Quinoa Protein Power Bars

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Hello there friends! My name is Melissa and I’m so delighted to be a guest on Wendy’s fabulous blog! As the author of HomemadeForFriends.com, I’m a professionally trained chef from New York City who loves to blog about original and thoughtful homemade food gifts that you can make for others.

In my constant quest to create new dishes, I think that the most rewarding kind of food gift is one that is both delicious and healthy. Not only do you get to create a moment of happiness for someone as they enjoy your treat, but you’re also giving them something with long-term nutritional benefits. It’s really a win-win!  So of course, one of my all-time favorite ingredients to work with is quinoa. Protein and nutrient rich, it’s a great way to get energized, which is why it inspired me to develop a recipe for Homemade Protein Power Bars.

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Unlike traditional protein bars made from processed powders and sugar, this recipe calls for a superfood A-team of quinoa, chia, flax, and almonds to add about 10 g of protein per bar. In addition, these delicious dairy/gluten-free bars also pack heart-healthy complex carbohydrates, omega-3s, fiber and other essential vitamins and minerals. The end result? You’ll feel full longer and have more energy thanks to the super hero cast of ingredients. A yummy and healthy source of energy, this would be great to make for someone who is constantly on the go, herds cats at work, is training for a sport, or all of the above.

Wendy, thank you so much for inviting me to share this recipe with all of your amazing readers. I do hope everyone will be inspired to make someone’s day with this food gift! For more homemade food gift ideas and recipes, be sure to stop by for a visit at HomemadeForFriends.com. You can also find me on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram.

Happy gifting, 
Melissa

 

PS: It’s OK to make these as a gift for yourself too. I do it all the time as well, shhh!!! ☺

Quinoa Protein Power Bars

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 20 minutes

Yield: 12 servings

Quinoa Protein Power Bars

* Chef’s Tip: *If you’re looking to make sure this recipe is completely gluten-free, only use ingredients that are certified as gluten-free. Certain products, like oats, are prone to cross-contamination in factories which process ingredients containing wheat, so be sure to read the label carefully.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 c. quinoa (raw)
  • 1/2 c. chia seeds
  • 1/4 c. flax seeds
  • 1/4 c. shredded coconut, sweetened
  • 1 c. rolled oats / old fashioned oatmeal*
  • 1/2 c. almonds, chopped
  • 1/2 c. dried blueberries
  • 2/3 c. peanut butter
  • 2/3 c. maple syrup
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. cardamom
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F / 177 C. Line the interior of a 9 x 9 x 2-inch (23 x 23 x 5 cm) baking pan with plastic wrap.
  2. Combine the quinoa, chia, flax, coconut, oatmeal and almonds on a sheet tray and bake for 5-10 minutes until lightly browned.
  3. Meanwhile, in a large pot, mix the peanut butter and maple syrup together and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and stir in the salt, cinnamon, cardamom, and vanilla extract.
  4. Add the toasted ingredients and dried blueberries, and stir until evenly coated.
  5. Pour the mixture into the prepared baking pan and pack it down to ensure it fills into each corner and creates an even, flat surface on top. Allow to cool and refrigerate for at least 1 hour to set.
  6. Once set, gently remove the hardened mixture from the pan by lifting by the plastic wrap, and cut into twelve 1.5 x 4.5-inch (3.8 x 11.4 cm) bars.

Notes

Gifting Idea:

Create your own wrapper for each bar by covering them in a small sheet of parchment paper secured with a twine bow. Not only is this a beautiful way to present them, it is also practical as one can easily grab one on the go for a nutritious energy boost. While best when consumed fresh, these bars should last for up to 4 weeks if stored in an air-tight container and kept in a cool, dry place.

Servings 12, Calories 248, Fat 13.4g, Carbohydrates 27.6g, Protein 8.3g, Cholesterol 0mg, Sodium 120mg, Potassium 291mg, Fiber 5.8g, Sugars 12.8g, WW Pts 7

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QUICK BIO:

Melissa is the author of the HomemadeForFriends.com, which is a blog about original and thoughtful homemade food gifts that you can make for others. A professionally trained chef in New York City, Melissa loves inventing new recipes, crafting pretty packaging, and surprising others with homemade treats. For more great ideas on homemade food gifts, visit her website at HomemadeForFriends.com. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram.

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ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Website: http://HomemadeForFriends.com
Facebook: http://facebook.com/HomemadeForFriends
Twitter: http://twitter.com/Made4Friends
Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/Made4Friends
Instagram: http://instagram.com/homemadeforfriends

Quinoa Chia Seed Protein Bars

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Quinoa-Chia-Seed-Protein-Bars-3-cq Hi everyone! My name is Danielle Krueger, and I am the writer, photographer, recipe developer and taste tester over at The Lean Clean Eating Machine. I am so honored that Wendy contacted me to do a guest post for Cooking Quinoa! When I checked out all of the fabulous recipes already featured, I just knew there was no way I could say no, but I’ll be honest, coming up with an original quinoa recipe to present you all with was no easy task. I wanted to bring you something slightly out of the norm in terms of how quinoa is typically used, and after several experiments and many messes later, I feel pretty confident with what I was able to come up with!

As someone who is always on the lookout for convenient forms of plant-based protein, the one thing I have struggled to find time and time again was a good tasting, all-natural protein bar that didn’t contain all of the unnecessary sweeteners, gluten or dairy found in most store bought brands. Often times, I find many of the protein bars on store shelves to be no more than glorified candy bars, but I knew there had to be a way to pack the same protein punch, without the preservatives, additives and other ingredients that make you say ‘huh?’

This Quinoa Chia Seed Protein Bar recipe I created really came out a winner as far as meeting my perfect protein bar criteria! Taste-wise, they are delicious, with a chewy granola-like texture and a hint of subtle sweetness. As far as cooking is concerned, these bars are incredibly simple to throw together. With 11 ingredients total (including spices), and a short 15-minute baking time, there is absolutely no reason you shouldn’t give this recipe a try, unless, of course, you are allergic to nuts, in which case I would highly recommend you stay away (I promise to come up with something different for you)!

These protein bars contain only all-natural ingredients, and are also gluten free, dairy free and can be made vegan friendly. Additionally, each bar comes in at 275 calories with 10 grams of protein and 7 grams of fiber.

Really, what more could you want in a protein bar? Healthy, filling and ultra satisfying, these protein bars will keep your energy levels high, while keeping your health on track.

Quinoa Chia Seed Protein Bars

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 8 servings

Serving Size: 1 bar

Calories per serving: 275

Fat per serving: 16g

Quinoa Chia Seed Protein Bars

Ingredients

  • 2 Tbsp. organic honey (use 100% pure maple syrup to make vegan)
  • 1/4 cup organic brown rice syrup
  • 1/2 cup raw almond butter - 28 grams protein, 16 grams fiber
  • 1/2 cup dry quinoa (I used white, but you can use any variety)
  • 1/2 cup chia seeds (I used black chia seeds, but any kind will work)
  • 2 Tbsp. ground flax seeds
  • 1/4 tsp. pink Himalayan salt
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. cardamom
  • 1 cup rolled oats (gluten free)
  • 1/2 cup raw almonds; coarsely chopped

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine quinoa, chia seeds, flax seed, rolled oats, cinnamon, salt, cardamom and chopped raw almonds. Stir to combine.
  3. In a small, microwave-safe dish, combine raw almond butter, organic brown rice syrup and honey. Stir to mix, then microwave for 1 minute to soften.
  4. Pour the wet ingredients over the dry ingredients and stir with a plastic spatula to thoroughly mix. Wet ingredients may begin to firm up, in which case you will need to use clean hands to knead the mixture together.
  5. When finished, transfer your mixture to a parchment lined baking dish (I used an 8 x 8 glass Pyrex dish), and pat down mixture with a plastic spatula to make a single, even layer.
  6. Bake on middle rack of oven for 15 minutes.
  7. When finished, remove from oven and let cool for 10 minutes.
  8. After ten minutes, remove bars from the pan by lifting up the sides of the parchment paper. Place bars on a wire rack to finish cooling.
  9. Cut finished bars with a sharp, non-serrated knife or pizza cutter 4 times horizontally and 4 times vertically to create 8 bars total.
  10. Wrap cooled bars in saran wrap and store in refrigerator until ready to eat.

Notes

Servings 8, Calories 275, Fat 16g, Carbohydrates 33g, Protein 10g, Fiber 7g, WW Pts 8

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Hi, I’m Danielle, and I am the author, photographer and recipe developer behind The Lean Clean Eating Machine. Here you will find my natural, whole food recipes that I have created for those who are looking to leave artificial foods behind, without sacrificing taste in the process.

Social Media Links:
Pinterest – http://www.pinterest.com/leancleaneats/
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Quinoa Crusted Baked Onion Rings with Spicy Dipping Sauce

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Gluten Free Quinoa Crusted Baked Onion Rings | CookingQuinoa.net
I don’t know about you, but I love fried food. What’s not to love?

Oh, yeah, fat.  I’m not a huge fan of that or how frying makes my house smell.

I can’t say that I never eat fried food, but it is the exception not the rule.  (When I do fry I am pretty picky about which oils I will use.  Coconut oil is my favorite and I stay away from GMO oils like vegetable or non-organic canola oil.)

The good news is that though you can’t replicate frying 100%, you can get pretty close with oven “frying”.

So for our Super Bowl celebration we will be enjoying these beauties.  Crispy, crunchy, quinoa crusted baked onion rings.  Football food, made healthier.

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There are just 5 day’s left to get the Winter Soups Community Cookbook for just $3.97! This book has 52 creative soup recipes from your favorite real food bloggers.

 

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Quinoa Crusted Baked Onion Rings

Rating: 51

Yield: 8 servings

Calories per serving: 269

Fat per serving: 4.2g

Quinoa Crusted Baked Onion Rings

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup toasted quinoa flour
  • 3/4 cup arrowroot powder
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt
  • 1 3/4 cups buttermilk **see vegan option
  • 2 eggs or flax eggs (2 tablespoons ground flax seeds + 6 tablespoons warm water)
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked quinoa
  • 1 1/2 cups quinoa flakes
  • Olive oil spray
  • 2 large sweet onions, sliced

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 420 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In a shallow dish combine quinoa flour, arrowroot powder, paprika, cayenne and salt. Whisk together buttermilk and eggs in a separate shallow dish.
  3. Place quinoa and quinoa flakes in a blender and pulse until crumbly. Place in a shallow dish.
  4. Dredge onion rings into the flour mixture, then dip into the buttermilk mixture. Drain excess batter and dredge into the quinoa mixture.
  5. Arrange on the prepared baking sheets in a single layer. Spray WELL with olive oil. Cook until golden brown, about 20 to 25 minutes, flipping the onion rings over about half way through and re-spraying. Serve with dipping sauce.

Notes

To make a dairy free buttermilk, Combine unsweetened milk of choice with 1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice. Allow to sit for 10 minutes and proceed with the recipe. Servings 8, Calories 269, Fat 4.2g, Carbohydrates 46.6g, Protein 8.8g, Cholesterol 43mg, Sodium 777mg, Fiber 3.9g, Sugars 5.8g, WW Pts 7

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Spicy Dipping Sauce

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup Greek Yogurt or Vegan Sour Cream
  • 1 tablespoon gluten free ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons prepared horseradish (to taste)
  • 1 tablespoon finely minced chives
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Instructions

  1. Combine all ingredients in a small bowl. Refrigerate until serving.
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Quinoa Nachos

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So now that I’m officially a year older, I’ve been thinking a lot about things I can do to slow down the aging process. Not that I want to be 30 again – because to be honest I like where I’m at. I just want to feel better, look better and stay energetic for the next 42 years. (Or more! My Great Grandmother lived to 102 and lived by herself and drove into her late 90′s.)

Obviously diet is a key factor in aging. Truth be told, since Skye was born, I’ve been having a weird relationship with food. I’ve talked a bit about her sensitive digestive system. She’s very gluten and soy intolerant, neither of which where a big deal for me. What did rock my world was the fact that she doesn’t tolerate beans well and also took exception to my kale chip obsession and any major greens intake.

To me, these are two things that I just don’t want to live without. Now I get the whole Paleo thing about beans – should we really be eating something that can cause so much, um disturbance, in our digestive systems? Is this our bodies way of telling us something is wrong?

I’m not a nutritionist, so I can’t answer that question, but I do know that without beans and greens in my diet those first three months, I became very run down. Anemic. (At one point I counted over 100 bruises.) My B12 deficiency became evident by my moods if I went too long between shots. Some days I’d be a hormonal mess and hubby would just look at me blankly and say “time for a shot!” (Though in fairness since B12 isn’t found in plant based foods, this was most likely due to the drain of breastfeeding, pregnancy after 40, etc.)

I started craving things that I don’t even like and getting a very strong feeling that I should be adding more healthy fats to my diet. (But what is a healthy fat? Obviously walnuts and avocados are good. One book says olive oil is great, the next says it is poison!)

Now that I’m able to get back to eating like myself a bit more, I’m feeling that I really need to step my diet up a bit to get my energy levels back up. Problem is, there is so much confusing information out there, it’s pretty hard to know just what healthy is anymore. Does anyone else get completely frustrated when they read two books from completely different view points, both backed by completely different “science” and coming to completely different conclusions about what healthy looks like?

Beans are necessary for health. Beans are the devil. Eat your veggies. Too many veggies are cause gastric distress. Include as many (gluten free) whole grains in your diet as you can. All whole grains are evil. Vegan. Vegetarian. Paleo. (No quinoa! That can’t be good!) Weston Price.

I could go on, but I think you get my point.

Ultimately, I think we all have to figure out what works best for us at a given point in our lives and that is what I’m working on now.

I’d love to hear what works for you.

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In the mean time, I’m really excited to have Lee here from Fit Foodie Finds, sharing a recipe that you guys are going to love. I’m not sure it get’s much better than this. Guilt free, healthy and delicious! Talk about the perfect football food! I feel so lucky to have connected with her this week because although I am decades older than she is, we are kindred spirits. She is a self employed entrepreneur, doing what she loves as a career and making things happen. Like me, she is committed to living an uncommon life. I so admire someone who figures out what they want at an early age and having the gumption to make it work. Make sure you check out her website!
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Quinoa Nachos

Rating: 51

Yield: 8 servings

Calories per serving: 181

Fat per serving: 2.4g

Quinoa Nachos

Ingredients

  • Quinoa Salsa
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa (~1/2 cup dry quinoa + 1 cup water )
  • 3 large tomatoes, diced
  • 1/3 red onion, finely diced
  • 1 can sweet yellow corn
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1t salt
  • 1/2 lime (juice)
  • optional: 2-3 tablespoons finely diced jalapeño
  • optional: 1 can black beans
  • Baked Corn Tortilla Chips
  • 8 corn tortillas
  • nonstick cooking spray
  • garlic salt, to taste
  • salt, to taste

Instructions

  1. Quinoa Salsa
  2. Begin by cooking quinoa. In a medium size pot, bring 1 cup water and 1/2 cup quinoa to a rolling boil. Then, turn down to simmer and cover for about 15 minutes or until all of the water is evaporated. Transfer quinoa into a tupperware and place in refrigerator to cool.
  3. Next, prepare veggies. Finley dice tomatoes and onion and mix together in a large bowl. Then, chop fresh cilantro and add to mixture along with a can of corn. Once the quinoa has cooled, add into mixture and give a final mix.
  4. Season with salt and lime juice.
  5. Baked Corn Tortilla Chips
  6. Preheat oven to Broil. Then, spray a baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
  7. Next, using a pizza cutter, slice mini tortillas into 6 different pieces each. Then, arrange them on 2. the baking sheet so that they are not touching.
  8. Next, lightly spray chips with nonstick cooking spray and sprinkle on garlic salt and/or normal salt to your preference.
  9. Broil the first side for about 2-3 minutes watching it very closely. Once it begins to turn brown, remove from oven, flip, and put back in for an additional 1.5 - 2 minutes. Again, make sure you keep a close eye on them so that they don't burn!
  10. To serve
  11. Serve the chips with the salsa. Top with cheese if desired and enjoy!

Notes

Servings 8, Calories 181, Fat 2.4g, Carbohydrates 36.3g, Protein 6.2g, Cholesterol 0mg, Sodium 326mg, Fiber 5g, Sugars 3.7g, WW Pts 5

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leahLee Hersh is the founder, recipe creator, and photographer behind Fit Foodie Finds, a blog devoted to healthy living through nourishing recipes and occasional (and necessary) indulgences.

 

FFF Facebook: Facebook.com/fitfoodiefinds

FFF Twitter: Twitter.com/fitfoodie_lee

FFF Instagram: Instagram.com/FitFoodie_Lee

 

Copycat Mary’s Gone Crackers

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Although I do my best to try to avoid all things packaged, I will confess that since going gluten free, I’ve been on the hunt for a gluten free cracker that didn’t disappoint.  I do love my hummus! Sometimes a girl just needs to dip and there are few things worse than a cracker that tastes like cardboard.  One of the better brand’s I’ve tried is Mary’s Gone Crackers, which though tasty are quite expensive.  And then there is the whole comes in a box thing.

I’m really excited to have Melissa from My Whole Food Life here today sharing her amazing recipe for Copycat Mary’s Gone Crackers.  I ran across her website a little while ago and instantly fell in love.  Like me, she’s a busy mom trying to raise her kid’s without the “help” of processed food.  It isn’t easy folks but she’s doing it with two small children and is an inspiration to all of us mommies out there!

Be sure to stop by her site and say hi!  You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

~~

 

When you decide to eat a diet of just wholesome foods, it’s hard to find a cracker that fits the criteria.  It was quite disappointing to read labels and find most crackers contained added sugar or highly processed grains.  I also wanted to find a healthy cracker that my picky toddlers would eat.  I finally found a good one in Mary’s Gone Crackers.  They are organic, vegan, gluten free and non GMO verified.  I love them and so do my kids, but at $4 a box, they can be quite pricey.  Since we go through them so fast, I thought I would try making them myself.  They came out really good!

They are pretty easy to make and you can add in your own ingredients to customize your favorite flavors.  It’s also a great recipe to do with your kids.  Not really a lot of messy ingredients or measuring.  I find when I get my kids involved in the prep work, they are more likely to eat the food.

For starters, I just did a multi-seed cracker.  I really love their herb flavor, so that will be my next batch.  I also threw some chia seeds because they are so good for you.  I try to toss them in everything from baked goods to smoothies and in between.  To help keep costs down, I bought all of the ingredients out of the bulk bins at Whole Foods.  Here is my recipe.

Copycat Mary’s Gone Crackers

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 37 minutes

Total Time: 52 minutes

Yield: 30 crackers

Copycat Mary’s Gone Crackers

Ingredients

  • 1 cup cooked brown rice
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1/4 cup sesame seeds
  • 1/4 cup flax seeds
  • 1/4 cup chia seeds
  • salt to taste
  • optional herbs: thyme, oregano, sage, basil or parsley

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. In a food processor, combine the quinoa and rice into a mushy consistency. Add in all the seeds and salt with a bit of water and pulse until you have a mushy ball. Get out a sheet of parchment paper about the size of a baking sheet and lay it on the counter. Take half of the mixture and place it on the parchment. Using a rolling pin and some plastic wrap, roll out the mixture, putting the plastic wrap between the rolling pin and the mixture. That way, you can roll it out without it getting stuck. Roll as thin as possible and then transfer the parchment and rolled mixture onto a baking sheet. Repeat the same steps with the second half.
  3. Bake in the oven for about 15 minutes. Pull them out and carefully flip them and bake for another 12 minutes. When they are done, carefully break them into bite sized pieces and bake for an additional 10 minutes or until the pieces are crispy. I got about 25 – 30 crackers out of my batch. They should keep for a week or so. Enjoy!
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Melissa King is a married mom of two raising her kids on almost no processed foods.  She started the blog in hopes to inspire others to live a healthier life.

Facebook:  www.facebook.com/mywholefoodlife

Twitter:  www.twitter.com/mywholefoodlife

Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/mywholefoodlife

Chocolate Chip Quinoa Energy Bars

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I am officially panicked.

Not because I’m nervous about childbirth.  (I’m naturally apprehensive, but I wouldn’t call it panicked.)

And not because I’m not ready.  (Because I have everything and am as ready as I’m going to get.)

My issue is that my Midwife is going out of town right after my due date and so this baby NEEDS to be born in the next couple of weeks unless I want someone I’ve never met to be delivering her.

This is something I knew going into it.  Being location independent I’ve been in the care of three different Midwife’s in three different cities during this pregnancy.  And I knew when I transferred into my current Midwife’s care that she had I pre-scheduled vacation and that her stand in would attend the delivery if she wasn’t able to be there.

At the time, it didn’t seem like a big deal.  After all, I didn’t know her at that point and didn’t realize how much comfort her experience and the fact that she has had 8 children of her own was going to give me.

And, I assumed since both of my boys were born at 38 weeks that there was no way that my third child would dare go over.

And she may not.  She may be born at 38 weeks.  But the slightly neurotic part of me is freaking out about this as I reach the 38 week mark.  Nothing like pressure…

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I’m smart enough to know that babies come when they come and their isn’t much I can do about it. Other than drive everyone crazy, take my supplements, make the boys laugh hysterically by bouncing on my birth ball  and kid myself that what I eat is going to make a difference.  (Lunch today – a pineapple!  Dinner – Eggplant Parm and a Salad with Balsamic Vinegar!)

Oh, and make labor snacks!  Gotta have good snacks right?

These bars are easy to make, healthy and yummy!  Feel free to use whatever sugar combo you want and play around with the ingredients.  It’s a pretty easy basis for bars and I don’t think you can go wrong.

Until next time…

Chocolate Chip Quinoa Energy Bars

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: PT2H15 (including rest time)

Yield: 16 bars

Serving Size: 1 bar

Calories per serving: 214

Fat per serving: 11

Chocolate Chip Quinoa Energy Bars

Ingredients

  • 1 cup almonds, chopped
  • 1 cup Quinoa Flakes (or rolled oats)
  • ¼ cup sesame seeds
  • ¼ cup hemp seeds (or sunflower seeds)
  • ¼ cup chia seeds or ground flaxseeds
  • ½ cup honey or maple syrup
  • ½ cup coconut palm sugar or sugar of choice
  • ¼ cup coconut oil
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 cups millet puffs, Quinoa Puffs or puffed rice cereal
  • ½ cup chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Line and 8 inch square baking dish with parchment paper, allowing the paper to extent over the side. Set aside.
  3. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Spread almonds, quinoa flakes, sesame seeds, hemp seeds and chia or flax seeds on the baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl.
  4. Meanwhile, place honey or maple syrup, coconut palm sugar, coconut oil and sea salt in a saucepan. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Cook for about 5 minutes, or until thickened. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Allow to cool slightly.
  5. Pour sugar mixture over the quinoa flakes and stir in millet puffs and chocolate chips. Stir well and pour into prepared baking dish in an even layer. Place a piece of parchment paper on top of the mixture and press down to flatten. Let stand at room temperature for 2 hours.
  6. Invert from pan and cut into 16 bars.

Notes

Servings 16, Calories 214, Fat 11g, Carbohydrates 25.8g, Protein 4.3g, Cholesterol 1mg, Sodium 78mg, Fiber 2.7g, Sugars 16.6g, WW Pts 6

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Onion Quinoa Bites

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Eating right while I’ve been pregnant has been more challenging that I’d expected.  In the beginning, I had visions of eating perfectly and gaining maybe 15 pounds.

Let’s just say that that plan didn’t work out.

I’ve done pretty well.  Unless you count the chocolate covered almonds.  Or the ice cream.  Or the pounds of pasta I’ve consumed.  And pizza.  Let’s just not talk about the pizza, ok?

Lately cooking has been the last thing I want to do – which is more than a little inconvenient when you run a food blog.

Over the weekend I was trying to get myself motivated to cook for the website.   I knew I had to come up with something I would love or it just wasn’t going to happen.  Ignoring the (literally) 62 quinoa salad recipes sitting on my hard drive, I decided to make these little bite sized beauties and dip them in a  little bit of creamy garlic heaven.

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Now I’m all about feeding the family healthy, but desperate times and all that. I may or may not have kept most of these to myself. Hubby got some for dinner the night I made them…and then they magically disappeared.

Who knew that quinoa could be a sneak-worthy late night snack? (Which by the way, doesn’t count. Pregnancy rules.)

To me, these tasted like little hash brown bites, even though there was no potatoes in them. (Though I like that thought….)   I ended up salting them a bit more after they cooked, which I’m sure was just fabulous for my swollen ankles.

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Hubby thought I could have added a lot more cheese to them, which made me wonder which one of us was expecting. Though, now that I have the idea, maybe Cheesy Quinoa Bites will be coming soon….  :)

Onion Quinoa Bites

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 25 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 35 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

Calories per serving: 274

Fat per serving: 7.8g

Onion Quinoa Bites

Ingredients

  • 2 cups cooked quinoa
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • ¼ cup cheddar cheese or Daiya (optional)
  • ¼ cup chopped chives
  • ¾ cup quinoa flour (I prefer toasted – or flour of choice)
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 eggs or flax eggs (2 tablespoons ground flax seeds + 6 tablespoons warm water)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • Coconut or organic canola oil, for cooking

Instructions

  1. If using flax eggs, combine ground flax seeds with warm water and mix well. Set aside to thicken. (Skip this step if you are using eggs.)
  2. In a medium bowl combine quinoa, cheese, onion and chives. Add flour, cayenne pepper and sea salt. Toss until coated.
  3. Beat eggs and lemon juice together. Combine with quinoa mixture and mix well.
  4. Form into small balls and refrigerate for 15 minutes.
  5. Heat a large skillet to medium heat and coat well with oil. (Make sure you allow your skillet to get warm before adding quinoa) Cook for 5 to 7 minutes per side or until brown.

Notes

Servings 4, Calories 274, Fat 7.8g, Carbohydrates 38.4g, Protein 11.9g, Cholesterol 89mg, Sodium 549mg, Fiber 4.3g, Sugars 2.7g, WW Pts 6

To make the dipping sauce combine 1/2 cup Greek yogurt or vegan sour cream with 2 teaspoons minced garlic (more or less to taste), 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives, 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper and 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional). Mix well and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Never toasted quinoa flour? It’s really simple but completely optional. I do it because I love the nutty and less earthy taste that it brings out. All you need to do is line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spread the flour out to about 1/4 inch deep. (I do a box at a time.) Bake on 220 degrees for 2 1/2 hours. Allow to cool completely and then store in a sealed container in the refrigerator or freezer.

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This post is featured in Slightly Indulgent Tuesday – make sure you check out all the other great recipes!

Quinoa Baked Zucchini Chips with Sriracha Dipping Sauce

BakedZucchiniChips2

BakedZucchiniChips2

I’ve never been one for Pro Football (I’m an SEC girl) but that doesn’t stop me from enjoying the Super Bowl.

For me, its all about the food that I enjoy while watching with amazement at what advertisers will spend $4 million dollars on.

I love appetizers so naturally I adore football food!

I am a sucker for anything oooy, gooey and cheesy, but through the years I’ve learned a bit about balance.  This year I’ll be enjoying my old favorites  (hello spinach dip!), but I’m also adding in a few healthier menu options.

Among them, these  Gluten Free Quinoa Baked Zucchini Chips.

Where I am, I can get organic zucchini year around.   Really though,  any vegetable that can be thinly sliced would work with this breading – squash, potatoes….the options are pretty limitless.

What I love is the crispy crunchy fried food feeling, without the being fried part.

Good for me, good for baby and BAD for my likeness to Orange Bird.  SCORE.

 

Quinoa Baked Zucchini Chips with Sriracha Dipping Sauce

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes

Yield: 6 servings

Calories per serving: 212

Fat per serving: 8.3g

Quinoa Baked Zucchini Chips with Sriracha Dipping Sauce

Ingredients

  • 1 large zucchini, sliced into ¼ inch thick rounds
  • 2/3 cup almond milk (or milk of choice)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • ½ cup toasted Quinoa Flour (see note)
  • ¾ cup Quinoa Flakes
  • ½ cup crumbled rice crackers OR panko breadrumbs
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
  • Olive oil spray
  • Sriracha Dipping Sauce
  • 1/3 cup tofu mayo or Greek Yogurt
  • 1 – 3 teaspoons Siracha (to taste)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 3 cloves minced garlic

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425. Place a wire rack on top of a baking sheet.
  2. Combine almond milk and lemon juice and set aside.
  3. Place quinoa flour, quinoa flakes, rice crackers, garlic powder, onion powder, smoked paprika, sea salt and black pepper in a food processor. Pulse until smooth.
  4. Dredge zucchini wedges in quinoa and cracker mixture. (Only a little bit will stick) Dip in milk mixture and then recoat with the quinoa mixture. Spray or brush with olive oil. Place on wire rack and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until golden brown. If desired, serve with Sriracha Dipping Sauce
  5. For the dipping sauce: Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and mix until well combined. Store in the refrigerator until chilled.

Notes

Servings 6, Calories 212, Fat 8.3g, Carbohydrates 29g, Protein 6.3g, Cholesterol 1mg, Sodium 173mg, Fiber 3.1g, Sugars 3.7g, WW Points 6

Never toasted quinoa flour? It’s really simple but completely optional. I do it because I love the nutty and less earthy taste that it brings out. All you need to do is line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spread the flour out to about 1/4 inch deep. (I do a box at a time.) Bake on 220 degrees for 2 1/2 hours. Allow to cool completely and then store in a sealed container in the refrigerator or freezer.

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Other great casual party options:

 

Soft Quinoa Pretzel Bites

Veggie & Quinoa Burritos

Sweet & Salty Snack Mix

Goat Cheese Won Tons

Crispy Southwestern Quinoa & Chicken Burritos

Quinoa-Flax Chocolate Chip Cookies

QuinoaFlaxChocolateChipCookies

QuinoaFlaxChocolateChipCookies3
One of the craziest things about being a parent is seeing myself in my boys.

Just this morning, I was working with Alex on his math. He’s just started multiplication and somehow just “gets” that, but he still struggles when trying to add three four digit numbers. It’s not the addition he has a problem with. It’s staying interested and focused for the time it takes him to add three numbers together, remember to carry and repeat the process three times. He knows exactly what he’s supposed to do, but doing it is another story.

As easy as it would be to get frustrated with him, I just can’t.  He’s so much like me,  things that are detailed or tedious easily overwhelm him.  His “I can’t do it”  really means “I just don’t want to so I’m tuning out right now.”

When we do them together everything is just fine and he doesn’t miss a trick.  Of course, doing math with me isn’t the goal. (Not to mention I was having a hard time staying focused after a few problems.)  So what’s a mom to do?

Yep, you got it.  Bribery.

“Hey, how about you finish this page by yourself and I’ll get out everything we need to bake cookies?”

Worked like a charm.  He was suddenly laser focused and miraculously his understanding of simple addition multiplied.

Now I know the bribery thing is  less than ideal.  But try not to judge me for a minute and focus on the fact that I now have these wonderful cookies to share with you.

 


They are perfect for Alex because he likes chocolate but doesn’t like a lot of it. If you are looking for a cookie that is packed with chocolate chips, just increase the chocolate chips to 1 1/2 cups. Also, these would be lovely with nuts (but he has a peanut allergy and refuses all other nuts) so feel free to throw a 1/2 cup of pecans, walnuts or whatever floats your boat in. (I personally think everything is better with nuts!)

Quinoa-Flax Chocolate Chip Cookies

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 25 minutes

Yield: 30 cookies

Serving Size: 1 cookie

Calories per serving: 150

Fat per serving: 6.2g

Quinoa-Flax Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cups gluten free quinoa flour blend OR 1 cup all purpose flour + ½ cup quinoa flour
  • 1 cup Quinoa Flakes (oats will work too)
  • ¼ cup ground flaxseed
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 stick unsalted butter or 1/2 cup coconut oil, softened
  • 1/2 cup applesauce
  • 1 cup coconut palm sugar (or sugar of choice)
  • ½ cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs OR flax eggs
  • 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • Gluten Free Quinoa Flour Blend
  • 1 1/2 cups sorghum flour
  • 1 1/2 cups toasted quinoa flour
  • 1 1/2 cups corn or potato starch
  • 1 1/2 cups tapioca starch/flour
  • 3 teaspoons xanthan gum

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. If using flax eggs, combine 2 tablespoons ground flax seeds with 6 tablespoons warm water. Mix well and set aside. (Skip this step if using eggs.)
  3. In a medium bowl combine flours, quinoa flakes, flaxseed, baking soda, sea salt and ground cinnamon.
  4. Beat together the butter, applesauce, and sugars on medium high speed until fluffy, about 3 or 4 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, ensuring the first is fully incorporated before adding the next. Add vanilla and reduce the speed to low. Add in flour and beat until just combined. Stir in chocolate chips.
  5. Drop in spoonfuls onto prepared baking sheets. Bake for 9 to 11 minutes. Let the cookies cook for 4 minutes on the baking sheets and then transfer to racks to cool completely.
  6. For the flour blend: Mix together all ingredients in a large container and store in the refrigerator.

Notes

Yield: 30 Cookies, Serving 1 cookie, Calories 150, Fat 6.2g, Carbohydrates 21.7g, Protein 2.1g, Cholesterol 21mg, Sodium 145mg, Fiber 1.5g, Sugars 13.1g, WW Pts 4

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Soft Quinoa Pretzel Bites

softpretzels2

softpretzels2These days, every minute I spend with my boys seems special.

Maybe it is part of being an older mom or maybe its just part of being a mom period, but at every age I’ve though “It doesn’t get any better than this.”

I have truly always enjoyed them, but I’m not sure there has ever been a time when that was more true than right now.

At almost 7 and almost 8, they are the perfect blend of still little enough to still think I rock and grown up enough to be more fun than work.  We laugh, have long conversations and just hang out together.  Not a day goes by that I’m not awed by Christian’s intelligent questions and Alex’s sheer competence with pretty much everything.  Really, watching them slowly turn from little boys to just boys is the most amazing thing.

You know what else is amazing?  Their enthusiasm.  For the last two years I’ve said this Christmas is the one, but this one really is.  Their enthusiasm is so infectious and it is hard not to get caught up in it!  My parents will be here Saturday which will pretty much kick off two weeks of celebrating.

In the mean time….I have a birthday to plan for!

Alex turns 8 next Tuesday.   It is hard to believe.

(Even stranger is that I though I was really old to be having a baby when I was pregnant with him and now eight years later here I am expecting another.  But that is a whole other story…)

As picky as he is, Alex is still a little foodie at heart.  He loves to watch Chopped and Iron Chef with me, and is already dreaming up recipes.  True to his foodie status, he has requested not one but two birthday desserts.

The first, a Salted Caramel Ice Cream Cone Cake from Food Network.

And the second, Red Velvet Cup Cakes with White Chocolate Filling.

This little guy doesn’t make things easy on his Mama does he?

I love that he knows what he wants and though my talents lie elsewhere in the kitchen, I’m really looking forward to the challenge of putting these together for him.  It’s the first time he’s gone through all my clipped recipes and found exactly what he wants for his birthday.  My little boy is growing up! (Sniff, sniff…)

Speaking of challenges in the kitchen, I have a confession.

I get really weird about cooking certain things.  (Remember my asparagus phobia?)  It’s really pretty embarrassing, all things considered.

I’ve had this recipe for Soft Quinoa Pretzel Bites written for over 6 months, and it has been on my to do list each week for that time.  Somehow, it never got made.

Breads I can do.  But I’ve always gotten nervous about things like pretzels and bagels.  (I’m still recovering from my failed bagel attempt in 1998.)

 

Whatever the reason, I was chicken and it was so silly!

These were easy to make and so delicious.  The boiling part is absolutely no big deal – it’s as simple as boiling pasta.

And….drum roll please….BOTH BOYS LIKED THEM! A LOT! (As in asking for them the next day.)

The ones you see here are gluten free, but I’ve included a flour substitution for those of you who aren’t. If you do make them gluten free, make sure you serve them warm. Like most gluten free goodies, these are worth the extra effort to re-heat!

Soft Quinoa Pretzel Bites

Rating: 51

Yield: 16 servings

Calories per serving: 183

Fat per serving: 5.9g

Soft Quinoa Pretzel Bites

Ingredients

  • 1 3/4 cups warm water (110 to 115 degrees)
  • 1 tablespoon coconut palm sugar (or sugar of choice)
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 3 cups all purpose or gluten free flour blend *see note
  • 1 1/2 cup toasted quinoa flour (see note)
  • 2 ounces coconut oil, melted
  • 10 cups water
  • 2/3 cups baking soda
  • 2 tablespoons Earth Balance (or butter of choice), melted
  • Pretzel or Kosher Salt

Instructions

  1. In a small bowl combine warm water, yeast and sugar. Stir gently until combined and set aside for 5 to proof.
  2. In combine salt and flours in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix until well combined. If using all purpose flour switch to the dough hook. (no need for gluten free flour) And add in yeast mixture and oil. Mix on low until combined and then increase speed to high and mix for 4 minutes. Remove from bowl and place into a well oiled bowl. Cover and place in a warm place for 50 to 55 minutes.
  3. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper.
  4. Bring 10 cups of water and baking soda to a boil in a wide saucepan or roasting pan.
  5. Turn the dough out on an oiled work surface and divide into 8 pieces. Roll each piece into a 24 inch rope and slice each rope into 1 – inch pieces. Place a lightly damp towel over the dough to prevent drying out.
  6. Using a slotted spoon lower pretzels into boiling water and boil for 30 seconds, flipping them over a couple of times. Remove pretzels from the water and place them on prepared baking sheets. Brush each pretzel with the melted butter and sprinkle with salt. Bake for 12 to 14 minutes, until dark golden brown. Serve warm, brushing with additional butter if desired.
  7. If using gluten free flour blend, ensure that you use one with xanthan gum. If yours does not have it, add 2 1/2 teaspoons of xanthan gum to your flour mixture.

Notes

Servings 16, Calories 183, Fat 5.9g, Carbohydrates 27.5g, Protein 4.2g, Cholesterol 0mg, Sodium 2772mg, Fiber 1.6g, Sugars 1g

Never toasted quinoa flour? It’s really simple but completely optional. I do it because I love the nutty and less earthy taste that it brings out. All you need to do is line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spread the flour out to about 1/4 inch deep. (I do a box at a time.) Bake on 220 degrees for 2 1/2 hours. Allow to cool completely and then store in a sealed container in the refrigerator or freezer.

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Chewy Quinoa & Granola Bars

chewyquinoagranolabars2

chewyquinoagranolabars2How was your Thanksgiving?

Mine was very relaxing.  It was just hubby, the boys and I this year and to be honest, I didn’t even cook.

I made something the day ahead for lunch and instead we spent the day hanging out by the pool, reading and just enjoying being together.  I caught up on my recorded Food Network shows and watched a little HGTV.  Hardly the traditional Thanksgiving but it was exactly what I needed this year!

I’m hoping my parents will pay us a visit for Christmas and I plan on doing a lot more cooking then.  My dad is always such a big help with the dishes, which is the ultimate motivator to do a lot of cooking.

Today I’ve got another easy recipe for you! Like the Quinoa Corn Muffins that a posted a couple of days ago, these bars come together really quickly. (Assuming you are starting with cooked quinoa and a pre-mixed gluten free flour blend.)  T0 me they are 1/2 granola bars and 1/2 cookies, a sort of hybrid that went over very well in our house.

Next time I make these for the boys I think I’ll try adding in some chocolate chips and using 1/2 cup of applesauce and 1/2 cup of the palm sugar.  They were plenty sweet and I think that cutting back on the sugar wouldn’t compromise the taste.

Recipe inspired by Cooking Light.

Chewy Quinoa & Granola Bars

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes

Yield: 12

Serving Size: 1 bar

Calories per serving: 216

Fat per serving: 9.5g

Chewy Quinoa & Granola Bars

Ingredients

  • ½ cup gluten free flour blend OR all purpose flour * see note
  • ½ cup toasted quinoa flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup coconut palm sugar
  • ¼ cup applesauce
  • ¼ cup melted and slightly cooled coconut oil (or organic canola)
  • 2 tablespoons almond milk or milk of choice
  • 2 flax eggs (2T ground flax + 6T warm water) OR 2 eggs
  • ¾ cup cooked quinoa
  • 1 cup granola
  • ½ cup dried cranberries, cherries or apricots
  • ½ cup flaked coconut

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 13 x 9 pan with parchment paper. Spray with olive or organic canola oil.
  2. If using flax eggs in place of eggs, mix together 2 tablespoons ground flax seeds and 6 tablespoons warm water. Set aside.
  3. In a small bowl, sift together flours, baking powder and salt.
  4. In a large bowl mix coconut palm sugar, applesauce, coconut oil, almond milk and (flax) eggs. Beat with a mixer at high speed. Reduce speed to low and add flour mixture. Process until well combined and fold in quinoa, granola and cranberries. Transfer to prepared pan and sprinkle with coconut. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes. Cool completely on a wire rack and cut into squares or rectangles.

Notes

Calories 216, Fat 9.5g, Carbohydrates 29.6g, Protein 4.1g, Cholesterol 0mg, Sodium 138mg, Fiber 2.2g, Sugars 12.6g

Note: You do want to make sure the gluten free blend you are using has xanthan gum in it. If it doesn't, add 1/2 teaspoon to the flours when sifting.

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Breadsticks (with Quinoa Flour!)

QuinoaBreadsticks

QuinoaBreadsticksI love bread.  I really, really love bread.

While I certainly admire people who can pass on the bread basket in favor of a slimmer waistline, that just isn’t me.  I’d sooner pass on dessert than skip the bread.

Since going gluten free, I must admit that my bread cravings have been fairly extreme.  I’ve spent more money than I care to admit on sub-par bread at $7 a loaf.

It’s not that I’m lazy.  It’s just that if I am going to take the time to bake, I really want it to work.  Who else has a string of gluten free baking fails under their belt?

One book that has helped me tremendously is Gluten-Free Makeovers.

For those of you who are vegan, you should know that  it’s not a vegan book, but many of the recipes have adaptations.  I’ve also had a lot of success adapting even those that don’t.  The flour tortillas are without a doubt the best I’ve tried.  And these bread sticks, which I’ve adapted to use quinoa flour, are pretty darn good.

No, they aren’t the Olive Garden but they are a heck of a lot healthier and wonderful dipped in a side of marinara or oil and vinegar.  As a girl who is all about the dipping, I gotta love recipes that fill this need.

 

Though I haven’t tried it, I’m quite sure that this recipe would work just fine with all purpose flour if you aren’t gluten free and don’t want to stock up your kitchen with 101 new flours.  (And really, who can blame you?)  Just use 2 cups of all purpose flour and 1/2 cup toasted quinoa flour.

Never toasted quinoa flour?  It’s really simple but completely optional.  I do it because I love the nutty and less earthy taste that it brings out.  All you need to do is line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spread the flour out to about 1/4 inch deep.  (I do a box at a time.) Bake on 220 degrees for 90 minutes.  Allow to cool completely and then store in a sealed container in the refrigerator or freezer.

Breadsticks with Quinoa Flour

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 35 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 55 minutes

Yield: 30 breadsticks

Serving Size: 1 breadstick

Calories per serving: 77

Fat per serving: 1.2g

Breadsticks with Quinoa Flour

Recipe adapted from Gluten-Free Makeovers

Ingredients

  • 2 ½ cups bread flour mix (see below)
  • ½ cup chickpea flour
  • 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
  • 1 teaspoon xanthan gum
  • 1 tablespoon coconut palm sugar
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder (Or Ener-G Egg Replacer)
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 ½ cups warm water (about 110 degrees)
  • 2 tablespoons organic canola oil
  • 2 tablespoons agave nectar or liquid sweetener of choic
  • 1 teaspoon cider vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons almond milk, or milk of choice
  • Toppings: sesame seeds, coarse salt, poppy seeds, dehydrated garlic

Instructions

  1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Fit your stand mixer with the paddle attachment (You may also use a hand mixer with beaters) and combine flour blend, chickpea flour, yeast, xnthan gum, sugar, and baking powder or Egg replacer and salt.
  3. In a separate bowl combine water, canola oil, agave nectar and vinegar. Add to the try ingredients and beat on low until combined and then increase to medium and beat for 3 minutes.
  4. Preheat oven to 375
  5. Shape the dough into 8- to 10- inch sticks and place on baking sheet, about an inch apart. Cover and let rise for 20 minutes.
  6. Brush the sticks with milk and sprinkle with toppings. (We liked them best with salt + one additional topping.)
  7. Bake for 18 to 25 minutes, until golden brown. Cool and store in a plastic bag. Eat within 2 days or freeze.

Notes

Calories 77, Fat 1.2g, Carbohydrates 14.4g, Protein 1.7g, Cholesterol 0mg, Sodium 33mg, Fiber .7g, Sugars 1.9g

All Purpose Gluten Free Bread Flour Mix: 1 1/4 cups brown rice flour
1 cup sorghum flour 3/4 cup quinoa flour (toasted is best - 220 degrees, 90 minutes) 3/4 cup tapioca starch 3 teaspoons xanthan gum 1 teaspoon salt

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This recipe is featured in Gluten Free Fridays , Wellness Weekends, Healthy Vegan Fridays, This Weeks Cravings

Chocolate Chip Banana Quinoa Bread

chocolatechipbananabread2

chocolatechipbananabread2This recipe is one that I never intended to share with you, but it was so good that I just can’t resist.

It started with what was supposed to be a learning experience for me – cooking from my new cookbook, the The Allergy-Free Cook Bakes Bread.

Of course, I’m not one to cook straight out of a cookbook, so has I was preparing the recipe I made a couple of changes.  Notably, I added quinoa flour (duh!), used maple syrup instead of agave nectar  and used coconut oil instead of canola oil.  Nothing too major.

We were headed out to the Science center, and I offered my youngest son a slice as a snack before we went.  He liked it and asked for seconds.  Recognizing his enthusiasm, my older son – who hates bananas and has since birth – asked for a piece.  He too, said he loved it.

At this point, I was intrigued.  So I had a bite.

It was heavenly.  Some people may call this breakfast or a snack (like the boys) but to me, this was good enough for dessert. No butter needed.  Light, tender and just a little bit decadent.

Never one to keep a good thing to myself, I quickly snapped a couple of pictures of the half eaten loaf while the family was waiting in the car.  The horn honked.  I decided that in lieu of perfect photos, you’d just have to trust me that this bread is a winner.

 

 

Recipe Adapted from The Allergy-Free Cook Bakes Bread

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 50 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 10 minutes

Yield: 12 slices

Serving Size: 1 slice

Calories per serving: 197

Fat per serving: 6.4g

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

Ingredients

  • ¾ cup sorghum flour
  • ½ cup quinoa flour, preferably toasted
  • ¼ cup tapioca flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoon xanthan gum
  • 1 tablespoon flax seed meal
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ¾ cup mini chocolate chips (I used non-dairy)
  • 1 ½ cups mashed very ripe bananas (about 3 -4 )
  • ½ cup maple syrup or agave nectar
  • 3 tablespoons melted coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon cider vinegar

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Oil an 8 ½ inch loaf pan.
  2. In the bowl to your stand mixture, combine sorghum flour, quinoa flower, tapioca flour, xanthan gum, flax seed meal, baking soda, ground cinnamon and sea salt. Process until thoroughly mixed. Add the chocolate chips and mix on low until combined.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine bananas, maple syrup, coconut oil, vanilla extract and vinegar. Stir until combined and smooth. Pour over the flour mixture and process on low until just combined.
  4. Transfer the mixture to the prepared loaf pan and smooth on top, using a moist spoon if necessary. Bake for 45 to 55 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove the loaf from the pan carefully and allow to cool completely on a cooling rack prior to slicking.

Notes

Calories 197 per slice, Fat 6.4g, Carbohydrates 34.9g, Protein 2.7g, Cholesterol 0mg, Sodium 239mg, Fiber 2.3g, Sugars 16.3g

Note: I have not test this but since I know I will be asked: To make this with wheat flour use 1 cup wheat flour in place of the sorghum flour and tapioca flour. Skip the xanthan gum and cider vinegar.

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Fudgy Quinoa Brownies

Quinoa-Fudge-Brownies-Queen-of-Quinoa

Quinoa-Fudge-Brownies-Queen-of-QuinoaToday, I’ve got a real treat for you guys!  Alyssa from the QueenofQuinoa is here with us to share one of her amazing gluten free recipes!  I first ran across her website when I was searching for one of my own recipes that I wanted to make again.  I was immediately impressed by her recipes, photography and warm personality.  She excels at creative dessert recipes, and I think you will agree that we have a winner with this one!

 

I first found Wendy, and her fabulous site, on my search for inspiration in my quinoa filled kitchen. I was still new the world of blogging, slowly navigating the world of gluten-free cooking. I of course loved all things quinoa, but was feeling stuck in my same old saute ways.

Then I discovered Cooking Quinoa. What an amazing collection of recipes. I had found my inspiration and was ready to get in the kitchen.

Now that I’ve found my groove with my lovely little quinoa friend, I’m not afraid to experiment. Whether its desserts, sushi or a salad, quinoa can be the star of any dish.

Even in a fudgy chocolate brownie.

This recipe was an accidental success. Don’t you love when that happens? I was craving chocolate. Like rich, dark chocolate. But a healthy chocolate. Hold the sugar. Hold the dairy. Hold the gluten. Most people would say, “Hold all the good stuff”.

So I added some good stuff. The best stuff. Quinoa.

Quinoa and chocolate. Why not try a brownie? The result is downright sinful. Moist and tender, but with the feeling of a light-richness. Whipped up with natural sweetness, this brownie is simply decadent.

Fudgy Quinoa Brownies

Rating: 51

Fudgy Quinoa Brownies

Ingredients

  • 3 oz raw carob chips (or unsweetened chocolate)
  • ¼ cup coconut oil
  • ½ cup millet flour
  • ¼ cup raw cocoa powder (regular would work too)
  • ½ teaspoon guar gum (or xanthan gum)
  • ½ cup coconut sugar (brown sugar or cane sugar can be used)
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 large eggs, beaten *see note
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ½ cup cooked quinoa
  • ½ cup almond milk (or milk of your choice)

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and line a 6” x 6” baking dish with parchment paper.
  2. Whisk the dry ingredients + ½ teaspoon stevia (minus the quinoa) in a medium mixing bowl.
  3. In a small microwave safe bowl, melt the carob chips and coconut oil.
  4. Beat the eggs in a second small bowl. Add the vanilla, milk and melted chocolate, mixing to combine.
  5. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until a smooth batter forms.
  6. Stir in the cooked quinoa and transfer to the baking dish.
  7. Bake in the center of a warm oven until the brownies are set, 15 - 20 minutes.
  8. Enjoy topped with non dairy whipped cream or yogurt!

Notes

Wendy's Note: In place of the eggs I would use 2 tablespoons of ground flax seeds mixed with 6 tablespoons of warm water.

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Alyssa Rimmer is the quinoa-obsessed girl behind the gluten-free blog QueenofQuinoa. Alyssa loves experimenting with nutritious and whole-food ingredients and seeks to encourage the everyday home chef that cooking and eating gluten free can not only be healthy, but also delicious and fun.

Quinoa Energy Bars

QuinoaEnergyBars2

QuinoaEnergyBars2I have a really bad habit of completely overestimating what is realistic to get done in a given day or week.

Case in point – every day I start out with a “to do” list that is two full columns in a notebook.  While I’m really good about keeping commitments I’ve made to other people, this completely unrealistic daily list means that I am almost constantly letting myself down.

Recently, we took a cross country trek and I had every intention of keeping up with posting on this site.  I even had recipes written, cooked and edited photos waiting for me.

Unfortunately, despite my best intentions,   my plans just weren’t realistic.

My boys needed me.  I had packing, unpacking, loading, shopping, laundry, cleaning…

Oh, and we ran out of gas in the middle of nowhere. Because although there was no sign, there was no gas for 100 miles.  In scorching heat. With no cell service.

And later the same day,  a flat tire.   On a Sunday.  (Did I mention we were in the middle of nowhere??)

The stress of it all got to me and I was tired beyond what I’ve felt in recent years.  (Ok, I was probably more tired when I had a newborn and a 14 month old, but mercifully that isn’t a kind of tired that you remember clearly as a mom.)

So, although I’d planned to only be away for a few days, that few days has turned into much longer.

For all of you who have emailed, left messages on Facebook or tweeted without a reply, please do accept my apologies.  I promise to do my best to get caught up.

And for those of you who were promised this quinoa energy bar recipe was coming soon over a week ago…here it is!

 

Adapted from EatingWell

Quinoa Energy Bars

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 35 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes

Yield: 12 bars

Serving Size: 1 bar

Calories per serving: 147

Fat per serving: 8.1g

Quinoa Energy Bars

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line an 8-inch square baking pan with foil and spray well with cooking spray. (Don’t try to go lightly here – I did and they stuck more than I would have liked.)
  2. In a large bowl combine cashews, brown rice cereal, quinoa flakes, pumpkin seeds, cranberries, apricots and chocolate chips. Stir until well combined. Add brown rice syrup and stir gently until combined.
  3. Transfer mixture to prepared baking dish and spread until even. Coat another piece of foil with cooking spray and place, spray side down, on top of the mixture. Place another pan on top and press down firmly to compress the mixture. Remove pan and top piece of tin foil.
  4. Place in a preheated oven and cook until the edges have turned golden – about 24 minutes for a metal pan and 35 minutes for a glass pan. Cool the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes.
  5. Remove from pan and cut into 12 pieces. Allow to cool completely before removing foil and serving.

Notes

Calories 147, Fat 8.1g, Carbohydrates 17g, Protein 3.8g, Cholesterol 1 mg, Sodium 12mg, Fiber 1, Sugars 7.8g

Note that I cut the bars into 6 squares for the photographs so yours will be smaller than mine.

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This post is featured in Wellness Weekend and Allergy Friendly Friday.

Chocolate Chip Cookies Recipe – Flourless Cookies!

chocolate-chip-quinoa-cookies

chocolate-chip-quinoa-cookies

My boys are extremely active. Case in point, yesterday we went on an hour and 20 minute hike UP a ski mountain, and they still had the energy to play outside until the rain brought them in last night. (I on the other hand, was wiped out and very happy to sit and watch them play.)

Active little boys need to eat. A lot.

And though my boys go through an unbelievable amount of fruit, they are still kids and love treats. Especially sweet treats.

But, you won’t find any packaged goodies at our house.

In the past year, I’ve stopped buying packaged snacks. Although it is a great deal of work for me, it is so worth it because I can control exactly what we are eating.

More importantly, I can control what they aren’t getting. (You won’t find any high fructose corn syrup, red dye #40 or any GMO products in my pantry.)

Fortunately I’ve found that it really isn’t that hard to create treats that they love and I feel good about. This chocolate chip cookies recipe is a perfect example. I’m not really against them having flour – as you may know I’m a bit obsessed with bread. But still, the idea of creating flourless cookies that are packed with nutrition was very appealing to me.

These are cookies that they love – and crave – and I feel really good about giving them. Plus, I love their reaction when I tell them to go grab a cookie before breakfast. :)

Chocolate Chip Cookies Recipe – Flourless Cookies!

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 24

Serving Size: 1 cookie

Calories per serving: 114

Fat per serving: 7.1 g

Chocolate Chip Cookies Recipe – Flourless Cookies!

Ingredients

  • 2 flax eggs (2 tablespoons flax seed meal combined with 6 tablespoons warm water)
  • 1 cup blanched almonds
  • 1 cup quinoa flakes
  • ¾ teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup almond butter (peanut or sunflower seed butter would work too) SEE NOTE BELOW
  • ¼ cup applesauce
  • ¼ cup maple syrup (or other liquid sweetener)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Make flax eggs by combining two tablespoons organic flax seed meal (or ground flax seeds) with 6 tablespoons warm water. Set aside to thicken.
  3. In a food processor combine almonds and quinoa flakes and process until ground. Place in a large bowl and add baking soda and salt and stir until well combined. In a separate bowl, combine flax egg, almond butter, apple sauce, maple syrup and vanilla. Mix well and add to the quinoa and almond mixture slowly. Add in chocolate chips.
  4. Using a tablespoon measure, drop cookies onto prepared parchment paper. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, until lightly golden brown. Remove from oven and allow to sit in the pan for 5 minutes. Move to a cooling rack and allow to cool completely.

Notes

114 Calories, 10.7 g carbohydrates, 2.7g protein, 7.1 g Fat, 1.6 g Saturated Fat, 1 mg Cholesterol, 117 mg Sodium, 1.3 g Fiber, 5.3 g Sugars, 3 Weight Watchers Points Plus, 3 Old Points

Note: If you do use sunflower butter, the cookies may turn green after cooling due to the chlorogenic acid. The solution is to reduce the baking soda in half. You can read more about it here: http://www.ochef.com/1267.htm

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Quinoa Granola

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There was a lot of cereal around my house when I was a kid. I have fond memories of waking up to a bowl of Special K covered in sugar and bananas. But when I was allowed to pick the cereal, my choice was always the same – granola! Now I know that probably puts me directly into the weird category (if the salad for breakfast thing hadn’t already done it!), but it is true. Even as a little girl, I wasn’t craving Frosted Flakes or Captain Crunch in the morning…I wanted granola.

quinoa granola

Quinoa Granola Ready to Bake!

Of course, it wasn’t the low fat versions that I craved. (And there certainly wasn’t any quinoa to be found!)  I’ve tried to like store bought low fat granola….really.  To this day they just don’t taste right to me.
quinoa granola

So, when a reader asked if I could come up with a quinoa granola recipe that tasted great but was low in oil, I was honestly a little hesitant to commit. Memories of trying to stomach low fat granola surfaced and I was already contemplating making just a half recipe so I didn’t get stuck eating a full batch of cardboard.

quinoa granola

Fortunately, I got brave and gave it a try. Yesterday I had a whirl wind cooking day, completing four different quinoa recipes. Five if you count the sauce I made. Surprising, this quinoa granola was so delicious, I found myself reaching for it throughout the day.  I love the little clusters, which helped make it ideal for snacking!  This is also one of the best quinoa breakfast recipes for those of you who are short on time in the morning!

quinoa granola

The boys gave their thumbs up too and enjoyed it as is as well as as a crunchy topping for yogurt!  SCORE!

 

Note:  For those of you trying to eliminate oil completely from their diets, you can skip toasting the quinoa in step two.  The texture of the quinoa won’t be quite as crunchy, but it still works.

Quinoa Granola

  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Heat olive oil over medium heat. Add quinoa and cook for 5 to 6 minutes, stirring often to avoid burning. Remove from heat and place in a large bowl immediately. Add oats, almonds, and chia seeds to the bowl. Stir in cinnamon and sea salt.
  3. In a saucepan combine coconut palm sugar, maple syrup, applesauce and water. Bring to simmer over medium and cook until sugar is melted. Stir in vanilla. The liquid mixture may seem too thin to you. Don’t worry about it – it will absorb into the quinoa mixture.
  4. Pour mixture over quinoa oat mixture and stir until well mixed. Place mixture in a single layer a cookie sheet and bake for 30 – 40 minutes, stirring and rotating positions of pan in the oven half way through. Watch it closely for the last 10 minutes – you don’t want it to get to brown but if you don’t allow it to cook long enough it will be slightly moist. Allow to cool completely before stirring.
  5. Remove from pan and place in a large bowl. Toss with cranberries and serve or store in a sealed container.

Preparation time: 15 minute(s)

Cooking time: 40 minute(s)

Number of servings (yield): 8

Serving Size: 94 g

Calories: 274

Fat: 10.7

Protein: 8.7

Carbohydrates: 38.2

Fiber: 6.9

5 :  ★★★★★ 87 review(s)

Recipe by Cooking Quinoa.

Quinoa Protein Bars

quinoa protein bars

Given the fact that it is the first of the year, I’m guessing that I’m not the only one who is placing an increased focus on health, nutrition and exercise. Although I always say that “this is the year” that I’m finally going to regain my pre-baby body, I really DO believe that this is the year. Why? For starters, I’m not going at it will an all or nothing attitude. I really think with weight loss it is very important to understand your personality. Some people (like my mom) need structure. They thrive on being told exactly what they should be eating and as long as they know what to do can follow a plan without exception. This doesn’t work for me. I need the freedom to be creative in the kitchen and I absolutely MUST have some indulgences in my diet. Even if it means I have to work out a little harder to get the results I’m looking for.

Another thing I’ve learned is that my biggest slip up in not having healthy snacks on hand. I like salad for breakfast (no judging – but I know I’m weird) and lunch is usually a wrap or some sort of quinoa salad. But given that I get up most days around 5 am and don’t eat dinner until around 7, this means that invariably I get hungry in the afternoon. Unfortunately until now this has most often meant sneaking into the boys crackers (and not stopping at just a couple) or some other mindless snack that I don’t really enjoy but always eat too much of.quinoa protein bars

Enter these quinoa protein bars. These are perfect for me because they are not too sweet, but are sweet enough to feel quite indulgent. And surprisingly, they are very filling! If you don’t have almond butter, seasame butter or peanut butter will also work well. And, for those who can’t find quinoa flakes oatmeal works too! (Although then they really aren’t quinoa protein bars :))

This is the perfect quinoa recipe to whip up on the weekend and have ready to go in your refrigerator to take along to work for an afternoon or morning snack. My mom (who tolerates sweets better than I do) also likes them for breakfast!quinoa protein bars

Adapted from Oh She Glows

Quinoa Protein Bars

 

  1. In a large bowl mix quinoa flakes, brown rice crisp, protein powder, flax seeds, cinnamon and salt.
  2. Place brown rice syrup and almond butter in a small saucepan and heat over medium heat until warm and easily stir able. Add in vanilla.
  3. Pour the liquid mixture over the dry mixture and mix well with a spoon. You may need to use your hands to get everything well combined.
  4. Line a pan with parchment paper and spread mixture out evenly, using lightly moist hands as necessary. Pour melted chocolate over mixture and spread into a very thin layer.
  5. Freeze for 10 minutes or until chocolate is set. Cut into squares and store in the refrigerator or freezer

Preparation time: 10 minute(s)

Diet type: Vegan

Number of servings (yield): 12

Calories: 204

Fat: 9.4

Protein: 8.2

Carbohydrates:  24.6g

5 :  ★★★★★ 1 review(s)

Recipe by Cooking Quinoa.

Quinoa Muffins

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When the weather (finally) starts to turn cooler, I get in the mood for baking. It’s hard to get inspired to make cookies, muffins and bread when its 100 degrees out!

This shift in my attitude makes my boys very happy.  Although they have been enjoying this cinnamon swirl bread recipe, today I decided to mix things up with these quinoa muffins.


Do forgive me if they look a little, um, blue. My 5 year old gets a little overzealous when he mixes especially when its a batter that smells as good as this one. And it did smell. Oh. So. Good.

I’ll have to say that this recipe really inspired me to do more baking with quinoa flour and I think that quinoa flour muffins are a really good introduction for anyone who hasn’t given quinoa flour a try!  Although quinoa flour smells a bit like your high school gym when it needed to be aired out, lucky this wonderful aroma goes away when it is cooked.  In its place is a slightly nutty flavor that works very well in these muffins!

What about you? What does cooler weather inspire you to do? Am I the only one with a secret fantasy to move somewhere cold and cook the winter away?

quinoa flour muffins
Recipe Inspired by Vegan Family Meals, which is one of NINE new cookbooks I got for my birthday.  :)  It’s a very beautiful book and though I haven’t cooked enough from it to give it the full thumbs up, I’m extremely impressed so far!

 

Quinoa Muffins

  • 1 cup spelt flour (see note for GF instructions)
  • 1 cup quinoa flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ¾ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¾ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 8 ounces silken tofu (such as Mori-Nu) or 8 ounces plain yogurt
  • 2/3 cup plain almond milk
  • 2/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 6 ounces fresh or frozen berries
  • 1 cup nuts, optional

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a muffin tin with paper or silicone liners.
  2. In a large bowl combine flours, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and sea salt. If using nuts add ¾ cup.
  3. In a food processor or high speed blender, combine tofu, milk, syrup, melted oil, vinegar and vanilla. Process until smooth and add to the flour mixture until blended. Add berries, but do not over mix. (Frozen berries will hold together better than fresh.)
  4. Divide into muffin cups and top with remaining nuts. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean.
  5. Transfer pan to a cooling rack and allow to cool for 10 minutes, then remove from pan.
  6. Note: To make these gluten free quinoa muffins, use ½ cup sorghum flour, ½ cup tapioca flour, ½ cup white rice flour and ½ cup quinoa flour. Proceed with the recipe as directed. Make sure that your baking powder is gluten free!

Preparation time: 10 minute(s)

Cooking time: 25 minute(s)

Diet type: Vegan

Number of servings (yield): 12

Calories: 198

Fat: 7.6

Protein: 3.7

Cholesterol
0mg

Sodium
171mg

Total Carbohydrates
29.4g

Dietary Fiber
2.6g

Sugars
11.9g

5 :  ★★★★★ 1 review(s)

 

Snack Mix with Quinoa Flakes & Oats!

snack-mix-with-quinoa-flakes-oats

One of my big goals with my boys is to feed them as much food as possible that I’ve made myself. In other words, I do my best to stay away from highly processed snack foods that have been coated with powdered junk of unknown origins. I’ll admit that I don’t always succeed, but I do try.
Sometimes it’s a compromise as in the case here. Yes, pretzels are a processed food. (Hey, at least I bought organic pretzels….) But they are better than many other options.

snack mix

And, any time I can get them calling their grandparents to tell them how excited they are to be eating oats and quinoa flakes, I feel like I’ve done a pretty good job!

This recipe has been adapted from Hearty Vegan Meals for Monster Appetites and to be honest, I’m not sure the original recipe was intended to be a snack mix. I original made the recipe as written with plans to use it in an overnight pancake recipe that is also in the book. (I did and it was fantastic!)

But then the boys saw it and got VERY excited that mom had made them a snack. All the while I’m thinking….are my boys really eating oats and cheering?

So, a snack mix it is around our house.

I’ll have to say that I even liked this – it’s the perfect combination between salty and sweet and since I removed the oil surprisingly low fat!

This recipe has been adapted from the amazing Hearty Vegan Meals for Monster Appetites, which I highly recommend – especially if you have kids or are in the process of going vegan.

Snack Mix with Quinoa Flakes & Oats!

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 16 minutes

Total Time: 21 minutes

Yield: 8

Calories per serving: 151

Fat per serving: 1.6

Snack Mix with Quinoa Flakes & Oats!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup old fashioned oats
  • 1 cup quinoa flakes
  • 4 ounces pretzels, broken into pieces
  • 3 tablespoons light brown sugar or coconut palm sugar
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons apple sauce
  • 2 tablespoons water

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl combine oats, quinoa flakes and pretzels.
  3. In a small bowl combine sugar, maple syrup, cinnamon, apple sauce and water. Toss with oat mixture and stir well to combine.
  4. Place on a rimmed baking sheet and bake for 8 minutes. Stir and bake 8 minutes more. Allow to cool before serving. (Mixture will firm up as it cools.)
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