Crunchy almond & quinoa energy bars

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Sometimes when those mid-morning or afternoon hunger spells strike, I just find myself needing food right there and now.. and it’s often something sweet that I crave. Rather than grab the nearest pack of biscuits or chocolate bar, I like to try and make sure that I’m feeding my body with something containing lots of nutritious whole foods that will make me feel fuelled and energised. These bars are packed with plant based protein, natural sugars and also some healthy fats too. They’re really easy to make at home and can be made in big batches, so you always have something on hand when you’re feeling a bit peckish. 

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They kind of came about when I was on a mission to use up some left over ingredients that had been sitting in my kitchen cupboard for a little while, getting slightly neglected. I wasn’t too convinced that they would turn out to be particularly tasty if i’m honest, but I was REALLY pleasantly surprised! The quinoa puffs and almonds create an amazing chewy, crunchy texture, bound together by a sweet, nutty date and almond butter combo. I also had a few goji berries left over, so added those in too for an extra kick of fruitiness and also a gorgeous pop of colour! These bars are also no-bake, so all you have to do is pop them in the freezer for an hour or two and there you have it, a delicious fruity, nutty snack! 

I try and make sure that I’m getting some form of protein in with all of my snacks and meals and nuts and seeds are a fantastic plant based source. Quinoa is actually a type of seed, not a grain and so makes a good higher protein alternative to things like rice and oats. I’ve been loving using puffed quinoa in recipes lately; it’s great in granola or sprinkled over berries and coconut yoghurt.. oh and in these bars!

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Crunchy almond & quinoa energy bars

Ingredients

  • 1 cup puffed quinoa
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup almonds
  • 1/2 cup dates
  • 2 tbsp almond butter
  • 1 tbsp cacao nibs
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tsp maca powder

Instructions

  1. Handful of goji berriesStart off by blending the dates, water and maple syrup together in a food processor, to create a sticky caramel mixture. Add in the almond butter and coconut oil and blend again.
  2. Now, add the almonds into the food processor and blend this with the caramel to crush the almonds slightly into smaller pieces. Next, pour in the remaining ingredients, except for the goji berries and blend until everything is starting to stick together.
  3. Toss in the goji berries and pulse for a few seconds to evenly distribute them into the mix. Transfer this into a lined baking dish and flatten everything out. Leave in the freezer for at least an hour and cut into bars prior to serving.
http://charleyshealth.co.uk/2016/crunchy-almond-quinoa-energy-bars/

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