time. Definitely messy to get into balls but with enough structure to get them into some sort of ball to bake.

  7. These look great!!! It’s so funny, I make a spirulina ball that I would call crack nuggets… My friends kid picked up on it and when I gave her one she ran around the house exclaiming, “Mommy, I have a crack nugget”.. anyways.. thanks for the recipe!