Made with wholesome ingredients, these quinoa granola bars are a great recipe for a mid-afternoon snack or quick breakfast on the go. Full of crunchy quinoa, sweet dates and chewy oatmeal, they are easily customizable and store well.
Do you ever get the urge to help out your future self?
Whenever I'm anticipating a particularly stressful or busy week, I always find myself wanting to get started now and to do what I can to alleviate the stress.
And often, it seems there isn't a whole lot to be done at the present.
But prepping a meal or healthy snack can be a great way to do a little something now to help a bit. Because adding hanger to a stressful week never goes over well.
One of my favorite things to prepare for a week of unknown is some kind of healthy granola or snack bar.
They are perfect for a quick snack on the go or even to help satisfy a sweet treat craving (I also like to keep a batch of oat flour cookies for said treat!).
But these quinoa granola bars are one that I come back to time and time again.
Made with simple ingredients, they hold together extremely well (so important for days on the run!), are customizable (there is definitely room for chocolate chips in here) and have a wonderful texture.
So if you've been looking for a simple granola bar recipe that is baked and doesn't fall apart, this is it!
- Almond Butter- You can substitute with another nut or seed butter such as natural peanut butter or cashew butter. See this almond butter substitutes post for more options.
- Maple Syrup- Another liquid sweetener such as honey, brown rice syrup or agave nectar can be used. I also have a post on maple syrup substitutes for more info.
- Medjool dates- Ensure that the dates are pitted. You can substitute with regular dates or raisins- you will need ⅓ cup packed.
- Vanilla Extract
- Fine Sea Salt
- Large Flake Rolled Oats- Quick oats will also work.
- Uncooked Quinoa- You can use any color for this recipe.
- Walnuts- These add flavor, texture and healthy fats. You can use any type of chopped nut or a mixture. Or replace with another add in such as chocolate chips.
- Pumpkin Seeds (Pepitas)- Sunflower seeds will also work or additional chopped nuts.
- Chia Seeds- These can be left out or replaced with hemp seeds.
1. Soak dates. To a large bowl, add the pitted dates and cover with hot water. Allow to sit for 5-10 minutes until soft. Drain the water.
2. Mix wet ingredients. Add the nut butter and maple syrup to the large mixing bowl with the dates. Use an immersion blender to blend into a smooth paste.
Alternatively, you can mix in a food processor. Just add the dates, nut butter and syrup and pulse until smooth and then transfer to a large bowl.
3. Add dry ingredients. Add the quinoa, seeds and oats to the bowl and stir until well incorporated.
4. Transfer mixture. Line a 9x9 inch baking dish with a silicone liner or parchment paper. Scoop the oat mixture into the prepared pan and press into an even layer. TIP: Lightly wet your hands before pressing the mixture to prevent it from sticking to you.
5. Bake. Bake at 300 F for 20-25 minutes until lightly golden brown.
6. Cool. Allow the bars to cool in the pan fully to set for at least 2 hours. You can put the pan in the fridge after the first hour to speed up the process slightly.
7. Slice. Lift the bars (from the paper/liner) and set onto a cutting board. Slice into desired size and shape. You can cut them into quinoa bars or squares.
Leftovers and Storage
To Store: Store leftover quinoa granola bars in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days or in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
To Freeze: These homemade granola bars can be frozen for up to 3 months. Eat them frozen or thawed.
Make it Your Own
- Make it Nut Free- Use sunflower seed butter in place of almond butter and sunflower seeds, additional pumpkin seeds or chocolate chips in place the walnuts.
- Incorporate Add Ins- Reduce the walnuts and pepitas ¼ cup each and then add ½ cup of dark chocolate chips, dried fruit or coconut flakes. Or omit the nuts/seeds completely and add a full cup.
- Add a Chocolate Topping- After baking and cooling the bars, melt 4 ounces of semi-sweet or dark chocolate in a small bowl in 20 second burst in the microwave, stirring after each, until melted. Pour the melted chocolate over the bars and tilt the pan so that the chocolate covers the bars completely. Place in the freezer for 20 minutes before slicing.
- Or a Chocolate Drizzle- If you want just a touch of chocolate, you can melt 1 ounce of chocolate and drizzle it over the bars instead.
Tips and Notes
- Ensure Bars Set: When shaping the oat mixture in the pan, press it down firmly to create set bars. Wet your hands slightly to prevent sticking when pressing the mixture.
- Soak the Dates: Don't skip soaking the dates as it helps to make them soft enough to blend into a paste that is imperative for achieving the texture of these chewy bars.
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And if you liked this recipe...
...you might also like these other snacks!
Quinoa Granola Bars
- 5 Medjool dates (⅓ cup packed)
- ½ cup almond butter
- ⅓ cup maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 and ½ cups large flake oats
- ¼ cup uncooked quinoa
- ½ cup walnuts roughly chopped
- ½ cup pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
- 1 tablespoon chia seeds
- Preheat the oven to 300 °F. Prepare a 9x9 baking pan with a silicone liner or parchment paper to be able to easily remove the bars.
- To a large bowl, add the pitted dates and cover with hot water. Allow to sit for 5-10 minutes until soft. Drain the water.
- Add the nut butter, maple syrup and vanilla to the bowl with the dates. Use an immersion blender to blend into a smooth paste.Alternatively, you can pulse them altogether in a food processor.
- Add the remaining ingredients to the bowl and use a rubber spatula to mix until well combined.
- Pour the mixture into the prepared baking pan and press firmly into an even layer and bake for 20-25 minutes until the edges are lightly browned.
- Cool completely on a wire rack for at least 2 hours. To make slicing into bars easier, you can chill in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour prior to removing from the pan and cutting.
- Slice and enjoy!