By request, this is a vegan version of the Quinoa Breakfast Bars. These gluten-free, protein-packed and only slightly sweetened bars are a healthy, grab-and-go breakfast or snack item. This recipe is not only easy, but endlessly customizable. Dried, fresh or frozen fruit, coconut, seeds, nuts can all be added to the mix! You can’t go too wrong. These bars can be made ahead and last for days refrigerated. Yield: 24 bars
WHAT YOU WILL NEED:
- 9 x 13 baking pan
- Parchment paper
- Baking rack (optional)
- 3 cups cooked quinoa, completely cooled
- 1 cup rolled oats (gluten-free or regular)
- 1/2 cup oat flour (or 1/2 cup extra oats)
- 4 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen) or 1 large apple chopped into 1/4 inch chunks
- 1/2 cup raw seeds or chopped nuts
- 3 large or 4 small over-ripe bananas
- 1/3 cup Chia seeds plus 1 cup water (or 1 1/4 cup Chia gel)
- 1/2 cup rice or almond milk
- 1/2 cup organic brown sugar (or raw honey)
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup cacao chips (optional)
- Preheat oven to 375ºF.
- Line baking pan with lightly greased parchment paper.
- Combine cooked quinoa, oats, oat flour, cinnamon, baking soda and salt in a large mixing bowl. Mix until well combined. Then, add in the fruit and nuts or seeds (optional).
- In a small bowl, mash and blend the ripe bananas with a whisk or fork.
- Add water and Chia seeds (or 1 1/4 cup Chia gel) to the bananas and combine throughly.
- Add rice or almond milk, brown sugar or honey, vanilla extract and cacao chips (if using) to the banana mixture and stir until thoroughly combined. If using raw honey, heating it sightly will make blending easier.
- Add the banana mixture to the quinoa mixture and stir to combine. The batter will be very thick. Pour into the parchment-lined baking dish and distribute evenly.
- Bake for 35 minutes, or until golden and set.
- After 5-10 minutes, invert to a baking rack to cool as quickly as possible.
- When cool, cut and serve alone or with a nut butter.
- Store bars refrigerated in an air-tight container.
- This batch was made using a mix of frozen berries and turned out a little on the fragile side. Using blueberries or apples, rather than blackberries or raspberries will create sturdier bars, which will travel better.
- If you don’t have oat flour, you can grind up oats in a coffee grinder to make the flour, or simply add an extra handful of oats to the mix.
- To make Chia gel, combine 1 tablespoon water per teaspoon of Chia seeds. Let stand for about 15 minutes until a gel forms.
- 1 cup uncooked quinoa = 3 to 4 cups cooked quinoa
- Frozen bananas: When thawed they will release liquid. You can use that as part of the chia gel liquid, discard, or mix the frozen bananas (liquid and all) into the mixture -and use less almond milk. Alternatively, if not altering the liquid content, after 35 minutes, turn the oven down to 300 and bake for another 20 minutes.
- How to Cook Fluffy, Tasty Quinoa
- How to Quickly Ripen Bananas in the Oven