living the sweet life

Quinoa, Almond, Flax and Chocolate Chip Granola Bars

So a few months ago, I posted a recipe for a 5 ingredient, pretty healthy granola bar. That post, so far, has been my most popular blog post and recipe, probably due to Jessica from How Sweet It Is linking to my blog. I almost DIED that morning. It was probably the best thing to happen to me in terms of my blog life. I absolutely LOVE her blog and it’s my favorite and to know that she linked to me directly, well, was pretty exciting.

For those of you who know me, when I’ve gone too long without eating I start to get hangry, emotional, frustrated easily.. generally not the most pleasant company. Once I realize that I’m hangry, I’m able to reign in my emotions and carry on like a normal person but until I realize it, or my boyfriend points it out, watch out.

I try and avoid snacking too much because I tend to go CRAZY on snacks (or appetizers – I love any food that’s small and bite size) and before I know it I’ve eaten an entire bag of chips, or marshmallows, or an entire bag of Tostitos and an entire jar of Salsa con queso. Yeah, that happened one night after work. I was hungry, went to the grocery store, and a few hours later the bag and jar were demolished. Whoops..

What I set out to accomplish last time that sort of worked was to create a granola bar that was filled with protein, fiber, and generally healthy (not like the granola bars that have an ingredient list 3 times this one) that I could munch on when hungry between meals, and that would satiate me enough to get to my next meal.

And well, I found it. This was delicious, filling, hearty, and a good combination of textures. It bakes for about 20 minutes but it doesn’t become a hard granola bar. It’s still soft and almost feels like a no-bake granola bar. I’m sure you could bake it longer for a firmer granola bar, but that’s not what I wanted this time around. And when I folded in the mini chocolate chips, they ended up melting which turned the bars a chocolate brown which was actually quite delicious. Not what I intended but definitely a yummy outcome.

If you’re looking for a mid-afternoon pick me up that’s not a super processed granola bar, these could be for you. They’ll last for about a week, though next time I think I’ll store them in the refrigerator to help them last longer, not that they would need it since I ate these up pretty quickly. But still. I think you’ll enjoy these.

Quinoa, Almond and Flax Granola Bars

makes 1 9×9 pan (9-12 bars)

2 cups old fashioned oats
1/2 cup quinoa, uncooked
1 cup crisp rice cereal
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1/2 cup ground flaxseed
1/3 cup coconut oil
1/2 cup honey
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 tbsp whole wheat flour
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips

Rinse, drain, and cook quinoa according to directions. Set aside to cool. (Stick it in the fridge or freezer to speed it up.)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9×9 or 9×13 pan (depending on how thick you want the bars) with parchment paper. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, combine oats, rice cereal, almonds, flaxseed, and quinoa. Mix together.

In a microwave-safe bowl, combine honey and coconut oil. Microwave 10-15 seconds at a time, stirring in between until coconut oil is melted. Add the vanilla and stir to mix.

Pour the liquids over the dry ingredients, mixing to combine. Add the chocolate chips and flour at the end, mixing until combined.

Press the mixture into the pan until even. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the granola bars start to firm up. Take out and let cool in the pan for 10-20 minutes before cutting. Cut the bars into desired size/shape, and then transfer to a wire cooling rack and let cool.

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