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.