These puffed quinoa & nut bars are perfect for an energizing healthy snack! These bars are no-bake, can be made fully raw and are naturally gluten-free and vegan.

a stack of 4 puffed quinoa bars

A healthy no-bake granola bar

These Puffed Quinoa & Nut Bars are the answer to when you need a quick breakfast on the go, something for that 3 pm slump, or just something to give you enough energy to make it through your evening workout. These bars are the real deal. 

I like to make a batch of these on Sunday for food prep and have them in the fridge ready to go for the week ahead.

When that afternoon slump hits, these bars are a SAVIOUR! (Thank you bars, thank you!!) Needless to say, I’m a big fan of energy balls & energy bars for when hanger strikes! (Because getting hangry is a real thing!)

What is puffed quinoa anyways?

Puffed quinoa is just quinoa that’s been heated until it “pops.” Once it does, you’ll be left with puffy little balls of quinoa. (Think of like popcorn. When the corn kernels pop, they turn into popcorn!)

While you can make your own puffed quinoa, I personally find it easier to just purchase it. You can find puffed quinoa online, at your local health food store, or even at some major grocery chains.

Why you’ll love this recipe

  • These bars require no oven, no baking, and can be mixed up in one bowl for a super quick and easy granola bar recipe!
  • They are refined sugar-free, vegan and gluten-free and loaded with superfoods and protein.
  • The Medjool dates add a delicious caramel-like flavour and act as a binding agent in these bars so they stick together.
  • These bars can be stored in the fridge for several weeks, and freeze well.

How to make these puffed quinoa, date & peanut butter bars

These bars are made with ingredients designed to keep you fuelled, and not spike your blood sugar. (like reaching for a cookie or candy bar) They balance carb, protein and fat so you’ll feel completely satisfied after eating one AND it’ll tie you over until your next meal. 

Here’s how to make them:

  1. Soak the dates in hot water for 5 minutes then blend together with the peanut butter, cinnamon and vanilla and blend.
  2. Add the dry ingredients and pulse just until everything is mixed together.
  3. Transfer to an 8×8 pan lined with parchment paper and place in the fridge to set.
  4. Cut into even bars.
four puffed quinoa and nut bars stacked on top of each other

Recipe tips and variations

  • These Puffed Quinoa & Nut bars start with a base of Medjool dates. Medjool dates are big and sweet and have a much sticker consistency than a regular date. This makes them the perfect binder for the granola bars to stick together. If you have a box of Medjool dates that aren’t fresh, they might be a little dry. This is why we soak the dates in hot water for 5 minutes then drain. This will help rehydrate the dates and make them “stickier” to help everything bind together.
  • I use natural peanut butter for this recipe, but creamy peanut butter or any nut butter will work just fine! I’ve tried these with almond butter too and they are also delicious! 
  • You can find puffed quinoa at most health food stores or online. Do not use regular quinoa! It’s not the same as puffed quinoa!
  • If you can’t find puffed quinoa, you can substitute it with puffed rice.
  • If there are any additional mix-ins you love, feel free to add them in! These would be delicious with some chocolate chips, dried blueberries or shredded coconut

How to store

These Puffed Quinoa & Nut Bars need to be stored in the fridge.

Store them in an air-tight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. (I find after 2 weeks they tend to dry out.) You can also freeze these bars for up to 3 months in the freezer, or enjoy them directly out of the freezer.)

Other healthy snacks to try

puffed quinoa and nut bars on a white plate

If you tried these Puffed Quinoa & Nut Bars or any other recipe on the blog let me know how you liked it by leaving a comment/rating below! Be sure to follow along on Pinterest, Instagram and Facebook for even more deliciousness!

Recipe adapted from green kitchen stories

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a stack of 4 puffed quinoa bars

Puffed Quinoa & Nut Bars

  • Author: Jessica Hoffman
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 12 bars 1x
  • Category: Snack
  • Method: Mix
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

These Puffed Quinoa & Nut Bars are no-bake and perfect for a healthy snack!


Ingredients

Scale

Instructions

  1. Soak the dates in warm water for 5 minutes then drain. Add the dates, peanut butter, vanilla extract, cinnamon and salt to a food processor.dates and peanut butter in a food processor
  2. Puree for 1-2 minutes until everything is mixed together, scraping down the sides of the food processor as you go. The mixture should be sticky.peanut butter and dates blended in a food processor
  3. Add in the puffed quinoa, almonds, sunflower seeds and pumpkin seedspuffed quinoa and nuts in a food processor
  4. Pulse the mixture just until everything is incorporated. Don’t overmix it! You want to have pieces of nuts and puffed quinoa visible after mixing. A food processor with quinoa date and nut bars dough in it
  5. Line an 8×8 inch pan with parchment or wax paper and press the mixture evenly into the pan with your hands. Place in the fridge for 2 hours to set. Quinoa date bars pressed into a pan
  6. Cut into bars and store in an air-tight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. 

Notes

Make sure to use Medjool dates in this recipe. They are bigger and stickier than regular dates and will help bind the bars together. 

If your dough doesn’t feel sticky enough, try adding 1 tbsp of almond milk to the dough and pulsing together until combined. 

Press FIRMLY when adding the bars to the pan to make sure everything sticks together!

You can use natural or creamy peanut butter in this recipe

Can’t find puffed quinoa? You can substitute it with puffed rice. 

If there are any additional mix-ins you love, feel free to add them in! These would be delicious with some chocolate chips, dried blueberries or shredded coconut


Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 bar
  • Calories: 210
  • Sugar: 12g
  • Fat: 12g
  • Saturated Fat: 2g
  • Carbohydrates: 19g
  • Fiber: 3g
  • Protein: 7g

Keywords: puffed quinoa, raw granola bars, no bake vegan bars

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