Five years ago, Quinoa was a lonely grain, familiar mainly among its Peruvian natives. As it made its way over to Europe, it quickly became noticed as one of the most underrated grains of the century and its pronunciation became somewhat of a conversation piece. Phonetically it went (and still goes) a little something like this “Kin-Owa” “Quin-owa” “Chin-wa”. Eventually we did managed to get the hang of it “Keen-Wa”.
Now a fashionista of the foodie world, Quinoa is the world’s most popular superfood and can be seen adorning menus of all varieties be it Breakfast, Brunch, Lunch or Dinner. Very rarely have I seen it used in baking however, so when I came across Quinoa Bars on one of my many Pinterest raids, I just knew I had to make some of my own.
Choosing what I put with it didn’t take much deliberation and nothing is more indulgent that dark chocolate and peanut butter. I really wanted to find a flavour that would hit that sweet craving right in the whatsits, however as these were made with my current health kick in mind the balance had to be enough to stop me scoffing more minutes later.
Adding that touch of cinnamon really does the trick and I can already tell these will quickly become a weekly must-have for my kitchen.
Makes 8-10 squares
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Fridge time: 4 hours
100g uncooked quinoa
140g rolled oats
7-8 pitted dates
2tbsp smooth peanut butter
1tbsp Manuka honey
1tsp Coconut oil (I use Lucy Bee)
1 tsp cinnamon
200g 85% Dark Chocolate
Start by cooking your quinoa in 200ml of simmering water. The ratio when cooking quinoa is always 1:2.
When soft and fluffy, pour into a sieve and rinse with cold water, then drain as much of the excess water away as you can.
Blitz the dates in a blender, then pour the cooked quinoa into a large mixing bowl. Add the dates, rolled oats, peanut butter, honey, coconut oil and cinnamon. Mix everything together until fully incorporated then pour into a lined 20×20 baking tin. Pat the mixture down evenly then pop into the fridge for 2 hours.
For the chocolate topping, break the chocolate into a bowl and set it on top of a bowl of boiling water, stirring until completely melted. In a separate bowl melt a tablespoon of peanut butter until it becomes a runny consistency.
Pour the melted chocolate over the top of the quinoa mix ensuring it is evenly spread. Then with a tablespoon, gently pour drops of the runny peanut butter across the chocolate. To create the swirly pattern, take a knife and starting from one corner twist it gently through the melted chocolate and combine with the peanut butter.
Put everything back in the fridge to set for another 2-3 hours (or overnight). When ready it can be gently lifted out of the baking tin and cut into squares.