A few weeks ago I bought some tri-color quinoa from the bulk food section at Whole Foods. After grinding most of it into flour to use in Quinoa Chocolate Chip Blondies, I started thinking about ways to use the rest and came up with these toasted quinoa bars.Because they were experimental, I made them in a loaf pan so that I wouldn’t feel bad if I had to throw them out. But as luck would have it, they held together and tasted great.
As mentioned, my biggest concern as I put these in the oven was that the bars wouldn’t hold together and I’d be stuck eating them like granola. Sure enough, when I tried to lift the foil out of the pan while warm, the bars started to crumble. I let them cool a little more then finished off the cooling process in the refrigerator. This time, they held together nicely, though they did crumble a little around the edges. But overall, the flavors went really well together and the bars were pretty thanks to the tri-color quinoa.
UPDATE: This recipe has undergone a complete makeover and is much better, but he new version DOES contain peanut butter. If you don’t want to use peanut butter, almond butter should work.
Finally, the inspiration for this new version is from a sight called Super Healthy Kids, but I made quite a few changes. I didn’t need a full 9×13 inch pan, and thus scaled the recipe down to 1/3. In addition, I used a 9×5 inch loaf pan.
- 1/3 cup tri-color quinoa
- 1/3 cup oats, quick cooking or old fashioned (not instant)
- 1/4 cup shredded coconut, unsweetened
- 1/3 cup finely chopped roasted nuts (cashews or a mixture of cashews and almonds)
- 2 or 3 tablespoons dried cranberries
- 1 teaspoon coconut oil
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 3 tablespoons peanut butter
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon of vanilla
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9x5 inch metal pan with nonstick foil. Alternatively you can use regular foil and grease it or you can use parchment. Set aside.
- Rinse the quinoa using your favorite method. I like to put it in a bowl, cover it with water, dump it all into a sieve, then rinse some more.
- Drain the quinoa and spread it on a foil lined baking sheet. Add the oatmeal to the baking sheet and bake the two together for 5 minutes. Add the coconut and nuts to the baking sheet and continue to toast for another 5 minutes. Transfer to a mixing bowl.
- In a saucepan, combine the coconut oil, brown sugar, peanut butter, honey and salt. Bring to a boil over medium heat.
- Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla.
- Pour the hot peanut butter mixture over the oats and add the vanilla and salt. Stir until well blended, then press tightly into the pan.
- Bake for 18 minutes.
- Let cool to room temperature, then chill for several hours. Lift from pan and cut into slices.
For a 9 inch square pan, double the recipe.
For a 9x13 inch pan, triple the recipe.