The latest issue of Bon Appétit Magazine had a feature on how to make all sorts of different energy bars from scratch, and of the half-dozen or so that they shared, this one struck me as the one to give a try. I think it mostly had to do with the binder made from tart cherries, rice syrup and salt (YUM!), but it also could have been that I have 3 different bags of quinoa in my pantry just screaming for redemption. Whatever the reason, I’m quite happy to have made these.
The quinoa flavor here is somewhat pronounced, so if you’re not a fan of the little seeds then you probably won’t like these, but if you ARE a devotee, then by all means give this one a whirl as it’s super easy to make and about as healthy as energy bars can be.
I made my bars with slivered almonds because that’s what I had on-hand but any nut would do, just make sure to keep the solid (nuts and seeds) and liquid (binder) ratio in-check so that the bars are neither too gooey nor too dry after cooking. While the recipe calls for a cooking time of 20-25 minutes, I found that they needed a full 40 minutes to be properly cooked.
These are a great and healthy mid-morning or afternoon snack, enjoy!
Cheers – Steve
Seedy Cherry-Quinoa Bars
Makes 8-12 bars depending on size
- 1 cup chopped almonds (I used slivered almonds - use whatever nuts you like)
- ½ cup raw quinoa, rinsed, and left to dry on paper towels for 15-20 minutes before toasting
- ¼ cup raw pumpkin seeds
- ¼ cup raw sunflower seeds
- 1 cup dried tart cherries
- 2 tablespoons brown rice syrup
- ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
- Preheat oven to 350°. Coat 8x8” baking pan with nonstick vegetable oil spray; line with parchment, leaving overhang on all sides. Toast almonds, rinsed and dried quinoa, pumpkin seeds, and sunflower seeds on a rimmed baking sheet, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, 10–12 minutes. Let cool.
- Reduce oven temperature to 200°. Process cherries, brown rice syrup, salt, and 2 Tbsp. water in a food processor until smooth. Transfer to a medium bowl and stir in toasted almond mixture until uniformly coated.
- Press firmly into prepared pan and bake until no longer sticky, 20–25 minutes (mine took 40 minutes). Let cool, then cut into bars.