Chocolate Quinoa Protein Energy Bars

These bars are wonderful. As someone who tries very hard to stay away from processed/packaged foods, but yet is always on the go, these are a great alternative to some vending machine snack or worse, fast food. They also are much cheaper than buying high end, expensive and organic protein bars, which was a habit I needed to break for the sake of my wallet! If you make a batch of these or something like it over the weekend, then you have them for the whole week and it took you less than a half an hour. You will find that many recipes like this call for dates, both because the sugar they provide is a good source of energy for the body and because they are good at binding the other ingredients. Go ahead and give these a try as an afternoon snack if you wish to really fuel your body, not to eat processed carbohydrates and crash soon after!


3/4 cup dry quinoa, or about 2 cups cooked
1/2 cup dates, pitted
3 tablespoons agave nectar
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons ground flaxseed
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup protein powder (I used an unsweetened hemp-based version)
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup stir-ins like dry fruit, nuts, shredded coconut, or vegan chocolate chips. (I went for half chocolate chips and half coconut)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.† Spray an 8◊8 baking dish lightly with baking spray.

Rinse the dry quinoa in cold water, then let sit in a bowl of water for 10 minutes.† In the meantime, bring 1 cup of water to boil.† Drain the quinoa and add to the boiling water.† Cover, and reduce heat to simmer for about 12 minutes.† Let cool enough to handle.

In the bowl of a food processor, combine the cooked quinoa, dates, agave nectar, vegetable oil, flaxseed, almond extract, and salt.† Process until relatively smooth (the quinoa is so small it stays slightly lumpy).

In a small bowl, stir together the protein powder, flour, and stir-ins.† Fold this dry mixture into wet mixture with a spatula.† The dough is very thick, like cookie dough, so use the spatula to press into prepared pan evenly.

Bake for about 22-25 minutes, until firm.† Let cool, then slice into a dozen bars.† Store in an airtight container for up to a week, or freeze for up to 3 months.

Nutrition facts (with chocolate chip and coconut option): Calories: 184, Total Fat: 5.4 g, Saturated Fat: 3 g, Cholesterol: 0 g, Sodium: 37 mg,† Potassium: 113 mg, Total Carbs: 29 g, Fiber: 3 g, : Sugars: 16 g, Protein: 7.3 g.


Written by Matt Frazier, Contributor to Healing Recipes on


Karyl Wood
Karyl Wood4 years ago

Where is Heidi A's comment? I want to see what all the fuss is about. ;-)

Diane L.
Diane L4 years ago

Annie P., you are ONLY 22 and you think you are more intelligent than Heidi? I tell ya' what, Heidi is as entitled to her opinion as you are, and at least she didn't attack anyone, personally, as you have just done. Your comment is extremely rude and disrespectful. Your last sentence said it already appear to be what you claim you don't want to be "by arguing".

Dale O.

Looks tempting and delicious. Yes Barbara G, more chocolate is always wonderful!

Natasha Salgado
Past Member 4 years ago

Yum Yum this looks so good and healthy at the same time!!! Gonna try the recipe,thanks.

Bonnie M.
Bonnie M4 years ago

hmmm, hmmm good.

Penny B.
.4 years ago

Have to try these, thanks.

Deanna R.
Deanna R4 years ago

I have always heard that beans rice = a complete protein. Used to be popular to be macrobiotic, and they used to tout this info. Personally beans and rice would get very boring to me (as is the macrobiotic diet), so I eat a good diet. I've had my vitamin/mineral/protein levels checked by an MD and found I'm eating fine. That's one way to find out how you're doing. Getting a dietary analysis done is another way. Eating a good variety of vegetables and fruits is the best way I've found, and I've rarely eaten quinoa, so it can certainly be done.

Christine Stewart
Christine S4 years ago

Tsk tsk Heidi A- your body's protein needs are in constant flux- you need a different variety of amino acids for hair and skin versus intestinal tissue and muscle. Besides, it is very natural to combine proteins as a normal way of eating to get a variety of amino acids in any case. Who the heck eats just a bowl of beans and nothing else? Or just an ear of corn with no side dishes? All the great ethnic dishes have a good array of amino acids even if they are vegan- beans and tortillas; hummus with sesame tahini; rice and tofu; peanut butter on toast.

Barbara Gehrke
Barbara Gehrke4 years ago

oops, sorry I posted twice.

Barbara Gehrke
Barbara Gehrke5 years ago

This looks very chocolatey... you don't get that look with a 1/4 c of chocolate chips... where is the chocolate?