Quinoa Energy Bars ~ Savory Simple ~ www.savorysimple.net

Disclaimer: These quinoa energy bars are not healthy. The word quinoa seems to imply health and nutrition so I want to make sure that’s clear up front. Someone commented on one of my granola bar recipes recently that they were just as unhealthy as store bought bars. Which is totally valid but the thing is that I never claimed they were healthy. I’m pretty sure that comment wouldn’t have appeared on one of my cake recipes. It didn’t bother me but I’m always intrigued by the fact that when some people see a recipe for granola bars they assume they’re going to be healthy. This is not true.  The same goes for agave nectar. I recently posted some information about agave on my Facebook page and several people immediately commented about how it’s not a healthy sweetener. It was a similar situation; I was simply describing the difference between light and amber; there was no mention of using it as a healthy substitute. It’s true that marketers jumped on agave nectar as this healthy alternative to sugar but that myth has been completely debunked. It was a marketing gimmick. Agave nectar is not healthy. Homemade granola bars are not automatically healthy. So now that I’ve stated that up front, there should be no confusion! quinoa-web-collage-2 These quinoa bars? They have refined sugar, maple syrup, brown rice syrup and butter. They’re totally delicious and not healthy. I’ve included some substitution options on the recipe if you’d like to lighten them up. Butter can be swapped with coconut oil and the sugar can be reduced. The bars won’t be as tasty but it will work. So what claims am I making? These bars are a great midday snack. The quinoa, nuts and almond butter are filling and will help tide you over until dinner. The same ingredients will also offer a nice burst of energy. The sugar will also help give you that last push to get through the afternoon slump. quinoa-web-collage-1 This is also my latest post for The Leftovers Club. I made these bars because they freeze wonderfully and will also stay fresh at room temperature for many days. Are you wondering what the heck The Leftovers Club is? Check it out online! And be sure to check out the links below the recipe to see what other members of the club made this month. I’m excited to be receiving rhubarb cake from O’Boy! Organic.

Quinoa Energy Bars
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 16 servings
  • 1⅓ cups rolled oats
  • ½ cup uncooked quinoa
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ⅓ cup quinoa flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 cup pitted dates, chopped finely
  • 1⅓ cup cashews, chopped finely
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons brown rice syrup
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • ⅓ cup almond or peanut butter
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9x9 brownie pan with parchment paper and lightly grease with either butter or baking spray.
  2. In a large bowl, combine rolled oats, quinoa, sugar, quinoa flour, salt, cinnamon, dates and cashews.
  3. In a smaller bowl, combine vanilla extract, melted butter, maple syrup, brown rice syrup, water and almond butter.
  4. Mix the wet ingredients into the dry and combine evenly. Pour ingredients into the greased pan. Use plastic wrap to firmly press the mixture down evenly so that it's in the corners and flat on top.
  5. Bake for 30-35 minutes. Look for browning around the edges.
  6. Allow the bars to finish cooling completely before cutting. They're easiest to cut when chilled.
These are about as sweet as store bought granola bars. To make them less sweet, use ¼ to ⅓ cup sugar instead. Coconut oil can be used in place of butter and corn syrup can be used in place of brown rice syrup.


More Recipes from The Leftovers Club

Savory Simple – Quinoa Energy Bars
The Girl In The Little Red Kitchen – Cashew Butter and Blackerry Jam Thumbprint Cookies
Dining with Dani – Pancakes and Bacon Cookies
Juanita’s Cocina – Butterscotch Browned Butter Blondies
Eats Well With Others – Salted Caramel Shortbread
Frugal Foodie Mama – Cookie Butter Pecan Bars
Budget Gourmet Mom – Crisp Oatmeal Cookie Sandwiches
Sugar Dish Me – Strawberry Lemonade Loaf
Roxana’s Home Baking  – Chocolate chip bars
Omeletta – Brown Sugar Meringues
Eat Bake Drink Cook – Everything Cookies
Healthy. Delicious. – Carrot Cake Granola
Souffle Bombay – Sweet & Spicy Pecans
The Spiced Life – Garam Masala Caramel Corn
Bakeaholic Mama – Chocolate Cookie Dough Macarons
Whey Beyond the Naked Truth – Chia Seed Protein Bites


Don’t you wish you could enjoy some of these leftovers with us? You can!  Visit The Leftovers Club online for more details!

  • http://www.soufflebombay.com Colleen (Souffle Bombay)

    How interesting and different! A creative use of quinoa! Your photo is so crisp and perfect for a minute I thought that bar was actually in front of me (now I have to go and console myself, lol!)!! Gorgeous!

  • http://www.soufflebombay.com Colleen (Souffle Bombay)

    What a creative use of Quinoa Your photo is so crisp and clear that for a moment I thought it was actually in front of me begging for a bite! Now I have to go console myself, lol! Gorgeous!!

  • http://littlekitchie.blogspot.com Marie

    Beautiful! Thanks for all the hard work you do for The Leftovers Club! This was the first month I got to participate, and it was so much fun!

  • http://veganinthefreezer.com Ginny McMeans

    This recipe sounds really good. I can almost imagine it’s taste. It is different enough to really peak my interest. Thanks.

  • http://www.pineappleandcoconut.com Shanna

    I love your disclaimer!! hee hee.. Gorgeous photos – these look so good!!

  • http://diningwithdani.com Danielle

    I have some quinoa in the pantry that isn’t spoken for yet but I definitely think it is now! These look great, Jennifer!

  • http://www.girlinthelittleredkitchen.com Susan

    ::::shakes my head:::: I don’t get people, despite your disclaimer I’d still make these and pretend they are healthy because it was made at home and not at a factory.

    • jeannie

      I agree with you, anything made at home from scratch is way better than chemical laden packaged supermarket foods. I will make these for my family.

  • http://www.averiecooks.com Averie

    They’re totally delicious and not healthy. = GOOD!!!
    If I wanted healthy, I would eat raw broccoli. If I want someting sweet and buttery crunchy and texture-loaded, I realize that it’s likely not as healthy for me as broccoli. :)

    They’re gorgeous; the recipe and the photos. Pinned. And I love a good, dense, granola bar!

  • http://www.aninas-recipes.com Anina

    How about sending some of those to sunny Johannesburg ; ) Gorgeous pics as always!! xxx

  • http://www.thesweet-toothlife.blogspot.com Mary Frances

    Saw Averie’s pin and had to check it out:) This is a creative way to use quinoa! And you know, I have myself partially convinced they are healthy – quinoa and oats people! What could be better? Oh yeah, butter and sugar is always good – and almost always for success;) These qualify as a great snack in my book. Thanks for the recipe!

  • http://joanne-eatswellwithothers.com Joanne

    It’s kind of funny how uptight people get about these things…and honestly, though these might be CALORICALLY the same as a brownie, they have way more healthy components so actually I would say these are HEALTHI-ER. :) Either way, they look delicious. And I love that quinoa crunch!

  • http://www.thewellflouredkitchen.com Sherri

    Beautiful photos! I am so jealous of the dark wood background. As to the disclaimer, everyone has to decide for themselves what is “healthy”. For a lot of people, a granola bar from the store is their healthy snack of the day. If we are making food from scratch, without additives or preservatives or artificial colors, then I say we are ahead of the game. Other than maybe being a bit high with the sweeteners, I see nothing unhealthy about this recipe! (on a side note, butter that is organic /grass fed is a healthy fat!!!).

  • http://tutti-dolci.com Laura (Tutti Dolci)

    One of these bars would be perfect for my afternoon pick-me-up!

  • http://acupofmascarpone.com Carol

    I’ll be happy to accept all the leftovers…great bars, Jen! Such a unique use of quinoa!

  • http://eatgreatbegreat.wordpress.com Holly

    These bars sound really great! I’m sure they’re super delicious and sound perfect for a mid-day snack!

  • http://www.simplyreem.com Reem

    I know how sometime we associate certain ingredients with health and less guilty when the case can be reversed sometime…
    What ever the case may be here these look Damn Delicious and just a perfect snack for me now!

  • http://thespicedlife.com/ Laura

    You know what I find just as frustrating as those unsolicited comments? The idea that everything we put into our mouths has to be 100% healthy unless it is specifically dessert. I mean these bars have plenty of stuff in them that is good for you. They also have some stuff that is not. And you know what? No one can agree on which ingredients those are anyway. I say ignore ’em and enjoy! They look quite yummy!

  • http://www.grubarazzi.com Grubarazzi

    Well, I can certainly relate to this post. I also saw on Facebook that someone commented immediately on this picture (which is wonderful, fyi) that this looks like a healthy breakfast. lol. It’s a delicious and different breakfast, for sure, but some foods immediately make people think they are healthy, like oats and quinoa.

  • http://omeletta.com Ruthy

    Such a great idea! I love baking with quinoa, these sound awesome. Almost even better that they’re NOT healthy- I find that when I have a tray full of some healthy treat, I justify it by eating every single treat. And I don’t think that’s especially healthy :)
    Yay for another successful Leftovers Club month!

  • http://peanutbutterandpeppers.com Jennifer

    I love your disclaimer! I get the same grief too when I post something that isn’t natural. For me, my claim is a little bit healthier, and I love your claim. Your bars in general are not bad for you! You use natural ingredients, no chemicals and the best part they look tasty! I love this recipe, and I think I may give this a try!! Thank you for sharing!

  • http://www.a-kitchen-addiction.com Jessica

    These energy bars look like a great way to switch up my post-run snacks!

  • http://hskillet.blogspot.com Jenn and Seth

    i love this idea for quinoa – definitely need to make some of these soon!

  • http://themoonblushbaker.blogspot.com.au/ Belinda

    My bag of quinoa is ready to go! I nutty flavour it gives, I actually prefer it over the normal white kinds.One of the rare healthy recipes that actually will taste good. Thank you for sharing

  • http://kellybakes.com kelly

    It’s interesting; I just read a piece on ‘gluten-free foods that can make you just as fat as flour,’ aimed at folks who were using GF eating as a trend. The article berated each of the baked goods for being unhealthy even though most never did (only one–with 33g of fat–claimed to be ‘completely healthy,’ which was laughable). The baked goods were just simply delicious sinful options for people that wanted rich decadent desserts…. just like folks who are gluten tolerant want. Anyway, I’m sold with maple, almond butter & cinnamon :)

  • http://damndelicious.net Chung-Ah

    I need a bunch of these bars for work – I’m constantly snacking on junk!

  • http://www.piesandplots.net Laura Dembowski

    I bet the quinoa is awesome in these! While they may not be low cal, I would argue these are healthier than store bought ones as they don’t have preservatives or ingredients you can’t pronounce.

  • http://www.farmfreshfeasts.com Kirsten@FarmFreshFeasts

    I love how some people can come to a site called Savory Simple, note that you often have healthy recipes, and make a judgement call like that. To your face. How rude!
    I don’t walk into other people’s houses and give them grief, I don’t understand why that is acceptable.

    I’m not big on trends, as evidenced by 10 years of Christmas photos where my spouse and I are wearing the same 2-3 shirts, but it’s interesting to me to watch healthy food trends start, escalate, peak, and be debunked. Happens time and again.

    That soapbox aside, your photos are gorgeous and the bars look tasty, which is all that I ask for in a bar.


  • http://whatshouldieatforbreakfasttoday.com/ Marta @ What should I eat for breakfast today

    hahaah, I like that you’re so honest. As long as it’s super delicious it does not have to be super healthy. I can make a small sin from time to time ;)

  • http://www.unegaminedanslacuisine.com/ Valerie

    I’m actually glad that not everything made with granola is healthy (quinoa too!). Both ingredients should be able to bask in the decadence of butter – now and then… :D

    These energy bars look scrumptious!

  • http://www.bowlofmush.blogspot.com A Bowl Of Mush

    These look fabulous!! I have to try these!

  • http://www.nutmegnanny.com Nutmeg Nanny

    These look great :) I could often use an energy bar like this!

  • candi

    Any chance you can provide us with nutrition information

    • http://www.savorysimple.net Savory Simple

      Hi Candi,

      I don’t provide nutritional information but there are some great sites available where you can input recipes. I’ve heard good things about myfitnesspal.com.