I’ve been trying really hard to eat a little better this week and for me that basically means I’ve been trying to cut out as much refined sugar as I possibly can. However, I am only human and have a massive sweet tooth, so it comes as no surprise that on the very first day of trying to be healthy I found myself standing inside my pantry trying to figure out if I could make something chocolate.
I knew from chatting to some friends that if you mix raw quinoa with things like honey and coconut oil that you can bake it in the oven to create cereal bars or quinoa bark. I’m allergic to coconut oil so that was out of the question (I know, how sad?). I did have honey however, and quinoa, so I started grabbing what I could find that I thought might taste good together.
And so, these chewy chocolatey quinoa bars were born! Personally, I’m very happy with how they turned out and they really are delicious even if I do say so myself. Something else I discovered about these babies is that they get even tastier the longer you leave them in the fridge! They’ve been in my fridge for about 3 days now and I feel like I’m eating a chocolate brownie.
So, if you have a sweet tooth like me and are little bit of a chocolate addict I seriously suggest you give these bars a try! They will change the way you look at quinoa forever.
1/2 cup quinoa
1 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup desiccated coconut
1/2 cup raisins
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
1/4 cups sunflower seeds
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/4 cup xylitol
1/4 cup honey
1/2 cup peanut butter
1. Preheat your oven to 180C. Rinse the quinoa thoroughly under a running tap to remove any residue and shake off the excess water. I usually do this using a sieve. Place the quinoa and oats in a medium sized baking tray and spread flat. Place the tray in the oven and toast the quinoa and oats for 10 minutes.
2. Whilst the quinoa and oats are toasting, place the coconut, raisins, pumpkin seeds, and sunflower seeds in a bowl and mix with a wooden spoon until combined.
3. Remove the quinoa and oats from the oven and allow to cool for a few minutes before adding them to the mixing bowl with the coconut, raisins, and seeds. Stir everything together to combine.
4. Place the cocoa powder, xylitol, honey, and peanut butter in a small saucepan and begin to melt over a medium-low heat. Add a little warm water to get the process going and to make it easier to stir the sticky peanut butter and honey. Continue stirring until everything has melted together to form a chocolate sauce, adding a little warm water every now and then until you get the correct consistency. The mixture should be thick but smooth and should pour easily.
5. Remove the chocolate sauce from the heat and pour over the dry ingredients. Mix everything together using a wooden spoon until well-combined, making sure the dry ingredients are well coated with the chocolate sauce.
6. Spray or grease the medium baking tray to prepare. Scrape the mixture out the bowl and press down using the wooden spoon (or your fingers) so that it’s about 1cm in height. My baking tray was too big, so I just used the one half of it to avoid making more dishes for myself. I also found it helped to smooth the mixture with the back of the wooden spoon.d
7. Turn the oven down to 160C. Place the tray in the oven to bake for 15 minutes. Once baked, remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly.
8. Carefully cut into small rectangles (you’ll have roughly 16). Make sure you do this gently as the bars are quite crumbly once they’ve just come out of the oven. Once the bars are completely cool, remove from the tray and place on a rack or plate.
9. You can enjoy the bars straight away, however I’d highly suggest placing them in the fridge for a few hours to allow them to firm up a bit more and become even chewier.
10. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week.