Coconut Quinoa Bars

Posted by Donna on 4:44 PM with No comments

Earlier this summer, I started a quest to transform myself; lose weight, live healthier and be happier. Using a diet called Ideal Protein I’m happy to report that since June 28, 2014, I'm down 44 lbs and more than 22 total inches. Much to my hubby’s chagrin, I’ve spent more than my allotted $10 per pound lost on new clothes, but he’s got the biggest smile in the room when I walk through the door in my size 4 jeans.

But losing was the easy part. Now, I need to keep it off.

Enter quinoa.

While new to me, I’m late to the quinoa (pronounced keen-wah) bandwagon. It’s an ancient grain, cultivated in Peru, Bolivia, Equador and Colombia for thousands of years. High in protein, fiber, magnesium and iron, quinoa is the rock star of superfoods. So how do I take quinoa from grain to great, and get my hubby to eat it in the process? Disguise it as a snack!

My Coconut Quinoa bars are a crunchy treat packed full of good and healthy ingredients, drizzled in chocolate. They look decadent, but are high in protein, low in carbs, gluten free and super easy to make.

Ingredients
  • 1 c. uncooked quinoa
  • 1 c. uncooked oats (gluten free)
  • 1/2 c. chopped almonds
  • 1/2 c. sun butter (a natural sunflower spread, but if you can't find it, use almond butter instead)
  • 1/2 c. honey
  • 1 tbsp. coconut oil (use 2 tbsp. if your coconut oil has liquefied)
  • 1/2 c. unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1 tbsp. unsweetened cocoa (optional)
Drizzle
  • 1/4 c. cup of unsweetened cocoa
  • 1 tbsp. coconut oil
  • Melt together in the microwave for 1 minute

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a baking pan and a 9×13 dish with non-stick spray.

Mix quinoa and oatmeal together, pour into the baking pan and bake for 8 minutes, stirring once. Meanwhile, add sun butter, honey and coconut oil to a small saucepan and heat over a medium flame until melted. Remove the toasted quinoa and oatmeal from the oven and mix with the cocoa (if using), nuts and coconut in a large bowl. Pour the sauce over the dry mixture and stir with a wooden spoon or spatula to combine. Press into your prepared 9×13 dish and bake for 18-20 minutes, until edges are just slightly browned.

Allow to cool for 30-45 minutes then break apart and place on a cookie sheet lined with waxed paper. Drizzle with the melted chocolate sauce. Feel free to use a heavy hand! Place the cookie sheet in the fridge until set. Once your family finds them, you may not have any left over, but if you do, store them in the fridge in an airtight container or ziploc bag.

Enjoy!

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