Tropical Quinoa Health Bars

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!

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 tablespoon 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 teaspoon 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

 

Are you scrambling to complete your taxes on time?

Or are you sitting back and relaxing in your completed taxes bliss?

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