Banana Nut Quinoa Bars are a great way to eat quinoa for breakfast or a healthy snack. They’re gluten free and full of healthy fats, fiber, and protein. Disclosure: This recipe post is sponsored by Vitamin Shoppe.
These banana nut quinoa bars were inspired by my recent trip to The Vitamin Shoppe.
I made the trip into St. Louis the other day to stock up on protein powder from The Vitamin Shoppe. They have tons to choose from. After about 20 minutes of perusing protein powders alone, I finally settled on two. I went with the Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard whey protein in cookies and cream, which is delicious. And, I got Nutiva hemp protein. This is cool because it’s just hemp, no sugar, sweeteners, or other flavoring.
Keeping with the protein theme, I decided to try out several different flavors of Quest protein bars. I was talking with girl who rang me up about how I constantly see people posting about Quest bars on Instagram, but have never tried them. She informed me that one of the reasons they’re so popular is because a lot of the carbohydrates in these protein bars come from fiber rather than added sugar. I like that.
Some of my other Vitamin Shoppe purchases included: several types of nut butters, coconut oil, and chia seeds. These are the ingredients that inspired this recipe.
Oats and quinoa are the base of these bars. They get natural sweetness from mashed bananas, honey, and maple syrup. Peanut butter, walnuts, and chia seeds provide healthy fats, protein, and fiber.
These would be great as a healthy make-ahead breakfast or snack that you can grab-and-go throughout the busy work week.
- ⅓ cup uncooked quinoa, plus water for cooking
- 2 cups Old Fashioned rolled oats
- ½ cup walnuts, chopped
- 2 tbsp. chia seeds
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 2 large ripe bananas
- 2 tbsp. coconut oil, (or your preferred cooking oil)
- ½ cup peanut butter
- ¼ cup 2% milk (or your preferred milk/milk alternative)
- 2 large eggs, beaten
- 3 tbsp. maple syrup
- 3 tbsp. honey
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- Cook the quinoa according to it’s package directions. Cool for about 10 minutes. Or, start with 1 cup and 2 tablespoons of precooked and cooled quinoa.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 7x11 inch (or 9x9 inch) baking dish with cooking spray.
- In a medium bowl, add the oats, walnuts, chia seeds, baking powder, and cinnamon. Stir. Set aside.
- Slice the bananas and add them to a large bowl. Use the back of a fork or a potato masher to mash the bananas until they are mostly smooth.
- Warm the coconut oil until it is a liquid, but not hot. Add the melted oil and the peanut butter to the bananas. Stir until well combined. Add the milk, eggs, maple syrup, honey, and vanilla to the bananas; stir. Then, stir in the quinoa.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Stir to combine.
- Pour the batter into the baking dish and smooth into an even layer.
- Bake for 25 minutes. Cool completely before slicing. Cover the dish and store in the refrigerator. Or, place the bars in individual plastic baggies and store in the refrigerator.
If you’re interested in checking out The Vitamin Shoppe, now is a good time to do it. All Vitamin Shoppe brand and BodyTech items are buy one get one 50% off from 4/6/15 to 5/9/15.
This post is sponsored by FitFluential on behalf of Vitamin Shoppe.