Chocolate quinoa crispy squares
A delicious and healthy treat
By Kourtney Meldrum, Food Columnist
Chocolate: it gets me every time. It’s where my biggest cravings always come from. Trying to eat healthy while still wanting chocolate all the time doesn’t usually coexist but I have found some recipes that mix my love of healthy food with my addiction to chocolate.
Chocolate quinoa crispy squares are honestly heaven sent for me. They combine quinoa and chocolate, two of my all-time favorite foods. This recipe is also vegan, dairy free, and gluten free. Good luck trying to keep these guys around for more than a few days.
This recipe makes 12 servings, takes about 30 minutes, and requires no oven – could it be any simpler?
To make these squares you’ll need 1 cup of quinoa pops, 1/2 cup of dates, 1/2 cup of almond butter, 1/4 cup of maple syrup/honey, 80g of dark chocolate (roughly one large bar).
Pour boiling water over your 1/2 cup of dates and leave them in a bowl. They’re going to look a little gross, especially when they start taking in water but don’t worry about this.
If you didn’t find quinoa pops at a health store, the good news is you can make your own popped quinoa at home. Using regular quinoa, heat up a saucepan with a lid on top at medium high. Once it is hot, scatter the quinoa onto the pan (in a thin layer so the quinoa doesn’t overlap) and place the lid back on top.
The quinoa will start to ‘pop’ similar to popping popcorn. Make sure to continually move the pan so the quinoa doesn’t burn, it should only take about 20-30 seconds to pop. You’ll probably have to do a few batches to get the full cup full.
Drain the dates and add them plus the almond butter and maple syrup into a food processor or high powered blender. I added more maple syrup into my mixture so there was about 1/3 cup. Mix together these ingredients so that they turn into a thick concoction.
Next you’ll mix in the quinoa with the date mixture so that it’s fully combined. When it’s mixed you can put it into the pan and flatten it out with a spatula so that it’s evenly distributed. Place the pan into the freezer.
Melt the dark chocolate either on the stove or in the microwave and pour it over top of the quinoa mixture before smoothing it out. Place it back into the freezer to fully set.
After your squares have hardened, take them out of the freezer and cut them into even pieces before you enjoy them!
If you’re making your own popped quinoa I recommend using more than a cup of quinoa because it might not be as fluffed as store bought popped quinoa. I also loved the recipe with maple syrup rather than honey – especially when I added extra.
My version of these tasted weirdly like a coffee crisp. I’m not super sure how this flavor came to be but they were absolutely delicious either way.
Store these in either the fridge or freezer. If you want a little bit more of a treat, add a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top.
This recipe is a healthy take on caramel rice crispy squares with chocolate on top. The quinoa provides protein and fiber and is extremely light so you don’t have to feel guilty about treating yourself with a few of these!
Share with your friends! Everything is sweeter when you share with your pals. Consider baking with friends as an alternative to spending a night out at a bar. It’s cheaper, healthier and you’ll feel so much better in the morning for doing so.
These even make a great study snack for the exam season around the corner. Everyone needs brain food so get baking!