Puffed Quinoa & Nut Bars
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 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:
- Soak the dates in hot water for 5 minutes then blend together with the peanut butter, cinnamon and vanilla and blend.
- Add the dry ingredients and pulse just until everything is mixed together.
- Transfer to an 8×8 pan lined with parchment paper and place in the fridge to set.
- Cut into even bars.
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
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.Print
Puffed Quinoa & Nut Bars
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 0 minutes
- Total Time: 15 minutes
- Yield: 12 bars 1x
- Category: Snack
- Method: Mix
- Cuisine: American
- Diet: Vegan
These Puffed Quinoa & Nut Bars are no-bake and perfect for a healthy snack!
- 1 cup pitted Medjool dates
- 1 cup peanut butter
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- pinch of salt
- 3/4 cup puffed quinoa
- 3 tbsp pumpkin seeds
- 2 tbsp sunflower seeds
- 1/4 cup chopped almonds
- 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.
- 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.
- Add in the puffed quinoa, almonds, sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds
- 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.
- 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.
- Cut into bars and store in an air-tight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
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
- 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
This post contains affiliate links which means I will make a small commission if you purchase through those links. I only recommend products that I know, trust and love!
Hi there. I have stopped using peanut butter due to allergies and as well as that they contain ants that has been proven. For those reasons. Can you please suggest another substitute as I would like to make these for the kids? Love your recipes. Thankyou.
You can make this recipe with any nut butter or seed butter you like Slyvia!
Making them on a regular basis ❤️So amazing and easy! Thank you for the recipe it is definitely family approved. If I’m craving something sweet I have one of these.
So glad you enjoyed Pam! 🙂
Hello, can you freeze this as well?
Yes these freeze well 🙂
I’m so sorry I just noticed your nutrition facts at the top. How big are the bars approx.?
Hi Jennifer, the recipe makes 12 bars!
It was soooo easy to make ! It tastes SO good ! Husband approved as well ! I melted chocolat on top an I forgot the almonds so I put the melted chocolat on top and sprinkled al the chopped almonds on top and coconut flakes. I will print this out amd it will become a staple in our home to come back to
I think the chocolat on top is helpfull as well because the base can be crumbly and might not hold together perfectly otherwise
So happy you both enjoyed the recipe! 🙂
I loved the flavor but was expecting a firmer texture. Regardless, we liked them and think it’s a great nutritious sweet snack.
I happened to have a bag of puffed quinoa and I was looking for a recipe to use them.
I was reading the other comments, and I wanted to share that I soaked the date with warm water for a couple of hours and I only pulsed those. The rest of the ingredients I mixed them together with a wooden spoon, they stuck together nicely.
Thank you for sharing your recipe.
Happy you enjoyed them Maritza, these bars are meant to have a softer more chewy texture vs a firmer crunchy texture!
Bars work out great….use wow butter to up the healthy
Happy you enjoyed them Todd!
These sound great and I would love to try them! I have always printed out your recipes but this one won’ t print without the photos….could you make that option available, please?
I love all of your recipes!!
Hi Laura, yes we are working hard on our end to add that option to remove the photos- stay tuned! We should have that feature available by the end of the month 🙂
Thanks for your great recipe, I would like to try them but i don’t have puffed quinoa
How do you puff quinoa at home?
H Tahreer, I’ve never made my own quinoa puffs so i can’t say how to make them. Maybe you can find some to order online?
I made these but they completely fell apart. I soaked the dates but it didn’t seem to work. I’ve made the original from GKS and they turned out great so I’d love to figure out how to make these work.
Hi Carrie, so sorry to hear the recipe didn’t turn out fo you! this is likely due to the size and stickiness of the dates you use. If your dates are dry, I recommend soaking them in some warm water. I’ve gone ahead and adjusted the recipe to add some more dates and less puffed quinoa which should definitely help the bars stick together much better and give a little more leeway if your dates are a bit drier. Hope this helps!
I loved the taste but they completely fell apart. I’m wondering if more dates, peanut butter or honey will keep it together better.
Hi Andres, one reason your bars would fall apart would have to do with the dates you used. If your medjool dates aren’t fresh, they won’t bind the bars together well. If your dates feel try, refer to the note in the recipe card for how to rehydrate them. That should help!
These are delicious! I’m an avid hiker and like to make my own energy snacks. I did add a little honey and hot water to get it to stick together a little more. So many variations to try. Thanks for the great recipe!
Thank you Cathy! These would be perfect to bring on a hike!
I just made it and it looks great. Haven’t tried it yet.
I couldn’t find puffed quinoa anywhere so I popped my own. It doesn’t come out like what yours looks like though. Did you toast it yourself? I rinsed it, then dried in the oven, then popped on the stove.
Where do you find puffed quinoa? They don’t have it at Whole Foods.
I also make my own nut butter so looking forward to it!
Hi June, I hope they came out great! So interesting you popped your own quinoa-I’ve never tried this before! The texture definitely may be different if it’s toasted and popped as opposed to “puffed.” I believe they sell this at whole foods (perhaps ask someone who works there.) They also sell this in some major grocery stores in the health food aisle. (maybe trader jo’s?) And you can also order some online on Amazon! Another option could also be to substitute the puffed quinoa with rice crispies!
They look great Jess! I actually have a bag of puffed quinoa, and wasn’t sure what to make with it, so this recipe will be perfect! Thanks for sharing!
Hi Anna, thank you! These bars are a great way to use puffed quinoa! I was actually in the same boat as you, a huge bag of puffed quinoa and I wasn’t sure what to do with it all. Until these bars came along!:)
i should do and eat a bar or two of those when I’m out cycling, they can be a perfect boost for my long workouts!!! thanks Jess!! regards from London!
Hi Domenico & Marcella! Yes these bars are PERFECT for cycling and working out! Definitely great for some energy on the go. Thanks for stopping by the blog! Always appreciated 🙂
This looks great. Did you use raw or toasted sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds?
Hi June, thank you! I personally used unsalted sunflower seeds & pumpkin seeds that I toast up myself to give them a little more flavour. Though you’re welcome to use raw or toasted! I would say to avoid salted seeds as they might alter the taste of the bars.