It’s been a lot of years since I have eaten store-bought muesli bars. They have too much sugar for my liking and added preservatives that I just don’t care for. I prefer to make my own.
This simple recipe is adapted from one I wrote for Who Magazine last year.
Oats and quinoa flakes are combined with spices, dried fruit and nuts. It uses rice bran syrup as a natural alternative to highly processed sugar, and chia seeds soaked to a gel to help hold it all together during baking.
Using rice bran syrup makes these quinoa and chia seed bars low Gi, and that’s a good thing! Low GI foods are digested slower, causing a lower rise in blood glucose levels making it a more sustainable energy source, which also keeps you fuller for longer. Yay!
For those of you with children who face the weekly ordeal of packing lunch boxes,(I have two of them that like to inspect the contents of their boxes each day), teach them good food doesn’t come from a packet and add these to their weekly routine.
For hikers and bushwalkers, these bars can quickly become a backpack staple, and one you’ll be happy to have near by when hitting those mountains.
And if you are the type of person to have breakfast on the run (not me, I am truly dedicated to this first meal of the day, and cannot leave home with out it) these bars would get you off to a good start.
Quinoa and chia seed bars
1 tbsp (Australian standard size: 20ml) black chia seeds
1/2 cup rice bran syrup
1/4 cup rice bran oil, or grape seed oil
2 tbsp honey
1/2 tsp mixed spice
1 tsp cinnamon
1 cup quinoa flakes
3/4 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1 1/2 cups trail mix (dried fruit and nut mix)
Pre heat oven to 175C
Place the chia seeds and 1/4 cup of cold water in a small bowl, whisk and stand for 10 minutes till chia seeds turn to a thick gel.
Place the rice bran syrup, oil, honey (if using) and spices in a small saucepan, bring to the boil, turn off the heat and set aside.
In a large bowl combine the quinoa flakes, rolled oats, shredded coconut and trail mix.
Add the soaked chia seeds to the warm rice bran syrup and whisk to combine. Pour onto the quinoa and oat mixture and stir till well combined.
Line a 30cm shallow baking tray with baking paper. Place the quinoa mixture into the lined tray and using a spatula press it firmly all over till it’s smooth and level.
Bake in the oven for 35 minutes. Allow to cool slightly in the tray before cooling on a wire rack. Once bars have cooled, use a sharp knife to cut bars to desired size. Store in an air tight container for up to one week.
Note: For a vegan version of these bars, leave out the 2 tbsp of honey.
(C) Copy right foodfrommichelleskitchen 2016 – Quinoa and chia seed bars