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Apple Quinoa Breakfast Bars | sweetpeasandsaffron.com


Soft, cakey, and loaded with apple chunks, these apple quinoa breakfast bars are a great way to commence the day! Made with quinoa, rolled oats, apples, cinnamon and peanut butter, these bars are gluten-free and loved by both kids and grown ups alike.

When it comes to quinoa, I usually think savory: salads, casseroles, and in general, a rice replacement. But quinoa is surprisingly great served sweet, as well!

three apple quinoa breakfast bars on wood cutting board

Having a batch of these apple quinoa breakfast bars in the fridge definitely makes me happy! They are great for breakfast or served as a snack, and are made with wholesome ingredients to help fuel your body.

Reasons you’ll ♡ apple quinoa breakfast bars

  • they are gluten-free and free from refined sugars
  • they are loaded with apple flavor thanks to both applesauce and chopped fresh apple
  • they have 7 g protein per bar, which will help fuel your body through the morning

ingredients for quinoa breakfast bars

Ingredient notes

  • applesauce– acts as a natural sweetener and helps to keep the bars moist and held together. Look for unsweetened applesauce in the grocery store, or make a batch of Instant Pot applesauce.
  • peanut butter– helps to add protein and flavor to the bars, as well as oil to keep them moist. Look for a drippy, natural peanut butter with no added oils or sugars.
  • coconut oil- provides necessary moisture to the bars; I recommend using refined coconut oil as it has less of a potent flavor; you may swap for melted butter
  • quinoa- I used standard white quinoa; using other types of quinoa will likely work but your bars will look different.
  • rolled oats- use large flake/ancient fashioned oats and avoid fast oats or steel cut oats. If you are gluten-free, make sure your oats are certified gluten-free.
  • apple- you can use your favorite apple; granny smith, ambrosia, fuji or honey crisp are all great choices. This is the great recipe to use up slightly soft apples.
  • eggs- necessary to bind the bars; a flax egg may possibly work as an alternative, but I have not had a chance to try. Leave us a comment if you give it a try!

collage image showing how to make apple quinoa breakfast bars

Recipe notes

Start with cooked and cooled quinoa

This recipe is unusual in that it uses quinoa, but you must commence with cooked and cooled quinoa. You can cook the quinoa 1-2 hours ahead of preparing the bars, letting the quinoa cool in the fridge, or you could consider cooking it the day before. This is a great recipe to use up leftover quinoa as well!

Ways to cook the quinoa

Quinoa roughly triples in size while it cooks, so you’ll need at lease 1/2- 3/4 cup uncooked quinoa to yield 1 1/2 cups of cooked quinoa.

One bowl for simple prep

I am the queen of avoiding unnecessary dishes, so I’m pleased that this recipe requires a single bowl to mix the batter up. I recommend using a large glass measuring cup to melt the coconut oil, then mix in the rest of the wet ingredients. If the coconut oil solidifies at any point, simply pop the bowl back into the microwave and heat very gently until it melts again.

Mix in the dry ingredients: cooled quinoa, rolled oats, baking powder and cinnamon. Lastly, we fold in the chopped apples.

Baking the bars

To bake the bars, you’ll want an 8 x 8 inch baking dish that is either greased with spray oil, or lined with parchment paper. Spread the batter evenly across the baking dish, and press 9 almonds into the top of the bars.

Bake at 350°F for 40 minutes; test with a toothpick to see if they are cooked all the way through in the middle. If any batter sticks to the toothpick, return to the oven. Cool completely before slicing.

Sweetness

It is important to note that these bars are not very sweet as written, as the sole source of sweetness is from the applesauce and the apple chunks. If you’d like to increase the sweetness, add in 1/4 cup of maple syrup, honey, or brown sugar.

Variations

You could certainly use these quinoa bars as a base recipe and add your own unique twist on them. Here are some suggestions:

  • add 1 cup of frozen cranberries for a ‘cran-apple’ flavor; increase the cook time if needed
  • swap the apples for 1- 1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries (or any berry!)
  • swap the apples for fresh pears
  • swap the peanut butter for cashew, almond or any other nut butter
  • add citrus zest
  • add 1/4 cup cocoa powder + 1/2 cup chocolate chips for a chocolate version
  • swap the applesauce for pumpkin puree

close up shot of apple quinoa breakfast bar on wood cutting board

Storage + serving

You can serve these bars cold, or warmed up in the microwave. Likewise, you can eat them plain, or treat them like baked oatmeal: load them up with greek yogurt, fresh fruit, and a drizzle of maple syrup!

  • fridge– cool completely, then cut into bars. Cover the whole baking dish, or transfer to your favorite air tight meal prep container. Store in the fridge for up to 4 days.
  • freezer– cool completely, then cut into bars. These bars are softer with a slight crumble, so they are top stored in a container rather than a bag. Layer pieces of wax or parchment paper between slices so they don’t stick together.
  • thaw– abandon the container in the fridge overnight; if you exactly must have a breakfast bar fix, heat on low heat in the microwave until thawed and warmed through.

Find my favorite freezer containers here!

More snack options

Apple Quinoa Breakfast Bars

Course: Breakfast

Cuisine: American

Keyword: apples, bars, quinoa

Calories: 230kcal

Servings: 12

Soft, cakey, and loaded with apple chunks, these apple quinoa breakfast bars are a great way to commence the day! Made with quinoa, rolled oats, apples, cinnamon and peanut butter, these bars are gluten-free and loved by both kids and grown ups alike.

Prep Time20 mins

Cook Time40 mins

Total Time1 hr

  • Heat oven to 350°F. Spray a 8×8 inch baking dish with oil and set aside.

  • In a large bowl, stir together the apple sauce, peanut butter, vanilla, cinnamon, coconut oil and eggs. If the coconut oil solidifies, pop the bowl into the microwave and warm on 20 second increments until it melts back in.

  • Mix in the cooked quinoa, rolled oats and baking powder until completely incorporated. Fold in the apple last.

  • Spread the mixture into the prepared baking dish, spreading it to each corner and pressing down gently. Press 9 almonds into the top of the bars.

  • Bake for 40 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.

  • Cool completely before slicing and storing.

1- these bars are not very sweet as written; if you’d like, you can add 1/4 cup maple syrup, honey or brown sugar
2- make sure you give the quinoa enough time to cool completely before mixing it into the batter
Storage

  • fridge– cool completely, then cut into bars. Cover the whole baking dish, or transfer to your favorite air tight meal prep container. Store in the fridge for up to 4 days.
  • freezer– cool completely, then cut into bars. These bars are softer with a slight crumble, so they are top stored in a container rather than a bag. Layer pieces of wax or parchment paper between slices so they don’t stick together.
  • thaw– abandon the container in the fridge overnight; if you exactly must have a breakfast bar fix, heat on low heat in the microwave until thawed and warmed through.

Variations
You could certainly use these quinoa bars as a base recipe and add your own unique twist on them. Here are some suggestions:

  • add 1 cup of frozen cranberries for a ‘cran-apple’ flavor; increase the cook time if needed
  • swap the apples for 1- 1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries (or any berry!)
  • swap the apples for fresh pears
  • swap the peanut butter for cashew, almond or any other nut butter
  • add citrus zest
  • add 1/4 cup cocoa powder + 1/2 cup chocolate chips for a chocolate version
  • swap the applesauce for pumpkin puree

Serving: 1bar | Calories: 230kcal | Carbohydrates: 31g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 31mg | Sodium: 43mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 7g


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