Blogging can be hard.
I mean not all the recipe tasting, that bit is great. And not the collaborating with amazing companies who sell truly wonderful products, that's great too. And not the incredible connections I make each and every day with like-minded foodies, that bit rocks. Ok so really it's pretty sweet but the actual blogging part can sometimes have me stumped. Which is odd, because I always did well in English class and every single year of my schooling my report card said something along the lines of "very smart, talks too much". Nevertheless I sometimes find myself lacking the appropriate words to really convey my feelings.This is just so for these no-bake quinoa muesli bars.
Not that I don't have any idea what to say about them, but more that I have so many good things to say that my brain seems to spasm and shut down when I try to articulate it. These muesli bars were an idea that floated into my brain (when it was actually functioning) and the actual construction process is SO EASY and they taste SO GOOD that I surprised myself. I love happy surprises! But seriously - they have 8 ingredients (9 if you include the chocolate drizzle), all of which most people have some variation of on hand, and the steps are as complicated as: Melt. Mix. Chill. Oh, and: sit back and covet every last bar bar because they taste so gosh darn good.
I say "some variation of" because although goji berries and puffed quinoa are usually in my cupboards I totally understand that not everyone is an insufferably pretentious foodie, and thus some of these items aren't exactly pantry staples. BUT you can swap the goji berries for other dried fruit and you can swap the quinoa for a different grain - puffed rice would work well or possible even quick cook oats. The binding agent is primarily peanut butter, so if you don't like peanut butter 1) you're wrong and 2) you can use any other nut butter instead. These bars are super easy and super tasty - chewy, crunchy, sweet, wholesome and nutritious but still decadent.
You can leave off the chocolate if you wish, although I have no idea who would wish for that, or even mix some sugar-free/dark chocolate chips through the mix before placing it into the fridge.
Goji berries, also known as wolfberries ( a way better name in my opinion..), have been used medicinally for thousands of years in Tibet and China. Gojis have the highest protein of any fruit in the world and are packed with vitamin C, beta-carotene, fibre and calcium. Peanuts are high in mono-unsaturated fatty acids, which help lower LDL ('bad') cholesterol and classifies them as a high satiety food, meaning you'll feel fulll for longer. Peanuts are also rich in vitamin E, for maintaining healthy cell membranes, and protein - with 1/4 cup serve providing nearly 9 grams of high quality protein.
And after all that it seems like I didn't have to much trouble finding the words after all. I guess all of my teachers were right....but enough of my words, I think I'd rather just let my pictures do the talking. Enjoy!
No-Bake Quinoa Muesli Bars
2 cups puffed quinoa
1/2 cup goji berries
1/2 cup pepitas
2 tbsp chia seeds
1/4 cup coconut flakes
1/2 cup rice syrup
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup coconut oil
6 squares dark/vegan/sugar-free chocolate
1) Place quinoa, gojis, pepitas, chia seeds and coconut in a large mixing bowl.
2) Place rice syrup, peanut utter and coconut oil in a small saucepan and heat over low flame until coconut oil has completely melted.
3) Pour peanut mixture over dry ingredients and mix well until combined.
4) Spread mixture into a 9x9in baking tin, pressing down with the back of a spoon to ensure it's flat and even.
5) Place in the fridge to set, minimum two hours.
6) Once set, melt chocolate gently and drizzle over unsliced bars. Allow to set, then slice into 12 bars. Store in a sealed, airtight container in the fridge.
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