Homemade Fair Trade Breakfast Bars

These super-moist, super-yummy bars are full of protein-packed quinoa, antioxident-rich dark chocolate, nutritious nuts and banana.  They taste like a delicious banana cake, but they’re actually a healthy on-the-go breakfast.  You’d never know these bars are also vegan and, because quinoa is a complete protein, an excellent source of nutrition for those abstaining from meat or dairy.

 Makes 16

1/2 cup Fair Trade Certified quinoa

1 cup water

(This will yield about 2 cups of cooked quinoa)

1 very ripe Fair Trade Certified Banana (1/2 cup mashed)

1/3 cup organic canola oil

2/3 cup packed Fair Trade Certified golden brown sugar

1 teaspoon Fair Trade Certified vanilla extract

1 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon Fair Trade Certified ground cinnamon

1 cup Fair Trade Certified dark or semisweet chocolate chips

1/2 cup shredded unsweetened dried coconut

1/2 cup raw unsalted slivered almonds or chopped walnuts

  • Rinse quinoa inside a mesh strainer under cold running water (important step!).  Let drain.
  • Bring 1 cup of water to a boil in a saucepan.  Add rinsed quinoa and reduce heat to a simmer.  Cover and cook about 15 minutes or until water is absorbed.  You want the quinoa to be on the dry side for this recipe, so be sure all the water is cooked out.  Quinoa is done when soft and translucent and little rings begin to appear.  Remove from heat, let cool completely and set aside.

DIRECTIONS

  • Preheat oven to 350°F
  • Mash banana with a fork until smooth.  In a large bowl, combine banana, oil, sugar and vanilla.  Mix well with a fork, add cooled quinoa and mix again.
  • In a smaller bowl, combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon.  Mix well with a fork.  
  • Mix dry ingredients into bowl with wet ingredients.  Add chocolate chips, coconut and nuts, mixing after each addition.
  • Spoon mixture evenly into an 8” square pan and bake about 25 to 30 minutes or until edges are golden brown and top springs back lightly when pressed.
  • Cool completely in pan on a wire rack.  Cut into squares.
  • These will keep, tightly wrapped, for at least a week.  If the weather is hot, you may want to store in refrigerator.

Recipe submitted by Gina De Roma