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When the holidays come, our diets tend to take a hit. Between the snacks that magically show up in my teacher’s lounge to all the holiday parties and family dinners, I find myself eating things I normally avoid. I don’t know about you, but I love Christmas cookies, pies, green bean casserole, cinnamon rolls, sausage balls and basically everything else that we associate with the holidays. That’s one of the reasons I’ve been sharing some of my favorite guilt-free holiday recipes the past few weeks (you may remember my Pecan Pie Smoothie Bowl or the Butternut Squash Mac & Cheese!). And this week I’m excited to share my latest creation: Cranberry Apple Pie Protein Balls.
Not only are these a scrumptious snack, but they are a fun way to get all the flavors from a cranberry apple pie without the guilt. These balls are loaded with protein, dried fruits, raw nuts, dates, and the star of the show, Quaker® Simply Granola Oats, Apples, Cranberries & Almonds. I love eating these protein balls as my afternoon snack, because the protein helps keep me full, while my sweet tooth is satisfied with the maple syrup and dried fruit. The granola gives me the crunch I crave, and the almonds and cranberries in it compliment the flavors of the protein ball so well!
I’m a huge fan of the Quaker® Simply Granola for so many reasons. It is tasty and filling, satisfying my hunger (and tastebuds) for hours. The granola clusters are crunchy and hearty, and I love love love that it has real fruit and nuts. It’s also very low in sodium, which is always a win in my book! You betta believe I use this granola all the time. I found it at Walmart in the cereal aisle, and can’t wait to try all the other flavors they have. The Quaker® Simply Granola Oats, Honey & Almonds is definitely going to be my next purchase. Not only is it an excellent source of fiber, but it only has 9g of fat per serving and it has 34g of whole grains. It doesn’t get much better than that!
When I was thinking of the perfect finishing touch for my protein balls, I immediately thought of this granola, and I’m so glad I did. The protein balls turned out better than I ever imagined! The granola easily stuck to the outside of the protein ball, and gave it just the right amount of crunch. I guess you could say it works as the “crust” to my Cranberry Apple Pie. 😉
Not only are these protein balls perfect for afternoon snacks, but they would be a great dessert or appetizer to serve during the holidays. They would also be a lot of fun to make with kids, since it’s so easy and hands on. This recipe is a neat way to bring the family together during the holidays, and I can definitely see making them with future kiddos becoming a tradition in my family.
Looking for more holiday recipe inspiration? Check out this Social Hub where you’ll be inspired to take your granola to the next level.
Cranberry Apple Pie Protein Balls
- 1 cup whole dates
- 2 Tbsp maple syrup
- 1 cup sliced (or whole) almonds
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- 2/3 cup dried apples
- 2 scoops vanilla protein powder
- 1 Tbsp pumpkin pie spice
- 2 cups Quaker® Simply Granola Oats, Apples, Cranberries & Almonds
- Soften the dates for a few minutes in some warm water. Slice them open and remove the seed from each date. Roughly chop the dates and place in a food processor.
- Add the maple syrup and pulse until smooth and creamy. You may have to scrape down the sides a few times to make sure everything has been processed.
- Add the almonds, cranberries, apples, protein powder and pumpkin pie spice and pulse until everything is incorporated. You should be left with a sticky "dough".
- Grab about 2 Tbsp of the mixture and roll into a 1 inch ball.
- Gently press the granola around the protein ball and shape back into a ball.
- Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks!
Now it’s your turn to talk! Answer one of the questions in the comments below:
Do you have any recipes you love making with your family?
Have you tried Quaker® Simply Granola Oats before?
If not, visit this link to purchase online! How much easier can it get? http://cbi.as/6ia4n