Looking for a great source of energy? Muscle power? Omega-3’s? Fiber? Or Protein? Don’t worry, this isn’t a shady add for a mysterious supplement that can only be sourced from the bottom of an active volcano on the moon. This is actually a recipe for protein power bars made with superfood ingredients, found right here on planet earth. And while these bars may not turn someone into an Olympian named Hercules or Xena overnight, it’s certainly a tasty source of fuel that would make part of a healthy, well-balanced diet.
Unlike traditional protein bars made from processed powders and sugar, this recipe calls for a superfood A-team of quinoa, chia, flax, and almonds to add about 10 g of protein per bar. In addition, these delicious dairy/gluten-free bars also pack heart-healthy complex carbohydrates, omega-3s, fiber and other essential vitamins and minerals. The end result? You’ll feel full longer and have more energy thanks to the super hero cast of ingredients. A yummy and healthy source of energy, this would be great to make for someone who is constantly on the go, herds cats at work, is training for a sport, or all of the above.
*** UPDATE: I’m excited to tell you that this recipe was recently published on Wendy Polisi’s Cooking Quinoa blog! Featuring hundreds of mouthwatering quinoa recipes, not only is Wendy the accomplished chef behind the popular website, she’s also published a number of great recipe e-books. If you love quinoa and are looking for some new ways to cook it, be sure to check out her site.
Protein Power Bars
Yield: 12 servings
Active Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour, 20 minutes
1/2 c. quinoa
1/2 c. chia seeds
1/4 c. flax seeds
1/4 c. shredded coconut, sweetened
1 c. rolled oats / old fashioned oatmeal*
1/2 c. almonds, chopped
1/2 c. dried blueberries
2/3 c. peanut butter
2/3 c. maple syrup
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. cardamom
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1) Preheat oven to 350 F / 177 C. Line the interior of a 9 x 9 x 2-inch (23 x 23 x 5 cm) baking pan with plastic wrap.
2) On a separate sheet tray, combine the quinoa, chia, flax, coconut, oatmeal and almonds and bake for 5-10 minutes until lightly browned.
3) Meanwhile, in a large pot, mix the peanut butter and maple syrup together and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and stir in the salt, cinnamon, cardamom, and vanilla extract.
4) Add the toasted ingredients and dried blueberries, and stir until evenly coated.
5) Pour the mixture into the prepared baking pan and pack it down to ensure it fills into each corner and creates an even, flat surface on top. Allow to cool and refrigerate for at least 1 hour to set.
6) Once set, gently remove the hardened mixture from the pan by lifting by the plastic wrap, and cut into twelve 1.5 x 4.5-inch (3.8 x 11.4 cm) bars.
* Chef’s Tip: If you’re looking to make sure this recipe is completely gluten-free, only use ingredients that are certified as gluten-free. Certain products, like oats, are prone to cross-contamination in factories which process ingredients containing wheat, so be sure to read the label carefully.
Create your own wrapper for each bar by covering them in a small sheet of parchment paper secured with a twine bow. Not only is this a beautiful way to present them, it is also practical as one can easily grab one on the go for a nutritious energy boost. While best when consumed fresh, these bars should last for up to 4 weeks if stored in an air-tight container and kept in a cool, dry place.
they really look beautiful and yummy .
so cute in that wrapping
Thanks! The best part is that these are super healthy as well :)
These are so cool! Love the idea and will definitely try these out when I get home from my vacation
I’m so glad you like them! These are so much better (and tastier) than store-bought!
I’m definitely trying these, Melissa as well as the Pomegranate Chocolate & Quinoa cupcakes! They sound so inviting!
That’s awesome Anne Marie! I hope you love them both :)
This is such a fabulous idea. I often make homemade granola bars, but we have never whipped up a batch of protein bars. Talk about a money saver, as well. I will absolutely try these. Those with “texture” issues (not me! :-) - poking fun at certain familial members ) could pulse the roasted seeds briefly in a food processor. Thank you so much for sharing this healthy and universally-appealing recipe, Melissa! :-)
It’s great to hear you’re up for trying these Shanna! And I like your suggestion to pulse the seeds as an option. If one doesn’t like the crunch of the seeds and wants it to have the same texture of an “authentic” protein bar, that would be one way to get there! :)
I can definitely vouch for these:) they keep you full for a while!
Haha, yes, these are a great way to fend off the “hungry monster” :)
These look delicious! I can’t wait to try them!
Thanks Janet! They are a great way to sneak in a lot of healthy, good food while on the go. I hope you like them as much as I do!
Quick Question: I don’t need to cook the quinoa first first, do I? Just put the dry seeds in to toast? Besides the 10 minute “toasting” these are really no-bake, ya?
Yup! All you need to do is toast them - they’ve actually got a nice crunch when raw. Even the toasting is optional to make this a no-bake recipe, but doing this small step enhances the nutty flavor of the quinoa.
Is the quinoa cooked or raw?
Hi Ann! The quinoa is raw for this recipe, so no need to pre-cook it beforehand. Hope that helps!
Made theese yesterday…………….the aroma is heavenly. I only had chunky peanut butter,as a result my bars do not look like the ones above, they look much more seedy and are dryer. I wonder if creamy peanut butter will yield a creamier bar. Seems hard to believe but mine are dryer and crumble easily. Perhaps my cups overflowed with seeds? Will try again because theese bars taste divine. Thanks for the recipe!
Thanks for taking the time to write, and I’m so glad you liked these bars Micaela! It’s very likely that they could be a little more crumbly with a chunky peanut butter too, as there will be less binding due to the extra nuts…although, I bet the texture and flavor would be very yummy :)
Just made these and they are WONDERFUL! I have digestive issues and am wondering about the quinoa, but will pulse the roasted seeds next time, if a problem. I substituted local dried cherries for the blueberries and sunflower butter for the peanut butter. Exactly what I’ve been looking for! Can’t wait to try more of your recipes.
I’m so thrilled to hear that you liked these Pat! Thank you so much for your kind words. And your substitutions sound delicious - I will have to try these bars with some of the ingredients you used next time :) Regarding the quinoa, if you have a sensitive tummy, try to buy it pre-rinsed if you can (Bob’s Red Mill is a popular brand that should, but check the label just to be sure).
All the best!
I have recently learnt that soaking Chia seeds prior provides more benefits than adding them dry. Just wondering how this could be achieved using this recipe or how to adapt it?