Monday, October 19, 2015

Chocolate-Almond Quinoa Bars

Recipe from Melissa D'Arabian via Global News
Husband-Tested in Alice’s Kitchen
Makes 12-16 bars*

My buddy, Janet, gave me this recipe that she had clipped from a newspaper. This was my first attempt to make a snack bar.  These were quite easy to make and they definitely passed the taste test.  The recipe said to cut them into 16 bars, but I chose to cut them into 12 small squares.  Because they will keep for two weeks, they would be a great addition to a lunch box.

1 cup raw almonds, chopped
½ cup whole flax seeds
½ cup raw quinoa, rinsed and drained
1 cup packed, pitted medjool dates
2 Tablespoons almond butter
3 Tablespoons warm water
1/3 cup chopped bittersweet chocolate or chocolate chips
½ teaspoon Kosher salt or sea salt

Heat oven to 375F.  Line an 8”x8” square baking pan with parchment paper, letting it hang over the sides.  (This will help you get the bars out of the pan once they’ve cooled.)
Combine the almonds, flax seeds and quinoa on a rimmed baking sheet.  Toast in the oven, stirring every 3 minutes, until well toasted and fragrant, 1- to 14 minutes.  Let cool completely. 
Lower the oven to 200F. 
Meanwhile, in a food processor combine the dates, almond butter, and water.  Process until smooth.  (You may need to scrape down the sides several times during processing.) 
Transfer the mixture to a large bowl.  Once the almond-quinoa mixture is cooled, stir them into the date mixture, along with the chocolate and the salt. 
Using wet fingers, press the mixture firmly into the parchment-lined baking pan.  (You might even use a measuring cup to press the mixture down after using your fingers.)
Bake for 25-30 minutes or until no longer sticky.  Let cool completely.  Run a knife along the unlined sides of the pan.  Use the parchment paper “handles” to lift out of the pan and cut into 12 bars.  (I cut it into 16 squares.)  Bars can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.
After pressing down the mixture with your wet hands, use a
measuring cup to press the mixture even more.
Nutritional Info: (for 1 of 16 bars)  200 calories; 12 grams fat (2 grams saturated fat); 0 grams cholesterol; 90 mg sodium; 21 grams carbohydrates; 5 grams fiber; 10 grams sugar; 6 grams protein

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