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

  • Twila Burkholder

    Just wondering, is the quinoa that you cook the same as what you refer to as quinoa seeds, or is that something different. I would like to try these, but only have the regular quinoa.

    • Wendy Polisi

      Yes, they are the same! Hope you enjoy.

  • Cynthia

    I have heard that flax seed should always be ground before eating. The idea is
    that the seed is too hard for our body to process, and that unless ground, we cannot get the nutrients from it. Do you know if that is correct? If so, should we use ground flax seed in this recipe (not toasting it of course)?

    • Wendy Polisi

      I personally always grind flax seeds because that is required for us to get the nutrients. (Which is the only reason I eat them. :)) I would love Melissa’s thoughts on this but I would use ground flax seeds.

      • Melissa

        Hi guys! Yes absolutely you could use ground flax for this instead – just be aware that the bars may become slightly chalky and a tad brittle. This recipe suggests whole flax to offer a nicer texture / crunch with a combination of different seeds. However, there are added health benefits to using ground flax, so if you have it, go for it (and let me know how it turns out!)
        – Melissa

  • Patricia Stark

    am I just missing the carbs per serving in this?

    • Wendy Polisi

      It’s at the bottom just after the fats. 27.6g

      • Cathy Grant

        Do you happen to know how much of the fat is saturated?
        Thanks!

        • Wendy Polisi

          No, sorry, I don’t calculate that.

  • Nicole

    Looks good! Do you cook the quinoa first or just toast it uncooked?

  • Deb

    Do you need to rinse and/or soak the quinoa before roasting? Thanks.

    • Melissa

      Nope! Just use the quinoa raw, straight from the container. Roasting will give it a nice nutty flavor, and if it’s wet before roasting, it won’t actually toast. Most store-bought quinoa has already been processed to remove the natural saponin exterior (a bitter tasting coating), so you shouldn’t have t worry about the need to rinse. I guess if you do happen to have a version that isn’t processed and feel the need to rinse it, just make sure it’s had a chance to dry beforehand. Also, please note that if using a “wet” ingredient in this recipe, the shelf life of these bars will be short, as you’ve introduced water which can cause them to spoil after a couple of days.
      Hope that helps!
      ~ Melissa

      • Wendy Polisi

        I would add to this that unless your quinoa specifically states that it is pre-rinsed you absolutely DO need to rinse it. Especially if you have a sensitive stomach. Many brands of quinoa are not at all pre-rinsed and even some that say they are pre-rinsed I’ve found to be bitter. One brand that is pre-rinsed well is Bob’s Red Mill.

        After you rinse it you can put it in a 200 degree oven until it is dry and then proceed with the recipe as directed.

  • Deb

    Thank you both for your replies. I don’t think mine is pre-rinsed so I will try rinsing then roasting before using in the recipe. Thanks again!

  • Karen

    Could you use hemp hearts instead of the flax?

    • Wendy Polisi

      I haven’t tried it but I don’t see any reason why it wouldn’t work. It may change the texture slightly.

  • Alessandra

    Any suggestions for lowering the sugar content? I know it’s mainly from the maple syrup… I was thinking of trying 1/3C maple syrup and 1/3C stevia + 1TBSP almond milk or another liquid source to make up for the loss in maple syrup liquid. What do you think or any better suggestions? These sound wonderful and can’t wait to make them!

    • Wendy Polisi

      I don’t have that much experience working with stevia but that sounds good!