As I purchased a protein bar with the least offensive ingredients last week, resulting in the worst tasting bar I've ever had, I realized I really needed to replenish my store of healthy power bars and granola bars. Since I just got a big bag of quinoa while I was home, I figured I ought to try out some quinoa bars. I tend not to use my quinoa often because it's so expensive around here, with few options of places to purchase it. Now I'm excited to try lots of quinoa recipes!
These bars are perfect for snacking throughout the day or having as part of a meal when you're on the run. Made with simple, whole ingredients, these are full of fiber, protein, and healthy fats. They're totally fruit sweetened, so you don't have to worry about crashing from a sugar high like you would with most other candy bar like granola bars that you'll find at the grocery store.
I opted for almonds and walnuts in these, but feel free to use any combination of nuts that you like, or even sunflower seeds, if you have nut allergies. As long as you use certified gluten free oats, these are gluten free. So delicious, too!
My aunt got me a mini scone pan for my birthday, which I finally got to use for these bars. I don't know why it took me so long to use, but now that I've used it once, it's definitely going to be used over and over again. The bars slipped right out the pan after baking, and it cleans so easy! It creates the perfect serving size, too! Love it. Any baking pan will work just fine - you may just need to alter the baking time slightly.
Cherry Quinoa Bars
makes about 15 bars
2/3 cup rolled oats
2/3 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed
1/2 cup almonds
1/2 cup walnuts (or any combination of nuts up to 1 cup)
1 cup Medjool dates, pitted
2/3 cup dried cherries
1/2 cup applesauce
1 t vanilla
pinch of salt
In a food processor, pulse together the oats and nuts, until they are in fine crumbs. Pulse in the quinoa. Add the dates and cherries, and pulse until they start to form a dough. Add in the applesauce, vanilla, and salt, and pulse until well combined.
Press the dough into a greased mini scone pan (2 T per well) or press into a parchment lined baking pan.
Bake 20-25 minutes at 350ºF, until nicely browned on top, if baking in the mini scone pan. For a regular baking pan, bake for about 15-20 minutes. Allow to cool in the pan slightly. Cut into bars (if using regular baking pan), and remove to a wire rack to cool. Store in an airtight container.
You can freeze these for up to 2 months, tightly wrapped.