Date Walnut Quinoa Bar

29 Sep

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Another variation in my endless search for a satisfying, filling, and nutritious granola bar to keep my blood sugar stable at work. Quinoa is high in protein and the dates are a great sweetener full of minerals, vitamins, and good for digestion. This recipe produces bars that actually hold together, which is always a challenge. To make this into more of a treat, follow directions at the bottom for the chocolate cashew topping.

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3/4 cup quinoa bran
3/4 cup quinoa flakes
2 cups barley flakes
1 cup almond meal
1 cup walnuts, chopped
1/4 cup sesame seeds
1/2 cup sunflower seeds, chopped
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1/4 cup cocoa powder

1/2 cup grapeseed oil
1/2 cup cashew butter
3 eggs
1/4 cup agave nectar
1 lb medjool dates, pureed or chopped and de-pitted
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Combine dry ingredients. Combine wet ingredients. Combine the two, using your or a food processor to clump together the cashew butter and dates. Play around with finding the right amount of wet ingredients to make sure that the mixture is coated and sticky.

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Line a glass baking dish with parchment paper. Pack the mixture down with your hands or a spatula.

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Cook for 30 minutes at 325 degrees. Once browned on the edges and golden on the top. Take out and cut into bars and drizzle with honey. Cook for 5-10 minutes. Let cool.

For a more decadent twist, microwave 1 cup dark chocolate chips, a heaping spoonful of cashew butter, and two tablespoons of olive oil. Pour this mixture on top of the bars and then cut them into squares and cook for an additional 10 minutes.

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