Quinoa Protein Bars

Quinoa Protein Bars

When you’re craving a less-than-healthy snack, our quinoa protein bars are a great way to satisfy that craving while maintaining your healthy diet. This delectable snack combines 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 treats are like hitting the jackpot!

Quinoa is one of the most versatile 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.

To create a little variety or to accommodate any food allergies, sunflower butter
and pumpkin seeds are great alternatives to peanut butter and almonds. And the dates keep the bars moist without providing a distinct flavor. 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.

Quinoa Protein Bars

Quinoa Protein Bars

Yields: 8 bars | serving size: 1 bar | Calories: 376 | 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 | SmartPoints: 15 |

Ingredients

  • 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)
  • 1/4 cup dark or semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 tablespoon honey (optional)

Directions

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 or high powered blender, 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.

http://skinnyms.com/quinoa-protein-bars/

You may also like:
Quinoa Chocoate Drops
Quinoa Almond Joy Bars
50 Superfoods – The Ultimate Shopping List

Start your mornings off right with this Super Detox Green Smoothie or select from our Top 10 Smoothies, including the popular Wake Me Up and Keep Me Going Smoothie.

Looking for dessert recipes? 5 Chocolate Treats Under 230 Calories or these yummy Apple Nachos Supreme will cure your sweetest cravings.  SkinnyMs. offers healthy, whole food dessert recipes that won’t wreck havoc on your waistline!

121 Comments on "Quinoa Protein Bars"

  1. Beth  June 20, 2012

    These look fabulous, but I am on a low carb diet. Do you have any great low carb protein bar recipes you could share. By the way, I LOVE your page !

    Reply
  2. Jennifer B  June 20, 2012

    We have a treenut allergy in our house – can you think of something to substitute for the almonds?

    Reply
    • fitfabulousforever  June 20, 2012

      Jennifer, Peanuts are not considered tree nuts…they are actually a legume. To my understanding all other nuts are tree nuts.

      Reply
    • Texmlb  June 20, 2012

      We have a severe nut allergy in our house, too. SunButter is totally safe for us, it tastes very close to peanut butter, and can be used as a direct substitute to peanut butter in recipes.

      Reply
      • fitfabulousforever  June 21, 2012

        Texmib, WOW…thank-you so much for this info! We'll post on facebook for those weren't aware! We just love our readers…you give us so much good info! Thanks!!!

        Reply
  3. guest112  June 20, 2012

    Is there any other fruit I could use besides dates?  I'm sure I wouldn't taste them, but just knowing they are there, I just don't think I could do it.  

    Reply
    • fitfabulousforever  June 21, 2012

      Guest112, Raisins will work…although will take a little long to pulse into a big ball. I'd recommend 1 cup raisins to start and see if you need more…think that should do it!

      Reply
      • angie  July 8, 2013

        guest112 i use prunes in place.. less carbs & sugars

        Reply
  4. Neelixntes  July 10, 2012

    These sound good but I was wondering if there was a way to cut the carbs as well. Maybe skip the honey with the chocolate and use less chocolate. Even a half serving is double my snack allotment. I am really trying to find lower carb, higher protein options that aren't meat but it's a struggle. I may play around with this to experiment. Thanks for posting.

    Reply
    • Skinny Ms.  July 10, 2012

      Neelixntes, I recommend leaving off the chocolate altogether…it's yummy without too. That should bring your carbs way down.

      Reply
    • Vashti M  July 10, 2012

      Carbs are a must for a POST workout meal. Complex low GI carbs with protein is needed to help your muscles recover 🙂

      Reply
      • Neelixntes  July 11, 2012

        Absolutely but when restricted to 175g per day (dietician recommended) they get used up fast with freggies and beans. 🙂

        Reply
  5. P3rs3phone23  July 14, 2012

    I made these according to the directions and ended up with 14 – 2" x 1" bars, at 1" thickness.

    Reply
  6. Jenny Danger  July 23, 2012

    i havent tried this recipe yet, but i plan to soon. i reblogged this on my tumblr and  cited you as the source.
    http://mostgenericwhitegirl.tumblr.com/

    Reply
    • Skinny Ms  July 23, 2012

      Thanks. Much appreciated. Enjoy the bars

      Reply
    • Skinny Ms.  July 24, 2012

      Jenny, Great…thanks for the cite! 🙂

      Reply
  7. Jessica Czapla  July 26, 2012

    Gotta try this soon!  Sounds like they'll be great for traveling.

    Reply
  8. Claudia  July 26, 2012

    These are the best ever!!!  I actually get about 8 bars.  The 3rd time I made them, I used mostly dates but had dried peach and some prunes. 

    Reply
  9. Claudia  July 26, 2012

    These are the best ever!!!  I actually get about 8 bars.  The 3rd time I made them, I used mostly dates but had dried peach and some prunes. 

    Reply
  10. Melissa Oberling  July 31, 2012

    Sounds delicious!  I'm going to make these soon!

    Reply
  11. Dalaena  August 2, 2012

    The quinoa is not cooked?

    Reply
    • Skinny Ms.  August 4, 2012

      Dalaena, Yes, it is cooked first. It's in the recipe.

      Reply
  12. Betseyfox  August 2, 2012

    I am allergic to raw nuts (almonds) can you think of a substitute?  Would raw peanuts work?

    Reply
    • Skinny Ms.  August 3, 2012

      Betsey, Definitely…raw peanuts are yummy!

      Reply
  13. C Lemke  August 2, 2012

    looks wonderful

    Reply
  14. Denise  August 2, 2012

    Refrigerate until chocolate is melted??? 🙂

    Reply
  15. Lisa Schoenbrun  August 2, 2012

    Look awesome but one is 11 points on Weight Watchers any way to cut points?

    Reply
  16. Robin Lightle-Philli  August 4, 2012

     same here

    Reply
  17. Wendy  August 9, 2012

    We have used raw pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds as a replacement. Just as good!

    Reply
    • Skinny Ms.  August 9, 2012

      Wendy, Thanks for the tip! This is good to know for those with nut allergies!

      Reply
  18. AshleyShell  August 10, 2012

    Maybe figs (stems removed) or apricots?  Dates provide sweetness, so if you go with something less sweet you might want to be sure and add the honey suggested in the recipe.

    Reply
    • Skinny Ms.  August 10, 2012

      Ashley, I've used figs the other night, out of dates, and the taste just wasn't that great. I think dates are a must in this recipe!

      Reply
  19. Jgags14  August 10, 2012

    You have to get past the word 'dates' but I will promise you they are devine in a recipe. My mom made a cake for years that all 3 kids devoured and she wouldn't tell us the 'key' ingrediant until we were adults — dates. Everyone in my family (my own kids) love grandma's 'date cake'.

    Reply
  20. Sandra  August 10, 2012

    I'll bet these are good!  I've never used Quinoa before.

    Reply
  21. Amanda  August 10, 2012

    I agree totally with Jgags14! I make a cake that dates and a ripe banana are the main ingredients and it is amazing. Just give it a try. I swear, you'll become a fan!

    Reply
  22. Amanda  August 10, 2012

    MMMM!!!!! My favorite treat!

    Reply
  23. Sgifford73  August 10, 2012

    Yum!

    Reply
  24. GGLAMANCHA  August 11, 2012

    CAN'T READ RECIPE THIS IS ON TOP OF IT

    Reply
  25. Brittany M  August 12, 2012

    Can't wait to try this. I all ready love quinoa.

    Reply
  26. Tracyreece  August 12, 2012

    These are great on the go snacks. Especially if you need a ore workout pick me up.

    Reply
  27. kiki  August 15, 2012

    These are so good! I was worried it would be too good to be true that they would taste good and be good for me, but it IS true. I used cashew butter and loved them.

    Reply
    • Skinny Ms.  August 15, 2012

      Kiki, Thanks so much for letting us know. I'm working on my next recipe for these yummy bars.

      Reply
  28. Lisa  September 8, 2012

    My son can't have almonds; will any raw nut do in a pinch?

    Reply
    • Skinny Ms.  September 11, 2012

      Lisa, Yes…just about any raw nut will work fine.

      Reply
  29. Kay King  September 9, 2012

    I tried this and did not have good luck. I double the recipe. But I evidently did'nt read the recipe through before deciding to do this. I only have a small food proccessor so I could not put it all back in at the end. I kind of neaded and mixed it with my hands. Then I tried spreading it in a pan instead of forming like it mentioned. I burnt my dark chocolate I was going to drizzle on them. When I tried getting it out of the pan it just crumbled. I could'nt form it any longer. I ended up tossing the entire double batch.

    Reply
  30. Skinny Ms.  September 11, 2012

    Kay, This is one recipe a food processor or very powerful blender is needed. Sorry…they really are delicious.

    Reply
    • Elaine  February 16, 2014

      How big of a food processor do you need? Mine is only a 3 cup. Will that work?

      Reply
      • SkinnyMs  February 19, 2014

        That should work, but you might need to break it up into two batches, doing 1/2 at a time.

        Reply
  31. Agustina  September 27, 2012

    Isn't 370 cals a bit too much for a snack?

    Reply
  32. Nikki Tibbetts  September 27, 2012

    I just cooked up 1 cup of quinoa tonight. I may have to try dividing my cooked quinoa into thirds and trying this out. Thanks!

    Reply
  33. Skinny Ms.  September 28, 2012

    Not a healthy snack. Divide the bar in half and you still have a filling snack. Also, try making the mixture into balls for a quick and low cal pick me up.

    Reply
  34. Skinny Ms.  September 28, 2012

    GREAT! Keep us posted Nikki.

    Reply
  35. Kristi Brent  October 1, 2012

    It's a protein bar, its supposed to be high. Its good for you protein If you workout and follow a high protein diet, its fine!

    Reply
  36. Pingback: Homemade Protein Bars…no bake! « Fit Mom Circuit Training

  37. Kaerbear  October 11, 2012

    your "date cake" sounds wonderful. any chance i can get that recipe? I love dates.

    Reply
  38. Kris  October 17, 2012

    These are so good! I just made them for the second time and left off the honey/chocolate top and added raw cacao nibs into the mixture. It still combined well.

    Reply
    • Skinny Ms.  October 18, 2012

      Kris, Thanks for the tip…I'll have to give it try. 🙂

      Reply
  39. Marnie  January 1, 2013

    These are amazing with soy nut butter!

    Reply
  40. Rachel  January 17, 2013

    These are amazing! Didn't even need the honey. Can I freeze them? If not, how long will they last in my fridge?

    Reply
  41. Kate  January 27, 2013

    How much cooked Quinoa do I add? I made a bunch recently, but not the measurements listed here. It is cooked up and sitting in a bowl, but I want to make sure the ratios are correct!

    Reply
  42. Miranda Englesby  February 9, 2013

    Roughly how much cooked quinoa is 1/3 cup uncooked?
    I have some left over and am looking for ways to use it up.

    Reply
  43. werstuck  February 19, 2013

    Made these yesterday! Shocked at how delish these are — the dates sweetened it nicely. My picky eater thought they were good. I made 16 smaller 2-bite bars. Entered the recipe on myfitnesspal and it said 123 calories, 14 carbs, 7 fat, 3 protein, 10 sugar, 3 fiber for 16 bars. Did not use honey (doesn't need it), and used semi-sweet chocolate chips (on hand). Tip — store them in airtight container or the quinoa gets a little dry/crunchy on the outside of the bar.

    Reply
  44. Casey  March 11, 2013

    i'm confused why this post is on 'skinny ms.' but the calories are 376 – none of the protein bars in the store even use that many calories! and 33 grams of sugar? that's more than a coca cola! why in the world would you eat this? it's not skinny or good for you at all.

    Reply
    • Skinny Ms.  March 12, 2013

      Casey, Great question! The Quinoa Bars nutritional info is based on a fairly large bar, so you might consider making half a bar or rolling into balls. With that said, our bars are made with only Whole Foods. Almonds are high in fats and calories, but they are healthy fats and a great source for antioxidants. Quinoa is a complete protein and a complex carbohydrate, which makes this a perfect food for lasting energy. Dates are probably nature’s sweetest candy. We use dates to sweeten a lot of our desserts and never use refined sugar. Dates too are a superfood and ultra healthy. We realize a lot of people are concerned about calories, as are we. This is why, we give suggestions for lowering calorie content by cutting down the size of the bar. Our focus is primarily on whole minimally processed foods and less on calories. I hope this helps! Feel free to email me with additional questions at gale@skinnyms.com. 🙂

      Reply
  45. Julie  March 11, 2013

    My goodness these things are DELICIOUS and addictive! I love them! Used a small scoop and drizzled them with chocolate what an Awsome snack! No more cookies for me 😉

    Reply
    • Skinny Ms.  March 12, 2013

      Julie, Thank you!!! I’m so happy you enjoyed. 😉

      Reply
  46. A carlo  March 16, 2013

    Just made these and they are delicious. I only had cocoa almonds (not chocolate covered), but the were delicious anyway!

    Reply
    • Skinny Ms.  March 17, 2013

      That’s a good thing since it doesn’t call for chocolate covered almonds. 🙂

      Reply
  47. Tanya  March 26, 2013

    My favorite!! Every Sunday I make a new batch! I have one every morning as soon as I get up before my workout!

    Reply
    • Skinny Ms.  March 27, 2013

      Tanya, Thanks so much for letting us know. This is one of our favorites. I’m doing a cooking show today and this is one of the recipes I’ll be making. 🙂

      Reply
  48. Janet  March 29, 2013

    I made these today. they are delicious. Did you know there is no chocolate listed in the ingredients?

    Reply
    • Skinny Ms.  March 29, 2013

      Janet, Somehow that got deleted from the recipe. I just added it back in. It calls for 1/4 cups chocolate chips. Thanks! 🙂

      Reply
  49. Skinny Ms.  March 29, 2013

    Lisa, Add 1/4 cup dark chocolate chips. Thank you for pointing that out. 🙂

    Reply
  50. Skinny Ms.  March 29, 2013

    Lisa, It’s 1/4 cup chocolate chips! 🙂 I made these today and shaped them into 1″ balls, dropped a little of melted chocolate in the center and they were yummy & pretty. I called these Quinoa Protein Drops. 🙂

    Reply
  51. Rosalynd  April 2, 2013

    I have a tree nut allergy so I can do the peanut butter no prob but not the almonds. Can I substitute walnuts for the almonds? Thank GOD I'm not allergic to them HAHA!!!

    Reply
    • Skinny Ms.  April 3, 2013

      Rosalynd, Sure…better yet, raw cashews. 🙂

      Reply
  52. Yvonne  April 7, 2013

    Just tried this with cashews instead of almonds… they are delish!

    Reply
  53. Jennifer Lynne Frisk  April 17, 2013

    These were the BEST protein bars I have ever made! I combined everything together (using mini chocolate chips), and made 16 bars. Think I'll try the balls next time I make these. Thanks so much for the recipe!

    Reply
  54. Martha  April 18, 2013

    These are delicious! Thanx so much for the recipe. Having to cut out sweets has been hard for me but this fits the bill.

    Reply
  55. Dot  June 26, 2013

    I totally love these but is there a better way to store them? They got gooey in the air tight container.

    Reply
  56. Kathy  July 2, 2013

    I made these a few days ago and just stored them in a Pyrex container in my fridge (I'm still eating on them). Made them into balls, got about 25. They are SO good. Will definitely be making them again. Thanks for the great recipe!

    Reply
    • Skinny Ms.  July 7, 2013

      Glad you’re enjoying the bars. Thank you!

      Reply
  57. Sheryl C  July 3, 2013

    Just made these – yummy!! And I'm one of those who HATES dates! I did make 2 changes; one intentional, one unintentional. Instead of using peanut butter, I used peanut butter powder (no chemicals, organic, and only 45 calories per 2T vs. 190 calories in real peanut butter). I added a little water and honey to compensate for the dry powder. I added the chocolate chips to the food processor so I wouldn't have to mess around with frosting these; mixed a bit too long and ended up with chocolate batter. I also just patted the mixture into a loaf pan lined with saran wrap… Thanks for the recipe!!

    Reply
    • Skinny Ms.  July 4, 2013

      Sheryl, GREAT!!! Thanks for the feedback. 🙂

      Reply
  58. angie  July 10, 2013

    These were really good! I made them with prunes instead of dates, my choco almond pistachio butter i make in place of pb (since i have an allergy to peanuts), caroub chips with some dark choc. chips & also added some banana & cream & vanilla protein powder to up the protein. Definitely making these again!

    Reply
  59. Ramona  July 11, 2013

    Finally had a chance to try these. Amazing!!!

    Reply
  60. Christina  August 14, 2013

    I made them with prunes instead of dates, added 2 tablespoons of chia seed, added the chocolate chips to the mix, and made them into 24 tablespoon size balls. I don't have a large food processor, so I mixed it by hand and they turned out great! Thanks for sharing!

    Reply
    • Skinny Ms.  August 15, 2013

      Christina, Thanks for the tips! 🙂

      Reply
    • heather  February 8, 2014

      I'm new to chia, but hear great things about it.
      Do you have to do anything to the seeds before you add them?

      Reply
      • GaleCompton  February 9, 2014

        Heather, I usually add them to a little water to soften them up first.

        Reply
  61. Ken  August 25, 2013

    Has anyone tried adding Acai powder to these? I am trying to find a tasty way to get my boys to eat Acai, but it just tastes terrible in everything.

    Reply
  62. Sarah  August 26, 2013

    I made these but can't anymore!!! Mine didn't turn out in bars and I didn't read well and just mixed the chocolate chips in and I don't think I'm suppose to have eaten half of this in like 24 hours. I crave it. It has a taste that lingers and I stay full till I walk by the fridge again then I forget that I'm suppose to eat food besides this. IT will be a treat like at holidays and such …Thankfully Labor day is just around the corner. 🙂

    Reply
    • Skinny Ms.  August 27, 2013

      Sarah, You’re too funny! I agree, they are addictive. 🙂

      Reply
  63. Kim  September 6, 2013

    Can I use a Vitamix instead of a food processor? Of so would I just puree the dates? Thanks!

    Reply
    • Skinny Ms.  September 7, 2013

      Kim, Yes, a vitamix should work fine. Just stop it when the dates form a ball.

      Reply
  64. tonedabs4u  October 21, 2013

    Oh my these look delish…so looking forward to making these little guys.

    Reply
  65. Christy Cory  December 7, 2013

    I am curious if anyone has frozen these? I usually have a 100 calorie snack so would need to make this into 22 or 23 balls. That would take me over three weeks to eat them if I had one per day. I definitely want to try them but need to watch portion size. Thoughts??

    Reply
    • GaleCompton  December 8, 2013

      Christy, I've never frozen them but I think they would freeze well.

      Reply
    • Debdolle  February 15, 2014

      Did you try freezing some? I just made my first batch and I'm tickled with the yuminess of this treat but if I keep them in the fridge I know I will eat them too quick. Guess I'll try freezing them, why not?

      Reply
  66. Linda  February 27, 2014

    I made these protein bars:):) Added the chips into the quinoa mixture, not on top and no honey. They are awesome!!!

    Reply
  67. Jenny  April 23, 2014

    Thank you for sharing your Quinoa Protein bar recipe. We featured the recipe on our blog this week! http://www.thehappygal.com/20-quinoa-recipes-love

    Reply
  68. Stasi  May 10, 2014

    I just made this, I eliminated the dates, honey and chocolate since my son can't have sugar and certain fruits and added in 2 1/2 swirls of agave and it came out great.

    Reply
  69. hbarnstein  June 26, 2014

    My friend and I just made these, but our nutritional info is way different and we're confused. We love how they taste but are coming up with only 8g of protein per bar – any idea what kind of pb you used? I wonder if that makes up the difference? Or what quinoa? Maybe different types have different amounts of protein?

    Reply
    • SkinnyMs  June 27, 2014

      HB, 14 is correct when it's 8 bars. If you are doing the 20 pieces, then the protein will be lower as will the calories.

      Reply
  70. Jen  July 24, 2014

    What's the best way to store them?

    Reply
    • SkinnyMs  July 24, 2014

      Jen, Store them in an airtight container and they should keep for a few days. If you would like them to keep longer than that, store them in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.

      Reply
  71. Jenn  August 7, 2014

    Help! I just made these bars (they have cooled in the fridge for about 3 hours) and they are very moist like raw cookie dough. They are very tasty but I was hoping for a more dense texture like the picture, more like a Larabar. Something easier to grab on the go. I did mix the chocolate chips in with the remaining ingredients. Any suggestions?

    Reply
    • SkinnyMs  August 8, 2014

      Jenn, These are not very dense. To get them less moist, less water can be used in the mixing process. It's important that the quinoa used is not too wet in the beginning.

      Reply
  72. Amy  January 4, 2016

    My toddler gave me a high five as he ate this for the first time! And he is very picky – he will hardly eat anything and I am trying to work with him. These are a little messy and I had a hard time working with the chocolate (maybe I didn’t melt it enough), but the taste and nutritional content is AMAZING. Thank you for this exceptional recipe.

    Reply
  73. Michelle  July 31, 2016

    Can these bars be frozen?!

    Reply

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