Quinoa and chocolate. Two ingredients you probably have categorized in your mind as things that DO NOT go together.
You were wrong. One bite of these impossibly-long-named irresistible gluten free quinoa peanut butter granola bars with chocolate drizzle will have you chanting quinoa and chocolate in your sleep. Or maybe just eating another bite, or three. Either way, you need to go make these now.
These granola bars are power packed with major good-for-you-ness (hello quinoa, oats, apple sauce, flax seed, sunflower seeds, almonds, coconut oil) AND major just-plain-goodness (gimme some honey, brown sugar, butter, peanut, butter, chocolate) Eating one feels like eating a little indulgence (cookie!) and healthy snack (broccoli!) all at the same time.
This was my first time using coconut oil, and it was perfect for this recipe. One of the first steps in making granola is to toast the oats. When you toast the oats with butter and coconut oil, the tropical, rich aroma of the coconut is heavenly.
After roasting the oats, you add in the honey/brown sugar mixture and the quinoa and nuts. Then you press it into a cookie sheet and bake it. (Mine used about half of the cookie sheet)
There are so many variations you could make with this recipe. You could add in dried fruit, other types of nuts, or even throw the chocolate chips into the granola instead of melting them.
I have to admit that drizzling the chocolate was my favorite part.
I'm not even sure if drizzling is the right word, because, as you can see, some of my "drizzles" look more like gigantic globs of chocolate. I'm totally ok with that.
This is one of those baking situations where you make a tremendous mess, (Um, chocolate on the carpet, on the table, on my shirt, in my hair...) but it doesn't even matter because afterwards you get to lick it all off your hands and the spoon.
I would also recommend drizzling the chocolate AFTER you remove the granola from the cookie sheet and put it on a cutting board. I learned that lesson the hard way, but everything still worked out ok. Once the chocolate has cooled slightly, cut the granola into your desired size/shape.
You could freeze these for later, enjoy them throughout the week, or, do as I do and ship them off to a friend.
I'm sending these to my friend Erin. Erin is one of the most hard-working, kindest people that I know. She is finishing up her first year of dental school, which is insanely difficult, life-consuming, and stressful. Despite this, she has continued to be a constant cheerleader of everything going on in my life and a loyal friend.
Erin has been the biggest supporter of this blog from the beginning, and it has meant so much to me. She is the kind of friend who asks you ten questions about you and how you're doing before you can even ask one question about her. I'm so thankful to have her in my life.
Friends, after all that has happened this week, take some time in the kitchen to make something delicious for someone you love.
Gluten-Free Quinoa Peanut Butter Granola Bars with Chocolate Drizzle
1/3 cup quinoa
2/3 cup water
3 cups gluten free rolled oats
2 tbsp melted butter
2 tbsp coconut oil
½ tsp salt
½ cup honey
½ cup brown sugar
2 tbsp applesauce
1 ½ tsp vanilla extract
1/3 cup peanut butter
½ cup flax seed
¼ cup roughly chopped almonds
¼ cup sunflower seeds
½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Pour 2/3 cup water and 1/3 cup quinoa into a small sauce pan. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from heat.
In a large bowl, mix together the oats, melted coconut oil, melted butter, and salt. Spread the mixture out on a baking sheet and toast in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring a couple times throughout to prevent burning.
Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, combine the brown sugar, honey, and applesauce. Heat the mixture slowly, stirring until all combined. Stir in the vanilla and remove from heat.
When the oats are done, remove from the oven and let cool for a minute. Poor back into the same large bowl.
Brush off the baking sheet, and then line it with aluminum foil. Spray foil liberally with non-stick spray.
Reduce the heat to 325 degrees F.
Add the quinoa, flax seed, almonds, to the oat mixture and stir together. Pour in the honey mixture, stirring as you pour. Mix well. (It will be sticky!)
Press into prepared baking sheet and bake until golden, about 20-25 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool.
Remove aluminum foil carefully and slide onto a large cutting board.
Melt ½ cup chocolate chips over medium heat, stirring constantly. (If mixture is too thick, try adding a sliver of butter) Drizzle chocolate over granola. After cooled, use a large sharp knife to cut bars to desired size.