Quinoa Energy Bars

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



  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.


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.



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

  • Gabby

    These sound fantastic. I love the addition of the dried apricots- so summery!

    Sorry to hear you have had just a stressful time! Car trouble is never fun, especially in the middle of nowhere! Welcome back :)
    My recent post wiaw #20- sips and salads

    • Wendy Polisi

      Thanks Gabby! It' was pretty scary being on the side of the interstate with the boys while the hubby went to get help, but thank goodness we were ok! It could have been a lot worse!

  • Ricki

    I'm the same way. I never get even half of my "to-do" list done in a day!! Sorry about all the stressors. . . flat tires are no fun!! But these bars look like they'd be a great pick-me-up for any stressful situation. :) Thanks for linking up to WellnessWeekend this week! :)
    My recent post Wellness Weekend July 19-23

    • Wendy Polisi

      Thanks so much Ricki! I've been so busy I've missed it the last couple of weeks. I always love taking time to see what everyone is doing.

  • xvavaveganx

    Yikes! I'm so sorry you had to go through all of that! Sounds scary! Glad that you are back safe and sound though!

    These bars look AMAZING and sound like a perfect pick me up treat! These would be a great snack to bring on a long day of work, I'll have to keep these in mind when I'm looking for portable energy packed snacks!

    • Wendy Polisi

      Thanks so much! They do travel well – I made them for the trip. They were so yummy that most of them were gone before then, but I did have a few left. They do really well wrapped in parchment.

  • Lisa @bitesforbabies

    Yum!! I make puffed rice bars that are very similar to these but I think the quinoa flakes would add a bit more texture (and protein!) . I'll definitely try adding some the next time I make mine 😉

  • thyme (sarah)

    You have outlined exactly what frightened me so much on our recent road trip. We just returned from Houston to Grand Canyon. The drive was so empty, dry, hot, and …did I say remote?? I was so afraid of running out of gas I never let the tank get below half. My husband changed a tire before we left so we could walk through the process. I still don't know if I could change it…I think I could but it would be a sorry scene on the side of the highway. Glad you made it home safe and sorry about the 'experience'. The quinoa bars look terrific. I definitely want to start using my huge container of quinoa more!
    My recent post Herb Roasted Salmon…Inspired by lunch at Perla's in Austin, Texas

    • Wendy Polisi

      We were in Texas when it happened!!! My hubby meticulously tracks the gas mileage we are getting and knew something was off with the car. Apparently the tire was leaking and it was causing us to get bad gas mileage so that didn't help the situation. We are just lucky that the worse thing that happened was a little stress and exhaustion.

  • glutenfreehappytummy

    I'm so sorry to hear about your car troubles! That sounds like it was a high stress situation! I'm glad you're all okay! hopefully this is something that you all will look at down the road and have a good laugh:) and these bars look divine:) I wish i could grab one through the screen! i hope you have a relaxing weekend!!
    My recent post Spicy Pepper Pie! GF, V, BED, SCD!

    • Wendy Polisi

      Thanks! Yes, it the kind of experience that really gives you perspective. Later that day we came across the clean up of what appeared to be a potentially fatal accident and I immediately stopped feeling sorry for us and started being grateful that we are all ok. :) I'll take care trouble over an accident any day! Hope your weekend is fabulous as well! I'm planning on reading a couple of books and hanging out with the kids by the pool!

  • stephanie

    Hi Wendy,

    So sorry to hear of your car troubles…thank God you guys are ok! These energy bars sound awesome! What can I substitute the brown rice syrup for?

    • Wendy Polisi

      Thanks Stephanie! Any liquid sweetener would work, but the brown rice syrup is pretty sticky so they may not hold together quite as well. Honey if you eat it would probably be the stickiest.

      • Laura

        If you soak dates or apricots in some hot water and then puree them, they work great at holding an "energy/granola" type bar together :)

  • Kirsten

    So what happened Wendy? How did you get gas? you can't leave us hanging like that!

    As for the bars – my kid's school has a no nuts rule (and there is someone in my daughter's class with an anaphylactic reaction to cashews), can you recommend a substitute of do you think they'd be okay without them?
    My recent post Vegetable Garden Basics: How to grow carrots

    • Wendy Polisi

      Ha Ha Kirsten! I guess I did leave the story hanging. My husband actually ended up getting a ride with a trucker to the nearest gas station. So scary but there were no cops anywhere (we hadn't seen one all day.) The lady at the gas station closed the station and brought him back to the car. She is super brave because he's a big guy (6'4").

      Can you do sunflower seeds? If so I would add 1/4 cup more pepitas, 1/2 cup sunflower seeds and 1/4 cup more dried fruit. I think this is a pretty flexible recipe so really anything would probably work.

  • Wendy McAninch

    Hi, Wendy, Thanks so much for the recipe(s) . . . and so sorry to hear of your trials on the road. On this side of it all, it can be seen as a miracle of sorts that you are all safe and sound with a huge story to tell!! At the moment, how trying that must have been for all of you! As someone who used to have the long to-do lists (health issues led me to give them up), may I encourage you to perhaps pick up where you are as you return rather than trying to "catch up?" Or at least pick and choose what you catch up with — for your health's sake! I, for one, want to have your creative recipes flowing for a while to come — everyone needs a break sometimes and after your business trip. . . Well, do take it easy on yourself! Thanks again.

    • Wendy Polisi

      Thanks Wendy! I agree that it is a miracle that nothing bad really happened.

      I know – I need to take care of myself and focus a little more on balance. I have a hard time sitting still and can always find another project to work on or something else that needs attention. Thank you for the very wise advice – I sincerely appreciate it. :)

  • Angela

    Ooooo these look awesome. Bookmarked!!!
    My recent post What To Do with All Those Tomatoes

  • foxinthekitchen

    Hi Wendy,

    First time here, found you through Wellness Weekend. Love your recipe. Shared it on my facebook page and adding it to my MMM Must-Make-Monday series :)

    My recent post Recipe: Frozen Yogurt Tahini Banana Bites :: MMM (Must Make Monday)

  • wakanetwork

    Perfect flavor combination for quinoa bars! It was my sons favorite snack. I used to buy this in the market for him. I want to bake my own quinoa bars. I hope it will turn delicious like yours.
    My recent post Healthy Herbs Used in Cooking

  • janinalocascio

    THESE LOOK DELICIOUS! I do a lot of vegan, gluten-free, healthy baking on my blog, but surprisingly haven't done anything with Quinoa yet! Was actually thinking about doing a Quinoa Mac n Cheese today – so funny that I stumbled across your blog! good luck and I'll keep checking out your stuff!

  • Becsterbear

    life saver !

  • Farah Grissom

    Hi Wendy! I've been wanting to make these for a while – they've been posted to my Pinterest to-do board for months. I finally have some quinoa flakes on-hand, but I still haven't found quinoa puffs anywhere. I'm going to sub in the puffed brown rice.

    But I wanted to ask about the brown rice syrup. Is there a good substitute for that? I have agave and honey on-hand. Would they be straight substitutions, or would I need to change the quantity?
    Thank you for your time!! Love all your quinoa ideas…..

    • Wendy Polisi

      Of agave and honey honey would be the better choice. A key thing about brown rice syrup is the "sticky factor" which agave doesn't have but most honey does. You can use a straight substitution!

  • Wendy Polisi

    Great information Laura! I've never tried that but you can bet that I will! Love Miessence products BTW!