I am carb obsessed, I try to cut them down as much as possible but it is simply difficult to cut them from my diet altogether. Eating carbs, however, does not necessarily mean eating unhealthy. Don’t get me wrong, I indulge in my fair share of french fries and croissants but sometimes it’s nice to eat something that I don’t have to feel so guilty about but that still tastes good.
Quinoa is one of those grains that I just can’t get enough of. Not only is it a complex carb but it also contains quite a significant amount of protein and it has anti-inflammatory properties due to phytonutrients. This amazing grain is in technically a cereal and is actually more closely related to beetroot and spinach, believe it or not?! The flavour is nutty and slightly bitter. This close to perfect ingredient can easily be used as an alternative to rice or as an ingredient in many delicious recipes like these quinoa and honey bars. They are very easy to make and almost guilt free, give them a try and let me know what you think!
Quinoa, nut and honey bars (makes 12 bars)
1 cup unsalted almonds
½ raw quinoa, rinsed
¼ cup raw pumpkin seeds
¼ cup raw sunflower seeds
3 tablespoons of desiccated coconut
1 cup dried dates, pitted
2 tablespoons honey
A pinch of salt
(Optional 100g dark chocolate)
- Grease a 20cm x 20cm baking sheet with a little bit of vegetable oil and preheat the oven to 180°C. If you are worried that the bars might get stuck you may also line the sheet with parchment paper. This allows for easy removal and guarantees it won’t stick.
- In a dry frying pan, over a medium heat, toast the almonds quinoa, pumpkin and sunflower seeds until you can smell the nuttiness (about 10 minutes). Add the coconut and toast for 2 minutes more. Allow to cool completely.
- In a food processor, process the dates, honey, salt and 30 ml of cold water until it makes a smooth mixture.
- Transfer to a mixing bowl and mix in the toasted nut mixture.
- Press into the prepared baking sheet and bake for 18-20 minutes. Allow them to cool and then cut into bars.
*For an added treat melt 100g of dark chocolate and drizzle over the bars once they are cooled down