Quinoa Granola Bars
I really love these quinoa granola bars. They are really nice to have handy with a busy schedule and if your always on the go. Kids love them too.
1 cup old fashioned oats
1 cup uncooked quinoa
1 cup pepita seeds
1 cup shredded un-sweetened coconut
1/2 cup toasted wheat germ (or oat bran)
3 tablespoons coconut oil
2/3 cup honey
1/4 cup dark brown sugar packed (or coconut sugar)
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chopped pitted dates
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Oil an 8 x 12 in baking dish (or a similar size) and line it with parchment paper.
Combine the oats, quinoa, pepita seeds, and coconut together on an unlined baking pan and bake for 12 minutes, or until lightly browned, stirring every 4 minutes.
Transfer the mixture to a mixing bowl and stir in the wheat germ.
Reduce the oven temperature to 300 degrees F.
Place the oil, honey, brown sugar, vanilla, and salt in a small saucepan and heat over medium heat. Bring to a boil (the mixture will start foaming) Once boiling, cook for 60 seconds, stirring constantly.
Pour the syrup over the toasted oatmeal mixture. Add the dates and dried cranberries and stir well. Let cool a few minutes.
Stir in the dark chocolate chunks, let the above mixture cool a bit so that the chocolate chips do not melt.
Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and gently, but firmly press the mixture evenly into the pan using your fingers. Bake for 20 minutes, or until the granola is a light golden brown color.
Cool for at least 2 to 3 hours before removing from the pan and cutting into squares. Store in an airtight container at room temperature!
Try playing with different dried fruit and nut combinations. For fruits try dried apricot, mango, cherry for nuts pecan, almonds, walnut. Be creative. Use the oat bran to replace the wheat germ if you would like these to be gluten free.