I struggled to decide where to include these awesome chocolate bars! Healthy snacks? Treats? Kids Corner? The truth is they fit under all three categories. These bars make a big batch, which set me up to have healthy snacks ready to go for lunches and when I need a quick energy pick me up. These bars are gluten-free, refined sugar-free and vegan. They are loaded with fiber, minerals, vitamins, plant-based protein and antioxidants. When that 2pm-3pm-energy crash hits you during the day, this is a perfect pick me up snack to keep you going.
I have made these bars and brought them as desserts to many events. Everyone is always amazed at their nutrient profile, while still tasting like a decadent chocolate bar. These are a huge hit in my kid’s lunch boxes as well and having a large batch made ahead of time makes early morning lunch making a breeze. My only tip is if you choose the chocolate topping of coconut oil, maple syrup, and raw cacao powder, this mixture does melt faster versus using a bar of 70% dark chocolate, which holds up better if you want to lay them out for an event or in a kids lunch kit all day. So I choose the chocolate topping based on how I am using the bars. Both methods taste great!
Chocolate Quinoa Snack Bars
- 2 tbsp coconut oil
- 3/4 cup dates, soaked and pitted
- 1 cup nut butter of choice
- 1 cup puffed quinoa
- 1/4 tsp fine sea salt
- 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
- 1/4 cup pepita seeds
- 1/4 cup gogi berries
- 1/4 cup coconut flakes
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- 4 ounce 70% dark chocolate or melt 2 tablespoons of coconut oil with 1 tablespoon of maple syrup and 1 tablespoon of raw cacao powder.
- 1/2 cup large coconut flakes
- 2 tbsp gogi berries (optional)
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. I spread out the quinoa on 3/4 of the baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. I pull the tray out place coconut flakes on the other 1/4 of tray and put back in the oven and toast for an addition 5 minutes.
- Mix all the granola bar ingredients except the coconut oil and dates into a large bowl and set aside.
- In a saucepan, over low-medium heat add the coconut oil. Drain and mash the dates with a fork then add it to the saucepan and cook for about 3-5 minutes until the mixture is well combined. Like a nice deep, caramel colored sauce.
- Pour this heated date mixture into the bowl with the dry ingredients. Mix until everything is well combined.
- Line a 8” x 10” pan with parchment or grease with coconut oil to avoid sticking. Scoop the granola mixture into the pan and press it evenly and firmly into the pan with you hands. An alternative option is I bought one of these granola bar molds from epicure and wowza’s; it makes these perfect little bars for lunches. When I use the mold I press about 2 tbsp. of mixture into each spot. Pop it in the freezer for 10 minutes to set.
- Meanwhile, melt your choice of chocolate sauce in a saucepan over low-medium heat.
- Remove the pan from the freezer, pour the melted chocolate over top and spread evenly (this is where I usually just bang the pan on the counter 2-3x and the chocolate finds its way into all the right places. If you are using the mold, this part is a tad more tedious as you need to spoon the chocolate into each mold. So pan or mold is totally your choice on how fast and easy you want this recipe to be. Sprinkle with your toasted coconut and gogi berries (optional) and pop back in the freezer to set for 5 minutes.
- Lift the parchment paper to remove the large chocolate granola bar out of the pan and cut into smaller bars. If you used the mold I just pop them out.