Seedy Nuts – [Cherry Quinoa Bars]

I’ve been wanting to bake some bars since the beginning of this year and finally got to making some this weekend!  I was debating between quinoa or protein bars and ended up picking a quinoa recipe that I found on Bon Appetit.  The ingredient list was fairly simple (which I liked) and I only needed to pick up some dried cherries.  Instead of almonds I subbed in some hazelnuts and instead of brown rice syrup I subbed in maple syrup since I already had it in my fridge.  Also a great tip is to purchase quinoa from Costco, they have a brand of quinoa that already comes pre-washed!  The only other small edit I made was to bake the bars a little longer in the oven than was listed.  The dried cherries add a nice sweet but tart flavour to the bars, I would 100% make them again!   A great little treat perfect for on the go occasions!

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RECIPE (15 bars)
1 cup chopped hazelnuts
1/2 cup quinoa (pre-rinsed from Costco)
1/3 cup raw pumpkin seeds
1/4 cup raw sunflower seeds
1 cup dried tart cherries
2 tablespoons maple syrup
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons water

PREHEAT: to 350 and place parchment paper (leaving overhang on all sides) on 8×8″ baking tray.

COMBINE: hazelnuts, quinoa, pumpkin seeds, and sunflower seeds on the rimmed baking sheet to toast, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, 10–12 minutes. Let cool.

PREHEAT: to 200, reducing oven temperature.

BLEND: dried cherries, maple syrup, salt, and 2 Tbsp. water in a food processor until well blended.

COMBINE: cherry and nut-seed mixture in a medium bowl and stir until well mixed.  Press mixture firmly into prepared pan.

BAKE:  until no longer sticky, 30 – 35 minutes. Let cool, then place into refrigerator to chill before cutting into bars.

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