Good morning! (or evening, or whatever time it happens to be while you are reading this).
I was super excited when Wendy asked me to guest post for her, because I knew it was going to be something that would push my limits. Quinoa is not something I use in my everyday cooking and baking, but I certainly love having challenges in the kitchen!
One of my favorite things to do in the kitchen is making something from scratch that you would think could only be bought at the store.
When you pick something up in the grocery isle, stare at it, aimlessly scratch your head and wonder, “how in the world do they do this?” or better yet, “I need to try and make this one at home!!”
That is usually as far as it gets for me though. It pops in my head once, and then it’s gone like a flash of lightning! Never to be seen again. Unless it starts a fire. And causes damage. Which my brain has been known to do.
But we’re getting off topic here…
What was I talking about anyway??
Right, right. Challenges in the kitchen. I love to see how far I can push myself with new recipes and things I never thought I would be able to make at home.
I think my favorite would have to be ice cream! I know, I know, you don’t normally think of ice cream as being healthy. But I have a Natural Strawberry Banana Ice Cream recipe that is only made with fruit and milk (which you can substitute for healthier options), so therefore, I declare it healthy!
Another one of my favorite processed-gone-homemade recipes are these granola bars. Granola bars are the perfect on-the-go breakfast that you can grab as you are running out the door in the morning. Coffee in one hand, shoes half tied, hair curlers still in, all the while forgetting you just left all the lights on in the house.
But at least you have that granola bar in hand!
Alright, that doesn’t actually happen to me. I work from home, so I don’t bother putting curlers in my hair or tie my shoes at all. But you get my point. When the last thing you want to do in the morning is make an extensive breakfast, these granola bars are just what you need.
You can also rest assured that you are getting loads of nutrients, and you aren’t filling yourself with preservatives and other not-so-good ingredients that you are guaranteed to have in the store bought varieties.
I toasted the oats and nuts in the oven to give these bars a slightly toasted (imagine that) flavor, and for the quinoa, all I did was rinse and drain it. No cooking required here, which adds a little extra crunch in the bars.
With quinoa, chia and flax seeds, healthy nuts, and only sweetened with honey and a little bit of peanut butter, you are sure to have a great kick start to your day with these granola bars! They will fill you up and give you a powerful energy boost to help you remember that your shoes are only half tied and to take those curlers out of your hair! (Do people wear those anymore anyway?!)
And if you are looking for another fun recipe to make with quinoa (as if Cooking Quinoa isn’t enough…), be sure to check out my Kale and Broccoli Quinoa recipe for an easy side dish or main meal at dinnertime.
Thank you Wendy for having me here today! I hope you are enjoying every second with that little one of yours!!
Wendy's Note: This is a guest post and there have been numerous people who have reported back that though delicious, these bars did not hold together. Please keep this in mind if you decide to make these. I haven't tested it but at a minimum I would recommend doubling the peanut butter.
- 2 cups old fashioned oats
- ½ cup raw or roasted sunflower seeds (unsalted)
- ¼ cup raw or roasted pumpkin seeds (unsalted)
- ¼ cup chia seeds
- ½ cup flax meal (ground flaxseed)
- ½ cup raw almonds, roughly chopped
- ½ cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed and drained
- ½ cup honey
- ¼ cup peanut butter
- 1 Tbsp. vegetable or other oil
- Pinch of cinnamon and nutmeg, or a couple grinds of fresh
- ¼ - ½ cup raisins (to preference)
- ½ cup chocolate chips (optional)
- Preheat oven to 375°F/190°C. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper, and lay out oats, almonds, sunflower and pumpkin seeds as flat as possible on the baking sheet, and toast in preheated oven 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until lightly golden.
- In a large bowl combine all the dry ingredients, including the toasted ingredients.
- In a small measuring bowl, combine the honey, peanut butter and oil, stirring to combine with a fork.
- Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir well to combine.
- Line a baking dish (8x8 or 9x13 depending on thickness of bars you want) with foil and spray foil with non-stick spray (you can use parchment paper, but I find foil to be easier).
- Press the granola mixture in the pan down flat.
- Place in fridge for a couple hours to set up, then remove from pan by lifting up on foil, remove foil, and cut into desired size granola bars.
- Store in an airtight container in fridge until ready to eat. Should last you a couple weeks at least.
Optional Variations: • You could use quinoa flakes in place of old fashioned oats if you happen to be allergic. • For nut allergies, substitute a soy nut butter or sunflower seed butter for the peanut butter and simply omit almonds. • You could substitute maple syrup for honey, but honey is healthier anyway ;) • Feel free to add in any extras such as craisins or other dried fruit as well. Have fun with the bars and feel free to make them your own! Servings 14, Calories 288, Fat 12.5g, Carbohydrates 38.2g, Protein 8.3g, Cholesterol 1mg, Sodium 27mg, Fiber 5.3g, Sugars 15.8g
Recipe inspired by Two Peas and Their Pod
Carla is a passionate foodie whose journey started when her husband moved her half way around the world to Auckland, NZ, where she started baking out of a toaster oven. Despite the limitations, she realized that she had loads of fun in the kitchen and how good it felt to create delicious recipes for others. Since then she has scoured cookbooks, photography books and has grown into the face behind Carla’s Confections, where she creates, captures and documents her love of food to share with anyone willing to listen. She is currently residing in Vancouver, Canada, where she is likely to be stalking farmers markets and the local eateries when not in her kitchen at home. You can find her on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram as well as her blog.