- 1 c. oats
- 1/2 c. plain whole milk yogurt (or water)
- 1 c. cooked (sprouted) quinoa*
- 1/4 c. dried cherries
- 1/2 c. chopped nuts (optional)
- 1/4 c. honey
- 1/4 c. peanut butter
- 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp. salt (Use the code kitchenstewardship for 15% off of your first purchase)
- optional add-ins:
- 1/4 c. shredded unsweetened coconut
- 2 Tbs. ground flax
- 1/2 tsp. baking soda, for lift
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- The night before, mix one cup rolled oats with the 1/2 cup plain yogurt in your mixing bowl.
- Allow to rest on the counter overnight or for 12-24 hours to reduce phytates and improve digestion. (Why soak?)
- Make sure your quinoa is also prepped to cook or already cooked per instructions below. I find it’s easier to cook the quinoa one day while preparing lunch or dinner, then have it cold and ready to go into the bar recipe whenever I’m ready to bake.
- The recipe has also been tested with 1 cup soaked and dehydrated oats plus one half cup liquid: milk, water, or yogurt.
- To mix up the bars, add one cup cooked quinoa to the soaked oats, then simply add all the other ingredients and mix well.
- Spread in an 8×8-inch baking pan (or 7×11 works too).
- In a preheated 350F oven, bake for 20-30 minutes.
- The bars are done when the middle is no longer soggy and the edges become browned and pull away from the pan slightly.
- Cool in the pan before slicing into 16 pieces.
- Stores best in the refrigerator, although they can handle a few days at room temperature.
*Quinoa Soaking Instructions:
One to four days before baking, soak quinoa overnight in filtered water.
Either sprout for 1-3 days following these sprouting directions, or just rinse well and cook. (Sprouted quinoa pictured in post)
If you want exactly enough for an 8×8 pan of bars (this recipe), soak 1/4 cup dry quinoa. I always soak a full cup and just freeze the extras in one-cup servings for future batches.
Cook with double the amount of whole milk or coconut milk vs. quinoa. In other words, cook 1/4 c. dry quinoa in 1/2 c. milk, or use 2 c. milk or one can coconut milk for a full cup of dry quinoa. Bring to a boil, stir, and reduce to a simmer. Cook, covered, for about 30 minutes until liquid is absorbed.
If you use coconut milk, try using the cooked quinoa on top of yogurt with blueberries, cinnamon, and maple syrup. It’s wonderful.
Note: People find various things with soaking – if your family really reacts to unsoaked grain, you may want to soak in 1/2 c. warm water with a little whole wheat flour or buckwheat (gluten-free) flour to make sure the phytic acid is neutralized, instead of yogurt…
Crumbly fix: If you find that your bars come out too crumbly, first make sure to refrigerate them. (That might solve it all.) Then cut them apart and place individual bars on a cookie sheet or baking stone. Toast at about 350F for 10 minutes and allow to cool completely. This “re-toast” process really helps the bars keep their shape and be more solid.
If you have tamed your sweet tooth and don’t need a lot of sweetness, try cutting the honey right in half.
Peanuts are the highest protein nut, hence the peanut butter, although I admit I didn’t try using ground peanuts (yet).
Sunflower seeds (24-27g/cup) and almonds (20-31g/cup) are also very high protein nuts (numbers vary widely depending on source).
Walnuts are lower at 14-20 (maybe 28?) g/cup but have excellent omega-3 fats, so they’re still a good choice.
Hate peanut butter? Allergic? Use butter or coconut oil instead (or try simply omitting; these bars have been incredibly flexible).
Don’t care to soak? Want the bars now? Just use 1 cup oats with 1/2 cup liquid (yogurt, milk OR water) in the recipe.
This recipe is gluten-free as long as you use gluten-free oats.
If you use flax, be sure to take care of it so it doesn’t go rancid. (How to store flax)
Only buy peanut butter that has NO hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils.
Feel free to use any dried fruit you have on hand.
2.6 g protein per 2×2″ bar Or with 1/2 c. nuts = 3.2 g protein