I’m sharing some delicious and easy granola bars today (the perfect recipe to make this weekend!). That’s what I did last weekend and I think I’ll do the same this Sunday. If I have enough ingredients in my pantry… I’ve been surviving on what I have in the freezer and in my pantry for almost 2 weeks now, so it’s all getting pretty empty. I thought it would be a good idea to use up what I have before buying anything else. It’s a great way to save money and to get creative in the kitchen! I’ve been coming up with very weird recipes that where surprisingly good… I made a pasta sauce using soy milk, tapioca starch, garlic, margarine, cheese, salt and pepper. It was one of the best pasta dishes I ever had! I also made a red lentil stew and added wheat berries… I know. Weird, but I liked it! Hah. The only vegetables I have left in the house now are a handful of frozen spinach, half a head of purple cabbage and half a bag of frozen green peppers… I’m trying to make it until next Tuesday, so lets see how that goes!
Just a side note: I’ve been sharing some tips on Instagram this week to eat healthy on a student budget. Take a look if you’re interested! I’m thinking of writing a blog post about my meal prep and ways that I save money on groceries? I’ve been a university student for almost 5 years now, so I developed a few habits to save money on food while still eating a healthy diet. What are your thoughts?
So last weekend, when I still had a lot of ingredients in my pantry, I made these granola bars. They made my morning snack the best part of my day. <— True story.
I used dates to sweetened the bars and to help them hold together. I blended the dates in a food processor, along with sunflower seed butter (my latest obsession), water and vanilla extract. That mixture is then transferred to a bowl and mixed with rolled oats, chopped pretzels, cocoa nibs and quinoa puffs. I never used quinoa puffs before, but I desperately wanted to try them in a granola bar. They are SO good! (Okay, they don’t taste like anything, but they have a great texture). You end up with slightly crunchy, yet chewy granola bars. They are perfectly sweetened with dates only and then drizzled with chocolate to make them extra special.
A few possible substitutions for these bars:
- Replace the sunflower seed butter with peanut butter or almond butter.
- Use rice puffs instead of quinoa puffs for a cheaper option!
- Replace the pretzels with sliced almonds, sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds. You can also use gluten-free pretzels for an easy gluten-free option.
- Use dark chocolate instead of unsweetened chocolate for a real treat.
- Replace the cocoa nibs with mini chocolate chips if you want to go a little crazy.
You might already have most of these ingredients in your pantry? If so, I hope you’ll try them. 🙂
Have a great weekend!
For another great gluten-free and nut-free granola bar, try my No-Bake Chewy Granola Bars.
Pretzel Chocolate Quinoa Bars
- 1 cup Medjool dates, pitted
- 1/4 cup sunflower seed butter (or almond or peanut butter)
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 cup quinoa puffs (or rice puffs)
- 1/2 cup pretzels, roughly chopped
- 1 1/2 cup rolled oats
- 1/4 cup cocoa nibs
- Unsweetened chocolate for drizzling (or dark chocolate)
- Line a 9" x 9" square glass dish with parchment paper.
- In a food processor, add dates, sunflower seed butter, vanilla and water. Process until smooth, about 1 minute. Transfer the mixture to a medium bowl.
- Add quinoa puffs, pretzels, oats and cocoa nibs to the bowl and mix all the ingredients together.
- Press the mixture firmly to the bottom of your prepared dish. Pressing it tightly will prevent the bars from falling apart when cutting.
- Chill in the freezer or refrigerator for at least 30 minutes before cutting into 12 bars.
If you try this recipe, make sure to tag your photo #unsweetenedcaroline on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter! Don’t forget to also tag me @unsweetened.caroline on Instagram so I can see your creations!