The idea for these puffed quinoa bars came from perusing social media too much.
I have the terribly bad habit of “just checking up” on my social media feeds, you know, in case something business-related happens and I need to know ASAP.
It is worth mentioning that in the three years of running this blog, it has not occurred even once.
Mindfulness around Internet usage is something I definitely try to practice every day, but it does get impossible at times with owning a business that takes place within the actual Internet.
Stepping away completely? Is probably not happening any time soon, but it is also not my ultimate goal. Using it less? Definitely striving for that one.
And with the excessive social media usage come excessive glances into people’s online lives, in my case mostly food-related.
And lately, I’m assuming because August is generally “Back to School” month, beautiful photos of healthy snacks have started creeping into my life more than ever.
Just to clarify, I’m the world’s most boring snacker. As in, rice cakes with almond butter and either banana and blueberries or naturally sweetened jam all summer long:
Em usually wants me to make a teddy rice cake for her and it is fortunate that her precious mini human eyes adore the clumsy bear face I make from a few slices of banana and some blueberries.
But seeing all the infinite ideas for some more exciting snack time habits has made me curious and experimental, surely I can do better than rice cakes every day?
So I picked up a bag of puffed quinoa and made my favorite treat, just better: Krispie Bars.
They are made with peanut butter, but if there’s any issues with nuts at your school or with allergies in your family, you can easily use sun butter.
After warming the peanut butter with some honey, you’ll stir in the seeds and puffed quinoa.
It’s sticky, but it’s not nearly as sticky as mixing puffed rice cereal into molten marshmallows. So no need to be as careful or as fast as with the traditional rice krispie treats (such as these Salted Dark Chocolate Caramel Rice Krispie Treats – hey, I have a soft spot for sea salt and dark chocolate).
The most curcial step in this recipe is pushing down the mix in your pan as well as you can.
It needs to be very tight, otherwise the bars are too crumbly to take them to work or to school.
Once they’re chilled, you can slice them as small or as large as you like.
I really wanted to cut them into rectangles and dip one end into dark chocolate, but they got a little heavy (I do love a good bit of chocolate) and some split into squares.
For ultimate snacking success, I recommend cutting them into squares and keeping your chocolate drizzling at a level that still warrants calling these puffed quinoa bars healthy.
They taste wonderfully hippie-like, Woodstock-y and granola-pickerish.
The seeds add interest and some crunch, while the chocolate and sea salt help making them seem more like a treat than a healthy snack bar.
If you can’t find puffed quinoa at your local store, you can always order some on Amazon right here*.
Ten years ago, did you imagine ever being able to do your grocery shopping on Amazon? I definitely didn’t.
And neither did I think my cooking would ever be influenced by social media (or… be present on the Internet at all).
But all the negativity the online world can bring with it aside – the connection and communication can also be incredibly beautiful.
And these puffed quinoa bars? They definitely make life sweeter, despite being rooted in a little Instagram overtime.
How to make these peanut butter chocolate puffed quinoa bars:
- a little coconut oil
- 4.4 oz puffed quinoa
- 1 cup sunflower seeds
- 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
- 3 tablespoons chia seeds
- 1/3 cup runny honey or maple syrup
- 2/3 cup creamy peanut butter, (the natural kind made from just peanuts!)
- 2 1/2 oz dark chocolate, melted
- flaky sea salt
- Prepare an 8/8 square baking pan by oiling it with a little coconut oil.
- Mix the puffed quinoa, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds and chia seeds in a large bowl.
- Gently warm the honey and peanut butter together in a saucepan. Pour the warmed mix over the quinoa and seed mixture and stir very well, until everything is wet.
- Press the mixture very firmly into the prepared baking dish. If it sticks to your hands, wet your fingers a little.
- Chill the dish for at least two hours or until they're firm. You can also stick them in the freezer if you're short on time.
- Once they're firm, cut into bars or squares. Drizzle with melted chocolate and sprinkle with sea salt. These are best kept in the fridge, they soften a little at room temperature because of the honey. You can still tuck them into a lunch box, they will just be a little softer to eat than straight out of the fridge.
* I make a commission for purchases made through these links.