Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Pumpkin Spice Quinoa Bars

This is my version of Michael's cousin, Elizabeth's (, coconut quinoa bars (here's the link: These amazing breakfast bars are packed with protein, whole grains, and flavor. After trying her coconut version, I decided to make a fall-inspired pumpkin bar. Even my skeptic of a husband agrees that these bars satisfy the carb cravings, while filling you up so you don't devour the whole pan (which is what usually happens when I bake!).

What I especially love about this recipe (aside from the awesome texture, which I am a huge fan of) is the variety and ability to make it your own. By mixing up the fruit/nuts/etc. you can make a ton of different bars so you don't get it a rut of eating the same thing every morning. Elizabeth suggests cutting them into bars once they're cooled and storing in individual servings in the fridge (like in ziplock bags). This is so great for us right now - between washing pump supplies, making sure bottles/lunches are ready, and trying to get out the door, we have zero extra time to prepare healthy breakfasts. I love that we can have something homemade and nutritious handy to just grab and go. I originally cut them into 8 servings, but I honestly can only eat half at a time (so I save the rest as an afternoon snack while I'm pumping). Here's now Mama makes it:

Pumpkin Spice Quinoa Bars

- 1 c. Whole wheat flour
- 1 t. Pumpkin pie spice
- 1 t. Baking soda
- 2 c. Oats
- 2/3 c. Chopped nuts (I used half almonds, half pecans)
- 2 T. each, Chia and flax seeds
- 1/3 c. each raisins (or craisins) and dried cherries
- 1/2 c. mini chocolate chips
- 1 c. pureed pumpkin
- 2 c. Cooked quinoa
- 2 eggs
- 2/3 c. Applesauce (or a couple mashed bananas)
- 1/2 c. Honey
- 1 t. vanilla
- 1-2 T. Wheat bran to sprinkle on top (told you I'm a texture junkie)

1.  Make quinoa according to package directions.  (1 c. Uncooked makes about 4 c. Cooked, so I made this ahead and stored in the fridge).  Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

2. In a large bowl, mix quinoa with remaining wet ingredients. 

3. Add dry ingredients (except wheat bran), and stir until just combined. Since I'm often short on time, I've been mixing the dry ingredients into gallon ziplock bags so they're ready to go when I have time to bake. Saves a lot of time measuring/digging out ingredients while trying to keep Peanut from eating the flour/oats/chocolate chips...

4. Grease a 9 x 13" pan with cooking spray, then pour batter into the pan. Use the back of a spoon to press evenly into the pan. Sprinkle with wheat bran, if desired.

5. Bake in preheated 375 oven for 20-25 min, until set and lightly browned. Allow to cool then slice into bars and package into individual servings for easy on-the-go breakfasts or snacks. 

we had to try one while they were warm (and it was so good!),
but we usually just eat them straight from the fridge cold

breakfast for a week!

1 comment:

  1. Cannot wait to try these! I am also going to check out Elizabeth's recipe! I love an alternative way to use quinoa!