I have love and hate relationship with granola bars. I love the convenience but hate how hard it is to make them healthy, and my kids like them at same time, right?! I also hate the cost of good granola bars. The only granola bars I buy are organic Taste of Nature. A box at Costco costs $18, ouch.
I do not eat granola bars myself, very rarely, but for kids they are perfect. I’m more of a protein bar girl.
I came across this recipe on Pinterest and have made it with a few modifications. In fact, I made 5 batches to make sure my recipe works. Therefore, different pictures.
It was a lot of work to find a balance between the bars being low in sugar and yet stick together, and my kids like them. Quite a challenge, I’ll tell ya. I’d rather make 5 dinners instead.
I added quinoa, steel cut oats, reduced chocolate chips and omitted brown sugar. These quinoa granola bars came out great: toasted, crunchy and sweet for my taste. I do not like overly sweet things.
And kids approved! Yes, that was important since these quinoa granola bars are not for me. Usually I get a big eye roll with almost any bars I make them try. You know, kids prefer shiny store wrappers to many things homemade. This time, I didn’t have to ask twice. I think they would like more chocolate chips, but I personally wouldn’t.
You can get really creative with these quinoa granola bars. Replace steel cut oats with extra quick oats. Use your favourite nuts or seeds in place of almonds.
However, do not try to reduce the amount of brown rice syrup/honey and increase the egg whites in hopes of reducing sugars. That I tried and the bars wouldn’t hold together.
These quinoa granola bars make a great snack, especially for school lunches. And especially if your child’s school is peanut-free facility. I usually store my bars in a long loaf pan inside the pantry. Then just pop in a small sandwich bag. Wrapping bars is too much work for me but you could. This recipe makes 16 bars, so you can stock up. You could also freeze some for later.
- 1 + 3/4 cup quick oats*
- 1 cup quinoa
- 1/2 cup steel cut oats (or sub with quick oats)*
- 1/2 cup almonds, coarsely chopped**
- 1/2 cup flax seed, ground
- 1/2 cup chocolate chips (I used Enjoy Life)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 - 3 large or 1/2 cup egg whites
- 1/2 cup brown rice syrup or honey, warmed up if necessary
- 1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
- Cooking spray (I use Misto)
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F and spread quick oats, quinoa, steel cuts oats and almonds on a large rimmed baking sheet. Bake for 10 -15 minutes or until lightly brown, stirring occasionally. Remove from the oven, transfer to a large mixing bowl and let cool completely.
- Stir in flax seed, chocolate chips and salt into cooled oats. In a medium bowl, lightly beat the egg whites, add brown rice syrup/honey and coconut oil. Mix well to combine, pour over the dry ingredients and mix well again.
- Line 9 x 13 baking dish with parchment paper and spray with cooking spray. Transfer mixture into the baking dish and using spatula or wet hands press it firmly. You have to press really well for the bars to hold together! Bake for 30 minutes, remove from the oven and let cool completely. I usually let the bars cool in the pan for an hour and then, holding by the parchment paper flaps, transfer on a cooling rack for another hour or so. Cut into 16 bars.
*Use certified gluten free oats to make the recipe gluten free. **Peanuts, hazelnuts or walnuts would work as well. ***Recipe by Just a Taste with a few adaptations.
Servings Per Recipe: 16
Amount Per Serving = 1 bar:
Total Fat: 14.3 g
Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
Sodium: 104.0 mg
Total Carbs: 32.3 g
Sugars: 10.3 g
Dietary Fiber: 4.4 g
Protein: 5.6 g
WW Points+: 7