Tosca Reno


Friday, August 24, 2012

Pre-Workout Almond Turtle Bites

Ooooooh! This is so exciting. I bet you just couldn't resist clicking through to check out this tasty recipe. It has been created by guest blogger Taylor Ryan. She is a NASM certified personal trainer and the blogger behind Lifting Revolution. Taylor lives with her husband in Charleston, SC where she runs a multi-location boot camp for women. Vegan cooking and designing workouts are her passions and you can definitely tell by this tasty snack she has created. Rita... can I have one?

How tired do you get of trying to pick out something fast and easy for a pre-workout snack? You don’t want a whole meal, just something that is loaded with energy and settles well in the stomach.

If you’ve ever had a bad experience with a pre-workout snack then trust me, you’re not alone. Having a snack that bounces around can lead to nausea, bloating and gas... none of which is ideal for working out with people around you.

Since becoming vegan about 6 months ago, I have struggled to find fuel for my longer workouts. Most energy bars are too heavy, taste like chalk and are pretty pricy. I knew I had to come up with something  myself.

To be honest, I didn’t come up with these, entirely. I was whining to my husband about the issue and he suddenly lit up and said: “It would be awesome if you could make something along the lines of turtle bites."

It took two failed attempts until I finally hit a home run. These vegan turtle bites are loaded with energy, protein and healthy fats. All needed to keep your workout going strong.

Each bite has just 90 calories, so chow down on 2-3 about an hour or two before your workout.

Enjoy, and feel free to modify the recipe to fit your taste buds.

Click through for the recipe...

1/2 c. whole raw almonds
1/4 c. cashews
1/4 c. unsalted almonds (I used slivered, but any will do)
1 tbsp sesame seeds
1 tbsp quinoa, uncooked
1 tbsp chia seeds
1 tbsp lentils, dried
1/4 cup agave nectar (or honey)
1/2 cup dark chocolate, 70% or darker

1. Preheat oven 350 degrees Fahrenheit. In a food processor, chop up everything together but the whole almonds and chocolate.
2. Once paste-like, grab a small dish and fill with water. This is for your fingers so the nut/grain paste doesn’t stick too much. Surround an almond with the mix and place on a nonstick, or slightly greased cookie sheet.
3. Bake for 7-9 minutes, until slightly golden. Remove and allow to cool
4. In a microwave-safe bowl, microwave chocolate for 20 second intervals, stirring each time until melted. You can also use a double boiler.
5. Hand dip each nut/grain ball into the chocolate. I found it easier to use a spoon to spread over it, place on a baking sheet lined with wax paper.
6. Stick in the fridge to allow chocolate to harden and enjoy!


  1. A bit of work but sounds pretty yummy

  2. Uncooked lentils and quinoa? Curious as to how these will turn out. Do they soften up or remain crunchy. I guess i just need to make them and see.

  3. I tried to pin this to pinterest so I wouldn't forget it. It wont let me. :(

    1. Jess-hover over the orange "SHARE" button, and you will see a bunch of ways to share the recipe..including on Pinterest! :-)

  4. You mentioned two failed attempts -- did either of those involve cooking the lentils or quinoa first, then drying them? I might be concerned about the phytic acid content if they aren't sprouted or cooked.

  5. Do you have a recommendation for the dark chocolate - everything i find in the store has sugar in the ingredient list - even when it's 70% or more. Thank you!

    1. I used unsweetened chocolate and, given that it's being spread over something containing honey, the combination was delicious, not bitter. The unsweetened chocolate baking squares have 0 grams of sugar.

      The only issue I had with these is that when I baked them, they went from ball-shaped to flat-as-a-pancake and I had to re-shape all of them after they came out of the oven. But I have made them twice already and love them. Thanks Taylor and Tosca!

  6. TOSCA: To "clean" these up even further (sugar-wise), I would do 2 things: Replace the Agave with Pure maple syrup, and I would replace the dark chocolate with 1/4 cup Hershey's 100% Cacao Special Dark Chocolate, which has only 10 calories per teaspoon, 0 sugar, 0.5 g fat, 1 g protein, and 2 g fiber. Since this is powder form, you may have to incorporate the powder into the nut/grain mix along with the maple syrup. =) ~Kymberly "Kaptain" Morgan

    1. Just a heads up for you. Hershey uses Monsanto products so although it may be technically "clean" it uses GMO product so it is really harmful to you. Pure maple syrup has a GI of 54 with 55 where low GI becomes moderate so pure maple syrup is probably not something you would want to use. Stevia, xylitol and coconut crystals are all better options than both agave and maple syrup.

  7. I almost forgot: You could even add a stewed fruit/natural reduction such as apricots or blueberries into this recipe for added natural sugar and flavor. Just a suggestion!

  8. Oh, oh!!!! Lol! You are looking for sugar free alternatives to this recipe! That's easy! Use Stevia as your agave replacement, and try my suggestion for Hershey's Cacao powder above!

  9. Is there a good replacement for the cashews? Allergies suck.

  10. Good to hear about reshaping them into balls, wondered why mine were flat! I added protein powder & ground flax, and then covered them in raw chocolate. Yummy!!

  11. It’s really new to me knowing about “Almond Turtle Bites” as for preworkout time. But whatever, I really like your blog based on this theme and fruitful too. Thanks for awaring me about that. You please keep going onwards for such of the great body supplements.

  12. Hello,
    I loved your post very much. You have represented a very great solution for pre workout meal. Keep posting dear. Thank you too much.......


Tosca's Instragrams