Sunday, October 23, 2011

Coconut & Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

Is quinoa really not a grain? Is it a seed with too many grain-like properties? Or is it just fine to eat? There's something to research. In the meantime, these are very tasty . . . though I was surprised by just! how! high! they are in calories and carbs. These dense and chewy oatmeal-cookie-like bars are definitely only an occasional treat.

Coconut & Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars
Adapted from The Spunky Coconut's Grain-Free Baked Goods
Makes one 8x8 pan

1/2 cup almond butter
1/4 cup applesauce
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 tablespoons flax seed meal
5 drops liquid stevia

3/4 cup quinoa flakes
1/3 cup coconut sugar
1/4 cup shredded coconut
2 tablespoons potato starch
1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
1/4 teaspoon salt
1-3 teaspoons water (if needed)
1/3 cup dairy-free dark chocolate chips
1/4 cup roasted, salted almonds (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease an 8x8 pan or a glass pie pan.

In a large mixing bowl, combine almond butter through stevia. Mix well. Then add in the quinoa flakes, coconut sugar, shredded coconut, potato starch, xanthan gum, and salt, and stir well. The mixture should be stiff, but if it seems unspreadably dry, add a teaspoon of water and mix again. Repeat, if needed, until the mixture is moist enough to spread in clumps. Gently stir in the chocolate chips and (if using) the almonds.

Spread and press the mixture into the greased pan. Bake for 17 minutes; then let it cool at least 10 minutes before trying to slice. (Bars will be firmest if allowed to cool entirely.)

Approximate nutritional information for 1/6 of the pan (sans optional almonds): 427 cal, 28 g fat, 41 g carbs, 4 g fiber, 6 g protein

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