Ever since I started making energy bars at home I have not bought a single pack from any grocery store. I absolutely enjoy making my very own version of energy bars wherein I can add ingredients of my choice and the fact that it is naturally sweetened and free of preservatives takes the cake.
I have already made a baked version (Oats and Nuts Energy Bars) and my favorite non baked version (Amarantha and Dates Energy Bars) of energy bars. You can take a look at the recipes here
This energy bar is also a no bake, super easy like throw in everything and mix kinda recipe. I have used cocoa powder to add a different flavor profile. But do not expect this to have an intense chocolate flavor. This energy bar is mildly chocolaty, super crunchy because of the popped/puffed quinoa and very much chewy in texture. You can add chopped chunks of dark chocolate for an extra kick of chocolate.
This is a small recipe and makes about 8 - 10 energy bars.
1 cup pureed/crushed medjool dates (approx 14 -16 pitted soft medjool dates)
1/3 cup of good quality cocoa powder
1/2 cup of popped/puffed quinoa (If you want to know how to make popped/puffed quinoa click here
1/2 cup of popped/puffed amaranth (You can skip this and add more quinoa or more nuts of your choice)
A little less than 1/4 of chopped almonds
A little less than 1/4 cup of chopped walnuts
1/2 tsp of vanilla extract
You can use any nuts of your choice.
1) Lightly grease an 8"x 8" baking dish with coconut oil or vegetable oil or any baking dish in which you will be able to spread the mixture to make bars. Keep this aside.
1) In a blender/mixer puree the pitted medjool dates until it is gooey in texture. If you are using dates other than medjool which are hard in texture, soak them in little warm water for few minutes before making a puree.
2) In another bowl add the rest of the ingredients. To this add the pureed dates and vanilla extract.
3) Mix everything thoroughly until nicely combined. If you are finding it hard to mix everything with a spatula then just grease your hand with coconut oil and use you hand to combine everything nicely.
4) Spread the mixture evenly into the greased baking dish pressing with your fingers. Use the back of a spoon to spread the mixture evenly. Cover with a cling wrap/plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1- 2 hrs.
5) Cut into squares or any shape of your liking.
Crunchy and yummy cocoa and quinoa energy bars are ready.
Have you tried Quinoa yet? Do you have questions about what exactly quinoa is and why you should include it in your diet? If you are not aware of the health benefits of Quinoa, then you should check out the below article by Marry Spencer in which she has explained everything you need to know about the mighty Quinoa. :)