Have a love-hate relationship with breakfast? The earlier the alarm sounds and the greater the rush, the more tempting it is to skip it. But, research shows the importance of “breaking the fast” for better energy, cardiovascular health, weight control and healthier food choices throughout the day . Quinoa Breakfast Bars to the rescue. 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, or what I call a “kitchen sink” recipe. Dried, fresh or frozen fruit, coconut, seeds, nuts… throw them all into the mix! You can’t go to wrong, as long as you don’t add so many extras that the mixture is as dense as wet concrete. These bars can be made ahead and last for days in the refrigerator. Try the Vegan Quinoa Bars as well!
QUINOA BREAKFAST BARS
Yield: 24 bars
WHAT YOU WILL NEED:
- 9 x 13 baking pan
- Parchment paper
- Baking rack
- 3 cups cooked quinoa, completely cooled (about 1 cup uncooked)
- 1 cup rolled oats (gluten-free or regular)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup berries (fresh or frozen) or other fruit chopped into 1/4 inch chunks
- 1/2 cup raw nuts or seeds – optional (chopped walnuts, almonds or pumpkin seeds work well)
- 6 eggs beaten
- 1/2 cup rice or almond milk
- 1/2 cup organic brown rice sugar or raw honey
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 4 teaspoons cinnamon
- Preheat oven to 375ºF.
- Line baking pan with lightly greased parchment paper.
- Combine cooked quinoa, oats 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, whisk together eggs.
- Add almond or rice milk, brown sugar or honey, vanilla extract, and cinnamon to the egg mixture and stir until thoroughly combined. If using raw honey, heating it sightly will make blending easier.
- Add the egg 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 30-35 minutes until golden and set.
- 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.
Lining the pan with parchment paper makes it easier to invert the quinoa bake without it falling apart. I have tried using a greased and flour pan for this recipe -without success. A baking rack will help the baked product cool quickly without the underside accumulating steam, creating a soggy end product. The baking rack is nice to have, but not necessary. I made this batch without a baking rack. Did not plan ahead and make your quinoa in advance (guilty!)? Simply spread the quinoa out on a parchment lined baking sheet to cool it quickly. What grab and go recipes do you love for a healthy, fast breakfast?
 Long-term weight loss and breakfast in subjects in the National Weight Control Registry. [Obes Res. 2002]
 Prospective Study of Breakfast Eating and Incident Coronary Heart Disease in a Cohort of Male US Health Professionals.[Circulation 2013; 128: 337-343]
Originally posted 9.11.13