I almost hesitate to post this quinoa bars recipe. Not because it isn’t amazing. It is.
In fact, it may be one of my favorite recipes on the entire site.
The reason I hesitate to post it is because it is quite a bit indulgent. Invariably, when I post recipes with butter and/or sugar (even the healthier coconut palm sugar I’ve used here) a flood of emails ensues. If you have been around here a while you probably already know that I’m not a fan of sweets and don’t do a tremendous amount of baking. If I’m going to indulge in something with sugar its got to be good. And this is. Hence my willingness to risk the wrath of emails that is sure to come.
These quinoa bars were an over the top hit at my house. They are the perfect combination of sweet and slightly salty and are the perfect example of decadence with quinoa.
In fact, if you have family members who turn up there nose at anything even slightly healthy, this may be the recipe to win them over. My only regret is that I don’t live near my parents anymore because my Dad’s birthday is next month and this would be better for him that a cake!
Now, a couple of adjustments that could be made:
Lower the Saturated Fat– You can half the butter and replace the other halve with canola oil.
Make it Vegan by using earth balance and your favorite egg substitute. Skip the honey and use maple syrup.
Make it Gluten Free by using your favorite gluten free flour mix.
This recipe was adapted from Fine Cooking.
- ½ cup slivered almonds
- ½ cup coconut palm sugar
- 1 ½ cups whole wheat white flour
- 1 cup quinoa flour
- ½ tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp salt
- 12 T cold unsalted butter cut into ½ inch pieces (or 6 T butter, 6 T canola oil)
- 1 large egg, beaten
- ¾ cup light brown sugar
- 6 T unsalted butter
- 1/3 cup honey
- ½ tsp salt
- 2 T heavy cream
- 3/4 cup popped quinoa
- 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
- 2 cups mixed nuts, toasted
- For the Crust
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Spray a 9 x 13 baking pan with cooking spray and line with parchment.
- In the food processor, grind almonds and palm sugar.
- Add flour, baking powder and salt.
- Process until combined.
- Add butter and pulse five or six times.
- Add egg and process until dough forms large clumps.
- Using your hands, press dough into the prepared pan on the bottom and one inch up the sides.
- Using fork tines, press the crust all over.
- Bake for 15 or 20 minutes.
- Allow to cool slightly.
- For the Topping
- Rinse quinoa and allow to completely dry.
- If you are in a hurry dry the quinoa in a saucepan over low.
- Put one tablespoon of oil in a popcorn popper.
- Add quinoa and pop until seeds are golden brown.
- Alternatively, pop quinoa in a covered saucepan, shaking to prevent burning.
- Bring sugar, butter, honey and salt to a boil over medium high heat.
- Stir often.
- Carefully add cream and return to a boil.
- Remove from heat and add nuts, sunflower seeds and popped quinoa.
- Pour over crust and spread to even out.
- If necessary, tilt pan to get mixture to the edges.
- Bake at 350 for 20 minutes.
- Let cool for 10 minutes and run a knife around edges.
- Let cool completely and invert pan on a flat service.
- Cut into 24 bars.