Cinnamon quinoa bars
I’ve had a bag of quinoa sitting in my pantry for months and months. I finally cooked up a big batch and will hopefully put it to good use this week, starting with these cinnamon quinoa bars.
Quinoa is a grain that I’m trying to work into our meals more often. It’s loaded with all 9 essential amino acids, plus it’s got a much higher protein content than other whole grains. It’s easy to find in grocery stores here too, because it’s popularity has really taken off.
Quinoa can be used in savory or sweet dishes, but I’m not sold on these particular bars. I don’t really know what I was expecting, but the texture is mildly unappealing for me. I tried them warm and at room temperature to see if I preferred one way over the other, but it really didn’t make a difference. The texture is rather like eating a bar of rice pudding, if that makes any sense at all. All those eggs and the milk give it a custardy consistency, and as much as I love rice pudding, I just wasn’t a fan of these. Plus, as far as appearance goes, I think they kind of look like ground meat, which is just weird. So after all that, if you try them and love them, that’s great. I’ve got some other sweet quinoa recipes to try another time, but I won’t be making these again.
(I do have to give an update about these bars. After spending all night in the refrigerator, I found that they improved greatly. I’m still not saying that I loved them or anything, but they weren’t so bad nice and cold.)
Recipe: Cinnamon Quinoa Bars
(adapted slightly from Gabby’s Gluten-Free)
2 ½ cups cooked quinoa, cooled
4 eggs, beaten
1/3 cup vanilla almond milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 Tbsp. cinnamon
1/3 cup pure maple syrup
Preheat oven to 375 degrees and place cooked quinoa in a large mixing bowl. Lightly spray an 8×8″ baking pan with cooking spray or cover with lightly greased parchment paper.
In a small bowl, whisk together eggs, almond milk, vanilla extract, and cinnamon until thoroughly combined. Add maple syrup and mix well. Add egg mixture to cooked quinoa and stir to combine. Pour into baking pan and bake for 20-25 minutes or until set and golden.*
*(Though the original recipe called for a 20-25 minute baking time, I found that I had to bake mine for 30-35 minutes.)
Cool completely and cut into squares.