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Chocolate Fig Quinoa Granola Bars
|August 29, 2011||Filled under Breakfast, Cookies & Bars, Pasta, Rice, & Grains, Snacks & Appetizers|
With Labour Day around the corner, for many it’s time to think about
back to school snacks. My homemade granola bars are packed with protein and keep you feeling full for ages. Plus they’re tasty and kind of addictive and surprisingly easy to make.
The beauty of making your own bars is that you get to pick exactly what flavours you want - my faves are figs (slightly sweet and nicely chewy), chocolate, walnuts and coconut. The walnuts and quinoa are great for a boost of protein. The coconut adds a little sweetness too. And to me a granola bar without chocolate is unthinkable. I like to pre-wrap a few bars in plastic wrap so they are ready to go if I’m on the run.
The granola mix is made up of the gluten free oats, walnuts and quinoa. Bake together for about 10 minutes before stirring and adding the coconut which tends to burn if baked for too long. Make sure to avoid the quick cooking oats for this recipe – the bars tend to fall apart. Hazelnuts are also a yummy option instead of walnuts. If you need a nut-free version, simply omit the nuts and add an extra half cup of oats.
The glue that holds the granola together is a mixture of maple syrup, agave nectar, honey, and vegan butter. You just put everything together in a small pot until the butter melts and comes to a boil.
These are the dried figs up close. I used dried Calimyrna figs which aren’t as sweet as Mission Figs. I dig that the seeds kind of look like quinoa. I found them at Whole Foods. If you don’t dig figs, just swap for your fave dried fruit.
Once you combine the granola with the figs, chocolate, and butter mixture, spread into a greased baking dish press down into an even layer (about 1″ thick).
Recipe Chocolate Fig Quinoa Granola Bars (makes 18 bars)
2 cups Gluten Free Oats, not the quick cooking kind (Bob’s Red Mill)
1 cup uncooked quinoa
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup shredded coconut
1 cup dried figs, diced into 1/4″ cubes (or other dried fruit)
1/4 tsp salt
3 Tbsp agave nectar
1/4 cup honey
3 Tbsp maple syrup
3 Tbsp vegan butter (I use Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Sticks)
1/3 cup chocolate chips
1/3 cup white chocolate chips
Special Equipment: fine mesh sieve 9″x13″ baking dish, greased
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a bowl of water, rinse the quinoa. Using a fine seive, drain the quinoa. On a large baking sheet, spread oats, quinoa, and nuts in an even layer and bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven, add coconut, and bake for another 5 minutes. Remove from oven and pour into a large mixing bowl. Add dried figs and chocolate chips. Turn oven temperature down to 300 degrees.
2. In a small sauce pan, add honey, agave nectar, maple syrup and butter. Bring mixture to boil and remove from heat. Pour the butter mixture into the granola and stir until fully incorporated. Pour into greased baking dish and press down firmly with the back of a silicone spatula or fingers into an even layer. Bake for 25 minutes or until slightly golden brown. Remove from heat and let cool for 2 to 3 hours before cutting into bars. Store in an airtight container.