[Post #85 for 100 days of Vegan, Gluten-Free, Portable Power Pucks]
I am not sure who “invented” the breakfast bar, but I am grateful for the inspiration. Whether running out the door, heading off for a bike trek to work (or weekend play), packing for an early morning carpool/train/plane ride, or pecking away at the computer in the early morning hours before everyone else is awake, handheld, make-ahead breakfasts are nothing short of magnificent.
How about upping that magnificence with chocolate?
Even with the addition of miniature chocolate chips, these hearty quinoa bars are rich in nutrients (quinoa, oats, banana, flax) that leave you feeling satisfied for hours, and all for a mere 134 calories each. That’s due, in large part, to a minimal amount of added sugar (just two tablespoons of pure maple syrup) and naturally sweet bananas. The result is a happy confluence of chocolate chip cookie + bowl of oatmeal + muffin.
These were a hit with a gaggle of 9 and 10-year-olds, as well as their parents, at a recent, active outing, and I think we all trekked farther and faster (or, perhaps we were all happy about eating chocolate first thing in the morning).
Dried fruit, nuts and seeds, in any combination,can be used in place of–or, in addition to–the chocolate, and the spices can be varied any number of ways. Also, if banana is not your thing, use an equal amount of applesauce. Keep in mind that the applesauce is far less sweet than mashed, very ripe bananas. This may be exactly what you want, but if not, reduce the milk by a few tablespoons and increase the amount of ample syrup to taste.
Here’s to powering up with a great breakfast! Have a great week, everyone!
- 1 cup mashed, very ripe banana )about 2 large)
- ⅔ cup nondairy milk (I used plain almond)
- 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
- 3 tablespoons ground flaxseed meal
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1-1/2 cups cooked quinoa (see note)
- 1-1/3 cup rolled oats (certified GF, as needed)
- 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips (dairy-free)
- Preheat oven to 350F. Grease, spray or line all 12 cups of a standard muffin tin.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the banana, milk, syrup, flaxseed meal, vanilla, cinnamon and salt. Let stand for 5 to 10 minutes to thicken, then stir in the quinoa, oats and baking powder until well-blended. Stir in the chocolate chips. Divide mixture evenly between prepared muffin cups.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes until golden brown and tops look and feel dry to the touch. Transfer to a cooling rack and cool in tin for at least 15 minutes before removing from tin. Serve warm or cool completely.
Quinoa: It will take ½ cup uncooked quinoa to yield 1-1/2 cups of cooked quinoa.
Additional nutrition highlights:
*Very low in cholesterol
*High in manganese
*High in magnesium
*Very high in phosphorus
*Very high in vitamin B6