by Gale Compton
There are times when we have cravings for less-than-healthy snacks. Our Quinoa Protein Bars are a great way to satisfy a craving while maintaining a healthy diet. This delectable snack uses quinoa and dark chocolate, as well as other superfoods, to create a tasty treat that is a perfect snack before and after workouts or when that afternoon craving for something sweet hits. And for anyone on a gluten free diet, healthy quinoa foods are like hitting the jackpot!
Quinoa is one of the best superfoods you can eat. Superfoods are natural, unprocessed foods that are low in calories and high in nutrients. They help the body fight disease and provide it with what it needs to be in excellent health. There is no pill on the market that can help the body quite as well as superfoods.
To create a little variety with the bars or accommodate any food allergies, SunButter
and pumpkin seeds are great alternatives to use in place of peanut butter and almonds. As for the dates, they keep the bars moist without providing a distinct flavor and give them that “softer” texture. And best of all, for a little variety add the chocolate chips directly to the mixture instead of melting them and drizzling on top.
If you love quinoa and it’s versatility, check out The New Quinoa E-book ~ An Alternative to Traditional Recipes.
Yields: 6 bars | serving size: 1 bar | Calories: 376 | Previous Points: 8 | Points Plus: 11 | Total Fat: 13 g | Saturated Fats: 3 g | Trans Fats: 0 g | Cholesterol: 0 mg | Sodium: 3 mg | Carbohydrates: 63 g | Dietary fiber: 10 g | Sugars: 33 g | Protein: 14 g
- 1/3 cup quinoa, pre-rinsed
- 2/3 cup water
- 16 whole (pitted) dates, no sugar added
- 1/2 cup raw almonds with skin
- 1/3 cup natural crunchy peanut butter (almond butter is an option) or try SunButter (gluten-free)
- 1/4 cup Dark Chocolate Chips, Optional Enjoy Life Chocolate Chips
- 1 tablespoon honey (optional)
TIP: Make this recipe into 20 Quinoa Protein Bites at about 1" each, and you've got a snack that's under 100 calories!
NOTE: The fats in our Quinoa Protein Bars are healthy fats primarily from the almonds. The calories are mostly from the dates, which is one of nature's sweetest foods. You will find only natural, unrefined sugars in this recipe which contains 4 SUPERFOODS--Quinoa, dates, almonds and dark chocolate.
Add quinoa and water to a small sauce, cover and bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer and cook approximately 15 minutes or until all water has been absorbed. Cool to room temperature and refrigerate at least 2 hours...overnight will work.
Using a food processor, add dates and pulse until they form a ball. Remove dates and place in a medium mixing bowl. Add almonds to the food processor and pulse until finely minced. Be careful not to turn the almonds into mill. Add dates, almonds, peanut butter and cold quinoa to the food processor and pulse until ingredients are well combined. Return ingredients to the mixing bowl, shape into 6 - 2" x 1" bars, about 1" thickness. Place on a dish, refrigerate until chocolate is set.
In a small saucepan, add chocolate chips and honey...melt over low heat or in a double-boiler. Evenly spread a thin layer of chocolate over the top of each protein bar, return to the refrigerator and allow chocolate to harden. Bars can be stored in an airtight container for several days.
Optional, omit the honey and add chocolate chips to the food processor when adding the quinoa.
Looking for dessert recipes? 5 Chocolate Treats Under 230 Calories or these yummy Apple Nachos Supreme will cure your sweetest cravings. Skinny Ms. offers healthy, whole food dessert recipes that won’t wreck havoc on your waistline!