Thursday, June 7, 2012

Quinoa Protein Bars (gluten, dairy and nut-free)

Um, hello! It's June. Yes, June. And, not just like the first of June, but the 7th of June! Whoa! Crazy! I think I forgot to turn my calendar page for about a week! Oh well. I am back on the ball now and enjoying every ounce of early summer has to offer.
Our garden is planted and the run down includes...50 tomato plants, 30 pepper plants, 20 bean plants, 6 eggplant plants, 6 broccoli plants, 2 mounds of zucchini, 1 mound of cucumber, 1 mound of butternut squash, 1 mound of buttercup squash, 1 mound of pumpkins, 1 mound of watermelon, chard, kale, lettuce, tons of herb and we added a strip of strawberry plants and more room for herbs this year. I am sure I forgot something in there. I will snap a picture next time I am out to share with you. So yeah, we have been busy the last few weeks. And I even started the weeding process. I think it took me a week total and then when I finished the whole space, I had to start over again. I am looking forward to the plants growing big so that you kinda can't see those pesky extras anymore. I do like to weed things though so that the weed roots so not take away from my growing plants roots. I think the roots of each plant is where the strength is and I want to keep those nice and healthy.
I also picked 40 pounds of strawberries this week thus far. I know.... I'm an obsessed picker. But, the season started very quickly this year, and will probably be very short and done and over in a week or so. So, I had to get them while they are hot and hope to end up with at least 20 quarts in the freezer, and 10 pints of jam, and some to bake and have fun with for the next week. More pictures and creations to come as well!

But because I have been so consumed with spring-time fun in the sun and the gift of planting and gathering your own food, I have needed some quick and healthy food to sustain us in the meantime.
I have been making Tangy Kale Slaw, almost every week in a big batch and keep in the fridge to eat all week with everything. Also, been making easy fresh meals that include lots of finger fruits and veggies and hummus and greens. Also making an easy protein bar or trail mix bar has been super helpful and nourishing for on the go.
Or maybe you are looking for a good picnic, camping, hiking, or beach-to-go food. This recipe is super simple and can be adjusted to what you have on hand with some of the extra flavors and colors. This recipe is kid friendly and doesn't make too big of a mess in the process.
Quinoa Protein Bar Recipe ( gluten, dairy and nut-free)
3 cups of pre-cooked quinoa (1 cup of dry quinoa with 2 cups of water cooked for 30 minutes)
1 cup of gluten-free flour (or favorite blend) of choice (I used fresh ground buckwheat)
1/3 cup of shredded unsweetened coconut
1/3 cup of raw sunflower seeds
1/3 cup of raisins
1/3 cup of chopped dates
2 TB of soft extra virgin coconut oil
2 TB of homemade apple butter (or apple sauce)
1/2 ts. of sea salt
dash of cinnamon, cloves or nutmeg
2-3 TB of raw honey or local maple syrup
3/4 - 1 cup of non-dairy milk (I used So Delicious Coconut Milk)

Mix all of the above ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Use 3/4 cup of milk to moisten it all up, but if your quinoa was a little dry to start you may need to add another sprinkle of milk to make it smooth. Your goal is a thick biscuit-like textured batter or a thick cracker batter. Then spread the batter over a parchment-papered 11x15 baking cookie sheet. Spread like you are spreading a thick cake batter. Make sure to smooth out the top how you like it because when you bake it it will look that way when it is done. Spread thin and bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 30 minutes. Or you can make it a touch crispier if you bake it on a lower temp of 275 for 45-50 minutes. Bake, cool and then cut in square-sized bars. You should get about 20-24 bars from this recipe spread over a 11x15 cookie sheet.
If you want to sub in different dried fruit or even some slivered or crushed nuts, that could work too. I added a touch of spice, but you could add some lemon or vanilla if you choose. Really you could use this recipe as the base bar recipe and add your favorite additions or what you have laying around. 
Cut, pack and enjoy on the go. Take them with you next time you need a hearty-healthy snack for camping and hiking. It is a great nut-free, protein-packed, plant-based snack! Enjoy!


I hope to post some garden and strawberry creations soon. In the meantime- I hope the start of summer vacation greets you well and you enjoy each moment summer gives!

Much love as always!

26 comments:

  1. wow! 40 pounds of strawberries!!! i love fresh strawberrys -- and i'm so glad they're finally in season!! those quinoa bars look delicious! thanks for sharing!

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    1. Thank- yes strawberries are ready for picking here! So good! :) Much love to you!

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  2. Thanks for the recipe. I've been looking for something just like this!

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    1. Thanks Iris for the comment and link love! Hope you try it and love it! Much love to you!

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  3. These look amazing! How do you reccommend storing them?

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    1. Store them on the counter for 3-4 days at room temp, and if you want to freeze them, then double wrap and keep for 3 months. I have also refrigerated them for a week, which does work too, but the texture changes a bit. Enjoy!

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  4. These look great, and I love the quinoa in them! I am quite jealous of the space you must have to have such a large amount of things planted....I think I was meant to live on a giant piece of property....alas, my postage stamp will have to suffice for the time being...you can bet I put every square inch to use!

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  5. They Look Delicious Stephanie!! I'm gonna try them this weekend!!! Thanks for sharing!!

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  6. Oh, those look good! Do you think almond flour would work in place of the gluten-free flour? Nuts are not a problem for us. Thanks for sharing the recipe.

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    1. Yes! Almond flour would work great! And if it seems try because the almonds soaked up more moisture than just add a sprinkle of more milk. Enjoy! :)

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  7. I'm probably a tad late commenting on this but I only just found your blog and thank god I did! There's simply never enough great Gluten (and everything else free) recipes out there! I have a question for you though - alot of the recipes I have found include Coconut whether it be Milk, Oil, Desiccated etc. and my partner is allergic to it. I feel guilty enough already that I cook meals for us which suit only my dietary requirements (Coconut is his only enemy) so the last thing I want to do is make him look like a blow fish just so we can have a tasty snack/meal! Can you recommend a good alternative for everything coconut in recipes, especially for the coconut oil you use above? FYI I'm Irish though and apart from some health food shops which are few and far between it's quite difficult to source good ingredients here without having to buy online from abroad! Would really appreciate any suggestions you'd have and keep up the good work as your blog is about to become my bible :)

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  8. Thanks for sharing the protein bar recipes among the users. That's True that If we want to be healthy and fit, Protein is the essential element for that. So we should take sufficient Protein in our daily diet. Keep doing such a posting, So we will get new information. Thanks once again.

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  9. These look great. Do you happen to have the nutritional info for these? Thanks

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  10. Do you have any idea how much protein these bars have?

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  11. Here is the nutritional info for these bars assuming 20 servings and using soy milk: http://recipes.sparkpeople.com/cookbook_calculate_popup.asp?ingredientIDs=20035,33048888,23035325,9298,9087,4047,536326,2047,19296,16120,&amounts=34798,33075788,23063727,27701,27379,25008,549206,24170,34536,32120,&qtys=1,1,5.3,.33,.33,2,0.125,.5,2,1,&servings=20&food=User%20Entered%20Recipe

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  12. Thanks Jillian, that is very helpful!

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  13. Thanks for all your recipes. I love your blog! Made this today and it does not look as good as yours. Maybe it was the buckwheat flour that I was using, but mine are grey. Tasty, but grey. Thoughts?

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    1. Maybe you used roasted, pre-ground buckwheat flour? That flour is usually much darker because it is roasted first. I used raw buckwheat groats ground up in my magic bullet to make my own fresh flour and I have the best results in texture and flavor. Hope that helps.

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  14. I don't have coconut oil so I'm going to use extra virgin olive oil. I hope that doesn't mess up the recipe.

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    1. It should be fine. the flavor will reflect the use of the oil though, so keep that in mind. :) Enjoy!

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  15. As a parent and spouse of people with severe food allergies, I feel I must share that coconut is now classified as a tree nut. Not all who are allergic to tree nuts are always allergic to coconut. To be safe though, it is important not to label things with coconut as nut free. I've had to rush my husband to the hospital for a mislabel of coconut. That being said, I will try this recipe with a few tweaks to make it safe for my family!

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  16. wow. I love your blog! I love your recipes! I am so going to try this quinoa bar.

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  17. Could you also make this with regular whole wheat flour?

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  18. Love this post! Thanks so much for sharing your story and the recipes.




    Workshop Chocolade Maken & High Tea Workshop

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  19. These look delicious! Thanks for the recipe!

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