A neighbor purchased a big bag of quinoa – hoping to add it to her families diet, but it was not a hit and the bag was given to me. I already had a lot of quinoa, since we use it often – so I started thinking what else could I use it for? We were getting low on snacks for Stella’s lunch so I thought why not try and make some quinoa bars similar to the granola bars. I found a recipe on-line (http://www.fit-and-frugal.com/2010/10/31/naturally-homemade-energy-bars-4-chocolatey-quinoa/) and made some adjustments using the ingredients I had on hand. These were a huge hit in our home and I am sure will be requested again and again!
Chocolate Quinoa Bars
3/4 cup dry quinoa (2 cups cooked)
1/3 cup dried fruit (I used a combination of apricots and blueberries)
1 medium banana, mashed
1/3 cup honey (I think you could also use agave nectar – will try next time)
1 Tbl coconut oil
1/4 cup flaxseed meal
1/4 cup sprouted oat flour
1 1/2 Tbl unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 cup ground almond
1/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (optional)
1. Rinse the quinoa in cold water and drain. Boil 1 cup of water in a saucepan, when boiling add the quinoa, cover and reduce heat. Simmer for about 12 minutes – if all the water is not absorb you can also turn the water off, leave covered for another 10 – 15 minutes. Allow to cool.
2. Place the apricots or other dried fruit in hot water for about 10 minutes to plump. Drain.
3. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
4. In a food processor add the quinoa, mashed banana, cut up dried fruit (I did not cut up the blueberries), honey and coconut oil.
5. Process until fairly smooth, scraping sides along the way – you want everything mixed up.
6. Add the flaxseed meal, ground almond, oat flour, and cocoa.
7. Mix well.
8. Add the chocolate chips, if using, and mix by hand.
9. Line a 8×8 baking dish with parchment paper. Scoop the mixture into the pan and spread evenly.
10. Bake for 30 minutes or until firm to touch.
11. Cut into bars while still in the pan. Lift the bars out with the parchment paper and place on wire rack. Allow to cool completely. Store in an airtight container.