COCOA PECAN GRANOLA BARS

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Made with toasted quinoa, brown rice cereal, and your favorite mix-ins (mine are maple, pecans, and cinnamon). This is a lighter take on high sugar granola bars you buy at the store. The texture isn’t gooey and ultra crunchy, since the banana lends some nice moisture and sort of a creamy texture to the whole thing. Enjoy!

COCOA PECAN GRANOLA BARS // The Kitchy Kitchen

COCOA PECAN GRANOLA BARS // The Kitchy Kitchen

COCOA PECAN GRANOLA BARS // The Kitchy Kitchen

INGREDIENTS

1/2 cup quinoa, cooked and then toasted

1 1/2 cup mashed banana

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 1/2 cup oats (the slow cooking kind)

1 tablespoon coconut oil

1/4 cup agave syrup

1 cups puffed brown rice cereal

1/2 cup flaxseed meal

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon cocoa powder

1/2 cup pecans, roughly chopped

DIRECTIONS

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Lightly grease a rectangular baking dish (about 8 x 10) and line with a piece of parchment paper so the bars are easier to lift out.

To toast the quinoa, spread cooked quinoa on a baking sheet and bake for about 15 minutes, until lightly toasted, then mix and toast for another 10 minutes. It just be lightly crunchy but still tender.  Set aside.

In a large bowl, mash the banana until smooth. Stir in the vanilla.

Place the oats into a food processor and pulse until the oats are coarsely chopped. Combine the oats with the banana mixture.

Add the rest of the ingredients into the banana-oat mixture and stir until thoroughly combined. Spoon the mixture into prepared dish. Smooth out with your hands until even.

Bake for 25 minutes until firm and lightly golden along the edge. Place dish on a cooling rack for 10 minutes then carefully slide a knife to loosen the ends and lift out. Place granola slab on a cooling rack and let it cool completely. Slice into bars once they are cool.