Thursday, September 19, 2013

cacao + quinoa bars

Now that I am in school, I'm getting comfortable in a new routine. This means my eating routine has become more regular as well. On school days, its always the same; breakfast before I leave the house, a snack after my first class, lunch break, a snack on the way home, and dinner around 7. Its nice to know when I'm going to eat, and planning out what it is going to be.

With my "snack times" scheduled out for me, I really look forward to them! I am such a dork. A dork that is obsessed with good food! So, I have made yet another bar for on the go, cacao + quinoa bars. These puppies are loaded with protein from the quinoa and hemp seeds, fiber from oats, and natural sweet chocolatey goodness from dates, raw cacao, and maple syrup. I love knowing what all the ingredients are, that there are no added colors, emulsifiers, or preservatives. And all the nutrients come in their natural state, not fortified or enriched.

  • 2 cups cooked quinoa (1 cup uncooked)
  • 1/4 cup hemp seeds
  • 1/4 cup cacao powder
  • 7 pitted dates
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • shredded coconut for garnish

Combine cooked quinoa, hemp seeds, and cacao powder in a large bowl.

Blend the oats quickly so they are coarsely chopped. You don't want them blended into a flour but you also don't want them all in whole pieces. Add the oats to the quinoa. Next, blend the dates and maple syrup in blender or food processor until smooth. I usually soak my dates first, because I keep them in the fridge and they are hard to blend otherwise. Just a few minutes in hot water does the trick! Add the date mixture to the quinoa mixture. Combine thoroughly. 

Line a square 9x9 baking dish with parchment paper and fill it with the chocolatey quinoa mass. Use a spatula to press the mixture firmly into the dish, you want to compress it as much a possible. Sprinkle some shredded coconut on top and press that in as well. Bake at 350 F for about 15 minutes.  I have also had these the same way but without baking them, just refrigerate for a while before cutting, but they don't stick together quite as well. 

Transfer onto a cutting board and cut into squares! Store in refrigerator, and enjoy!

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