Soft Oat & Quinoa Bars with Chocolate Chunks and Cherries

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Quinoa Oat Bars -- After-School Snacks
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Prep Time 15 minutes Cook Time 55 minutes

These granola bars are moist and delicious and chock full of good things. I love chocolate and cherries together, and thankfully so do my kids. But if that doesn’t sound good to you, feel free to play with the combination of fruits and chocolate. How about raisins or cranberries? Or swap out semi-sweet chips for white chocolate chips. You can make these bars gluten free by using certified gluten-free oats and oat flour.

What you'll need

  • 1/4 cup quinoa
  • 1 2/3 cups quick rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup oat flour (or pulse 1/3 cup of oats in a food processor until it is finely ground)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup dried cherries
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chunks
  • 1/3 cup nut butter (I used almond)
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 6 tablespoons melted butter
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup

How to make it

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Spray an 8x8x2 inch baking pan with cooking spray and line with parchment or foil so that the paper drapes over two opposite sides of the pan. (You will need to cut it to size.) Spray again and set aside.

  2. Heat a small skillet over medium heat. Add the quinoa to the pan and toast for a few minutes, stirring frequently. You will know it’s done when it becomes golden brown and smells like roasted nuts. Set aside.

  3. Mix together the quinoa, oats, sugar, oat flour, salt, cinnamon, dried cherries and chocolate chunks in a large bowl. Stir in the nut butter, vanilla, melted butter, honey and maple syrup. Stir until the mixture is evenly coated.

  4. Press batter into the prepared pan and bake for 35-40 minutes, or until it is golden brown and slightly crisp on the edges. The center will still be somewhat soft.

  5. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Lift it from the pan using the parchment paper or foil and cut into squares or bars. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Bars can also be individually wrapped with plastic wrap (2 layers) and frozen.

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