Gingerbread Granola Bars

During this busy autumn season of traveling lately, I have enjoyed a snack of homemade granola bars! Gluten-free granola bars can be a challenge to make, so these were definitely a special treat.

A dear friend gave me a jar full of quinoa flakes when Enoch was born, and they have been delicious as a gluten-free hot cereal. I decided to give them a try as a granola bar! (Note: Quinoa Flakes are not the extruded crunchy cereal type of flakes; they’re made by steam-rolling quinoa.)

I found a recipe online, and worked to make it a bit more nutritious (although it is still a sweet treat), by adding some additional iron/protein-rich ingredients (important during my postpartum/nursing season). I also decided to give it a more “autumn flavor” with the addition of pumpkin pie spice!

Gingerbread Granola Bars
Based on this original recipe.

2 Cups Quinoa Flakes (dry)
1/4 Cup Molasses
1 tsp. Vanilla
1/4 cup Dark Brown Sugar
2 Tbl. Butter or Coconut Oil, melted
2 Egg Whites, lightly beaten
1/2 cup chopped roasted Almonds
1/4 cup Sunflower Seeds
1/2 cup Raisins
1/4 cup minced, dried Apricots (about 10)
1 1/2 Tbl. Pumpkin Pie Spice
Cinnamon (and sugar, if desired) to sprinkle on top

Preheat oven to 250*. Mix all ingredients together, and press evenly and very firmly into a greased 11×7″ baking pan. Sprinkle top well with cinnamon (and sugar, if desired). Bake 45 min. Then cut into bars, and place on a greased cookie sheet. Bake another 10 minutes and let cool on a wire rack. Store in a food storage container (rather than a bag) to prevent breakage. (These are still fairly “fragile” compared to commercially-produced granola bars, but held together fairly well. Plus, any “crumbs” are delicious sprinkled on top of a bowl of yogurt!)

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