Tropical Quinoa Health Bars

by Leanne Vogel (Healthful Pursuit) on March 14, 2011

How is it that this weekend seemed to fly by even quicker than the last?

I did get a bunch of stuff done yesterday, which is good, including a bit of our taxes.

I’m still regretting leaving it until the very last minute + not keeping things as organized as I should have.

Here’s to a more efficient system of filing our endless receipts, invoices, bills, and whatever else we need to keep for 2011.

I’ve promised myself this year will be different.

On with the eats…

Fruits are [generally] rich in vitamins and antioxidants and can be a great addition to a healthy lifestyle.

But did you know that the type of fruit makes a huge difference in its nutrient value and health benefits?

The first thing we should know is that man made or hybrid fruits will have higher sugar and lower nutrients. Take “seedless” fruits for example, [seedless grapes, watermelon, lemons, or melons]. Also, the higher in pesticides a product is, the more damaging it can be on our bodies. Check out what foods are at risk for highest pesticide content here.

When planning this recipe, I decided to incorporate some of the cleanest, and most health benefiting fruits to kick up the nutrients in these bars.

Coconut

  • Protects liver against damage.
  • Can improve the anti-inflammatory response in our immune system.
  • Antiviral and antibacterial abilities.

Papaya

  • Rich source of minerals, potassium, magnesium.
  • Useful for digestion [contains an enzyme that helps with digestion]
  • Rich in antioxidants like carotenes, vitamin C and flavonoids.
  • High in vitamins B and E, folate and fiber.
  • May provide protection against cancer.
  • Can improve the anti-inflammatory response in our immune system.

Mango

  • Contains calcium, iron and potassium.
  • Rich in carotenoids and vitamins B and C.
  • Good source of phosphorus, selenium, folate and zinc.

So let’s bring on the health BAR!

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Tropical Quinoa Health Bars

Gluten free, Dairy free, Yeast free

Papaya, mango, and coconut fill these ultra healthy bars with tastes of the tropics.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cup dry raw quinoa
  • 2 3/4 cups water
  • 3/4 cup full fat coconut milk
  • 3 eggs – I didn’t try the recipe with flax eggs, but it may work!
  • 3 tbsp whole chia seeds
  • 1 cup dried mango, cut into bite size pieces*
  • 1/2 cup dried papaya, cut into bite size pieces
  • 1/2 cup dried figs, cut into bite size pieces
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 3 cups shredded unsweetened coconut
  • 1/4 tsp Himalayan rock salt

note: try to find unsweetened mango and papaya as the sweetened versions will add loads of unnecessary sugar to your bars.

Directions

  1. Rinse quinoa by placing it in a strainer and running it under water for 1 minute. Transfer for a medium sized saucepan, add water and cover. Bring to a boil, then reduce to simmer for 20-25 minutes. Don’t remove the lid while cooking. Once complete, remove lid and set aside.
  2. Combine coconut milk, eggs, and chia in a small bowl. Stir and set aside.
  3. Preheat oven to 325F and line a 9×13 pan with parchment paper across both sides for easy lifting and set aside.
  4. In a large bowl combine quinoa with the coconut milk mixture. Stir until fully combined.
  5. Add remaining ingredients.
  6. Press firmly into prepared pan and bake for 30-40 minutes or until lightly golden.
  7. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 20 minutes. Slide out of pan and continue to cool for another 40 minutes before cutting.
  8. Cut with a sharp knife.

These bars are great but can get a little bit messy. The longer they sit, the firmer they’ll get. Or, stick them in the fridge for a couple of hours.

Makes 15 bars.

Nutrition stats: calories 202; fat 10g; carbohydrates 24g; dietary fiber 5g; sugars 11g; protein 4.5g

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{ 37 comments… read them below or add one }

Tara @The Game of life

My mom finished hers, but she was complaining about them last week! We already went to Walmart and got a box to keep everything in for next year so she can stay organized!! ;)

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Leanne (Healthful Pursuit)

Good call on the box. I spent a couple hours yesterday setting up a tracking sheet for EVERYTHING. Any time I get an invoice, bill, or anything… I’m tracking it in Excel. Gosh, I hope I stick to it!

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Erin @ The Grass Skirt

These look and sound delicious! I am going to try making these soon.

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Clarkie @ Beloved Green

Wow, these look like the perfect fuel before a long run. I want to try this out some time this week.

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RavieNomNoms

Those look awesome, wow what a great way to use Quinoa!

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kate@ahealthypassion

These look awesome I love the idea of tropical soo summery just what I need on this rainy day!

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Leanne (Healthful Pursuit)

That’s exactly what I was thinking when I made these. Enough with the cold! Bring on the summer!

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Alicia at AliGirl Cooks

Your fruit bars look awesome! I’m always looking for new things to make for snacks and breakfast!

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Steph@stephsbitebybite

I wish I had one of these right now!! They look so yummy!

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Leanne (Healthful Pursuit)

If you lived close by I would totally hand deliver it to your door, Steph!

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Vicky

Leanne – every time you post a recipe, I keep running back to the bulk food store! I love coconut – especially after trying your banana macaroon recipe! I haven’t tried papaya before (believe it or not) but will pick some up on my next grocery store trip. For this recipe, can you substitute in fresh papaya and mango instead of using dried?

Question about the chia seeds – do they have to be ground? I picked some up on the weekend (couldn’t find them at the Supercenter) and I think they’re whole. At least the sign on the bin didn’t say ground. I bought them for the porridge bites recipe but have extra for this recipe.

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Leanne (Healthful Pursuit)

Thank you Vicky, that means a lot to me! I’m glad you liked my banana macaroons. I’m sure you could substitute fresh papaya and mango. I’m not too sure if it would make the bars too moist though. If you’re really into using fresh ingredients you could try adding some flour to bind everything together, or cut the recipe in half and prepare it in a deep [oiled with coconut oil] casserole dish. Bake for the same amount of time and when you’re done, serve it with a spoon and scoop it out onto your plate.
Chia seeds – you wont need to grind the chia for these quinoa bars. You can throw them in whole. For other recipes that call for ground chia or flax, if you have a coffee grinder it works perfectly for grinding up seeds! Good luck :)

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fooddreamer

i am in the process of trying to wean my kids of commercial granola bars as even the healthier versions have a lot of sugar. These bars might do the trick!

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Kim

Oh yummy Leanne!!!!!!! I’ve been looking for a healthy bar recipe that has natural sugars and a good dose of protein :-) Thank you!…..on the tax note, I reduce any stress by having a professional do them. To me it’s worth the money and it seems that accountants know all the “tricks” to helping someone get a refund :-) Have a super day!!!

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Leanne (Healthful Pursuit)

Great advice Kim. I’ll definitely have to look into that for next year. eak!

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Gina

Wow! I didn’t know coconut had so many health benefits!
These bars sounds delicious :) They have me craving sunshine & summertime!

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nevernotdreaming

I enjoy coconut – the milk, the flakes, the oil, and the butter.
Very nice site (I found it through Oh She Glows).

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Leanne (Healthful Pursuit)

I’m totally with you – coconut is my favorite ingredient in the whole world. I made coconut curry crackers over the weekend and nearly died! Thanks for stopping by :)

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Dawn Hutchins

I am printing this recipe out. I feel healthier just reading it!

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Kankana

WOW .. super healthy !! saving this to give a try :)

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Jenny (Fit Girl Foodie)

I swear I think I’m the only blogger who has yet to make anything sweet with quinoa. I’ve seen so many recipes using it to make bars or pudding. I only use it for savory. These look delicious!

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Leanne (Healthful Pursuit)

mmm quinoa pudding. I’m looking it up right now. You know, I can’t tell you the last time I had savory quinoa. It always finds itself around fruit + honey in my kitchen!

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Happy When Not Hungry

I’ve never seen quinoa used in bars like this before, but what a creative idea!

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Lindsey@Lindselicious

Love all the information you give about all the ingredients!

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Sandra's Easy Cooking

These look amazingly delicious! Love the nice color contrast and the photos too!

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Jess@HealthyExposures

Looks wonnnderful, as always! I never knew that about man-made fruits vs. “real,” though. Of course; I never even knew seedless lemons existed :P
My mom helped me out with my taxes. I’m going to be so screwed when I move out :X

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Leanne (Healthful Pursuit)

haha nah, you won’t be screwed. I promise you’ll figure it out. Heck, at least you know how to cook for yourself. That’s the most important thing. Screw taxes.

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Christina @ This Woman Cooks!

This sounds great! I’d like to pass on the Stylish Blog Award to you- http://thiswomancooks.blogspot.com/2011/03/i-got-award.html

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Leanne (Healthful Pursuit)

Thank you Christina :)

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chelsey @ clean eating chelsey

These look absolutely fantastic! The perfect afternoon treat!

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Elizabeth

Wow! These look amazing! Thanks for posting, can’t wait to try them out for myself soon!

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Eric (Wellness Foods)

Thank you for sharing this recipe, these are just what I needed for a gluten, and dairy-free diet! I couldn’t find Chia seeds, but tried them with [3 Tbsp] flax seed meal instead. Where, pray tell, does one find Chia seeds?

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Leanne (Healthful Pursuit)

I’m glad to hear flax worked well! You can find chia seed at any health food store – whole foods or otherwise. A bunch of bulk stores have them too. If you’re in Canada, Bulk Barn has them!

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Jenny

This is one of the three recipes I have tried from your website for making things for others, and everyone I gave them to absolutely loved them! Family members and classmates alike. (I think these scored me some extra points with my teammates for a project at school, heh heh!)

The grocery store only had sweetened dried mango and papaya, so I scaled down the honey to about 3 Tbsp, and everyone still said they were sweet enough and delicious. :) Great recipe! They looked exactly like the picture and I was happy to find that they were easy to cut neatly into bars!

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Leanne (Healthful Pursuit)

That’s great news, Jenny! I’m happy everyone liked them :)

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Jo

Hiya – these look great. Did you use flaked quinoa or normal dry quinoa?

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Leanne Vogel (Healthful Pursuit)

Hi Jo – I used normal dry quinoa. Enjoy!

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