Load up on all good things with these crunchy quinoa chocolate superfood bars containing a healthy mix of chia seeds, flaxseed meal, rolled oats, quinoa, nuts, coconut oil, and of course chocolate. These yummy bars are naturally vegan, gluten-free, egg-free, and free from refined sugars. Make a big batch and keep stored in the freezer for when that sweet tooth inevitably strikes.
These are based on the ever-popular Healthy Rice Bubble Bars from my site, except fancied up by loading them up with superfoods and some yummy crunch nuts!
Quinoa Chocolate Superfood Bars
Come afternoon snack time, these crispy quinoa bars are super handy to have stashed in the freezer.
- are a great way to load up on the goodness of nuts and seeds and healthy fats;
- make a delicious way to get the good stuff into little bodies;
- are a great source of protein;
- are a great way to meal prep a delicious breakfast or healthy dessert for during the week;
- are super versatile, which means you can add all of the additional yummy bits and pieces that you want. I suggest some pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds for extra crunch if you don't do nuts and perhaps some cacao powder or cocoa powder sprinkled on top for some extra chocolatey superfood goodness.
A Note On Ingredients
You will need a handful of simple ingredients:
- coconut oil: if it is cold and your coconut oil is completely solid, you will want to soften in the microwave or stovetop before using;
- agave nectar: this can be found in the health food section of most well-stocked grocery stores. Alternatively, you can use rice malt syrup, coconut nectar or maple syrup. Make sure whatever you are using has a syrupy consistency as we need this to hold the ingredients together;
- vanilla extract: use extract and not the essence;
- rolled oats: if you want this recipe to be gluten-free then be sure to check the packaging that the oats come in for allergy advice;
- raw quinoa: quinoa will need to be rinsed before being used. Without rinsing, quinoa tastes somewhat bitter, which we don't want in our chocolate bar. Use raw, uncooked quinoa in this recipe for some extra crunch, but you could use puffed quinoa if you prefer, please note though that it may go a little soggy, and will have a different texture to raw quinoa;
- peanut butter: you can use creamy or crunchy depending on your preferences. Feel free to sub in a seed butter or tahini if you are trying to avoid nuts. Seed butters are great for adding protein and a nutty flavor without the need for actual nuts. Perfect for allergies. Be sure to mix the oil through the nut or seed butter before using;
- chopped nuts: use whatever nuts you have on hand, or a combination of your favorites. I like to use pecans and cashews;
- flaxseed meal: this can be found in the health food section, or you can make your own by blitzing flaxseeds in a blender until you have a flour-like consistency;
- chia seeds: white or black work just fine;
- chocolate chips: the type of chocolate chips you use will change the flavor and sweetness of the quinoa bar, so choose whether you would like milk or dark chocolate and whether they are sweetened or unsweetened;
- sea salt: a sprinkle of sea salt balances the flavors perfectly.
Gather the ingredients, you are good to go!
How To Make Chocolate Quinoa Crunch Bars
This one is a bit of a doozy, nothing complicated except perhaps melting some chocolate.
You are simply going to:
- mix all of the dry ingredients together in a large mixing bowl;
- press the mixture tightly into a lined loaf pan (this step is important, you really need to press the mixture tightly together so that it holds together whilst cooking);
- bake for 25 minutes: it will rise up and get almost puffy, on cooling it will shrink back down again, push on it with a fork to make sure the mix holds together;
- melt the chocolate;
- pour the melted chocolate on top of the cooled base: you need to let the base cool completely before adding the chocolate, as it will be too soft while still hot, and the chocolate mixture might sink into it;
- pop the whole thing into the freezer until set;
- remove and chop into whatever sized bars you want, we usually do 6 large bars, or 12 smaller bars.
Tip: be sure to let the base cool completely to at least room temperature before adding the chocolate to the top. This will allow it to set more quickly, and won't harm anything else you have stored in the freezer by affecting the temperature.
To melt the chocolate using either a microwave or a double boiler.
Use A Microwave
Place the chocolate chips in a medium-sized microwave-safe bowl and pop them into the microwave for 30-second blasts, with a good stir between every blast, until completely smooth.
Use A Double Boiler
Fill the bottom of a double boiler with water and place on medium heat.
Place the chocolate chips or coarsely chopped chocolate into the top of the double boiler over hot (not boiling) water and allow it to melt.
Do not cover.
When most of the chocolate is shiny, stir until smooth.
Tips, Tricks, and Substitutions
Use parchment paper or aluminum foil to line the loaf tin before loading up with the bar ingredients.
This will make it easier to remove the quinoa chocolate bar from the tin after it has been cooked.
Quinoa can tend to be a little on the expensive side, so feel free to sub in something similar instead.
- popped quinoa;
- puffed rice (otherwise known as rice bubbles);
- puffed amaranth.
Storing and Freezing Superfood Bars
Keep the bars stored in an airtight container in the fridge for about 1 week.
Or you can store them in the freezer for 1-2 months. Keep in an airtight container in the freezer to prevent any smells from penetrating the bars, or any other freezer food spilling on top.
Need More Homemade Chocolate Recipes?
We do love ALL the chocolate around here, so we have quite the collection to check out:
- Peanut Butter and Dark Chocolate Cheesecake Fat Bombs;
- No-Bake Chocolate and Peanut Butter Healthy Rice Bubble Slice;
- Healthy Rice Bubble Bars: No Double Boiler Needed;
- Chocolate Raspberry Truffles;
- Sweet and Salty Honey Roasted Pumpkin Seeds for something less chocolate, more crunch, from Lynn's Way Of Life.
Crunchy Quinoa Chocolate Superfood Bars
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil softened
- ⅓ cup agave nectar (see notes)
- ¼ cup runny nut butter (see notes)
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- ½ cup rolled oats
- ⅔ cup raw quinoa rinsed and drained (see notes)
- ⅓ cup chopped nuts of your choice
- ¼ cup flaxseed meal
- 2 tablespoons chia seeds
- pinch of sea salt
- 1 cup chocolate chips
- extra nuts for topping
- Preheat oven to 350F (175C)
- In a large bowl, combine the coconut oil, agave, and vanilla. Mix well and then stir in the oats, quinoa, nuts, flaxseed, chia seeds, and salt.
- Press the quinoa mixture into a lined loaf pan and transfer to the preheated oven. Bake for 25 minutes and allow to cool while you prep the topping. It is going to seem very wet and like it won't harden at this time. Leave it to cool completely and it will set perfectly.
- In a small microwave-safe bowl, combine the chocolate chips and the coconut oil. Microwave in 30-second intervals until melted and smooth (see notes).
- Pour the chocolate over the bars and then transfer to the freezer for at least 30 minutes, to set.
- Once set, lift the bars out of the pan and slice them into 12 bars. If you leave it in the freezer for too long, give the bar a little bit of time to thaw before cutting.
- Store in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 1 month, or in the fridge for up to one week.
The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.