Nut, Quinoa & Chocolate Bars

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This recipe picks up where our last post ended – it’s another great way to use nut butter. These bars are very simple and tastes just amazing; rich, chewy, crunchy, sweet and salty. Some of our friends called it a grown-up snickers bar, although it’s a lot more energy packed and only made with a few good ingredients. It’s a nice little dessert and also perfect as a post-workout snack.

Before we jump to the recipe, there is another exciting thing we wanted to share. Apparently we’re one of the finalists in Saveur Blog Awards, in the category best use of video! We are so honoured to be included in this specific category since we still feel like rookies in the recipe video sphere. It’s lots of fun to experiment with videos but we have also felt a bit trembling and unsure about the whole thing. So this truly made us happy! There are loads of new talents to explore, you should definitely head over to the saveur.com/blogawards to have a look. If you feel like voting for us or any of the other finalists you just need to log in or register first. Thank you!

To celebrate the nomination, we created this little recipe video for the bars. Elsa is really in to ballet at the moment so she helped pick the music. If you like this video and would like to explore all our other videos, check out our youtube page: youtube.com/greenkitchenstories

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About this recipe. It’s decadent but energising, rich but still with a fresh punch from the ginger. Simply put, it’s a recipe that we are pretty confident that you are going to love. You can use any nut butter in the recipe, we have tried it with various sorts and it seems to taste great regardless of what type we are using. Our favourite is a mix of cashew, sunflower seeds and almonds. If you are allergic to nuts, we recommend using pure sunflower seed butter and skip the almonds in the recipe. Puffed/popped quinoa can be found in health food stores. We haven’t tried making it ourselves but would love to hear if any of you have tried it. You can replace the puffed quinoa with regular rolled oats, puffed amaranth or more nuts and seeds.

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Nut, Quinoa & Chocolate Bars
Makes around 18 bars

2 tbsp cold-pressed coconut oil
10 fresh soft dates, pitted
1 cup / 250 ml / 250 g nut butter (see recipe for homemade nut butter in this post)
1 tbsp fresh ginger, grated
1/2 cup / 80 g raw pumpkin seeds/pepitas
1 cup / 30 g puffed quinoa
a handful raw almonds, coarsely chopped
a pinch sea salt flakes, optional

3,5 oz / 100 g dark chocolate (70%)
1/3 cup desiccated coconut (unsweetened)

Melt coconut oil in a medium size sauce pan on low/medium heat. Mash the pitted dates with a fork and add to the sauce pan together with the nut butter and freshly grated ginger. Stir around until it all comes together and cook for just a few minutes on low heat. Remove from the heat. Add pumpkin seeds, puffed quinoa and chopped almonds. Taste and add salt if needed (depending on how salty the nut butter is).

Line an 8 x 10 inch / 15 x 20 cm baking dish with parchment paper and scoop the batter into it. Use the palm of your hands to press everything together tightly into an even rectangle, roughly 2/3 inch / 2 cm high. Put in the fridge or freezer while melting the chocolate on a double boiler / water bath. Pour the melted chocolate over the bars and use a spatula to distribute it evenly. Sprinkle with desiccated coconut and put back into the fridge or freezer until cold and firm. You can store the bars in the freezer and they will last for months or in the fridge if you plan on eating them within a few days. We prefer having them in the freezer and eating them just slightly thawed but still chilled.