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Slow dried cacao & quinoa granola bars

Do you like to have a little snack during the day? I do. And not just any snack, I like to have something that is healthy and I know exactly what it contains and where it comes from. That is why I make these granola bars. The base is puffed quinoa, rolled oats, maple syrup or honey, and water. Then you can add anything from nuts to dried fruits, to different seeds or spices. Another great thing about this recipe is the way granola bars are made – they are not baked at high temperatures and therefore keep the most of the nutrients of the original ingredients.

You can find all the benefits of these cacao granola bars below:

  • make great little yet filling snack (also excellent travel food)
  • satisfy your sweet cravings
  • are healthy!
  • stay fresh for a long time in an airtight container (even for several weeks)
  • can be customized according to your needs and taste buds

It is great to make a big batch once in a while (since the drying time is quite long and you need to keep an eye on them during the process), and so have them ready for coming days, weeks or for your travel.

Ingredients:

  • 130 g rolled oats
  • 110 g puffed quinoa
  • 50 g raw cacao powder
  • 130 g nuts (I used almonds, but you can use any nuts, or even mix some)
  • 50 g raisins
  • 50 g chia seeds
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 100 g medjool dates
  • 2-3 tbsp cold-pressed vegetable oil (I used olive oil)
  • 200 g maple syrup or honey
  • 200 g water
  1. Preheat the oven to the lowest temperature possible (usually around 50 °C). Ideal temperature is 40-50 °C.
  2. Mix all dry ingredients together in a big bowl (rolled oats, puffed quinoa, cacao powder, nuts, raisins, chia seeds, and salt).
  3. Put dates in a food processor with maple syrup, water, and oil, and blend together.
  4. Add date and maple syrup mix to the bowl with dry ingredients and stir well.
  5. Spoon in a baking tray (mine is 30 x 20 cm) lined with baking parchment. Spread equally and push hard with your wet hands so that the mix sticks together and is nice and even. This step is very important as you need your mix to really stick in a kind of block that has no cracks or gaps (cracks and gaps would cause disintegration of your granola block while drying in the oven).
  6. Once the granola block sticks together well, take it out of the baking tray using the baking parchment and place the whole block together with the baking parchment on the grill rack in the middle of your oven.
  7. Let slowly dry for about 7-8 hours, turning granola block over after cca 4 hours (not necessary). Keep in mind you need to ventilate the oven once in a while, just open the oven doors for about 5 minutes every hour.
  8. When ready, let cool on a cooling rack and slice with a sharp knife into bars, you can make up to 20 of these depending on how big bars you slice.
  9. Store in an airtight container for a couple of weeks.

Granola bars

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