GF Toasted Quinoa, Banana & Cranberry Granola Bars

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Packed with dried fruit, bananas, crunchy quinoa, oats and flax, these bars are a tasty on-the-go snack the entire family will love.

MAKES 8 TO 10 BARS.

Toasted Quinoa

Oksana Charla

Ingredients:

1 cup gluten-free rolled oats
1/3 cup pre-rinsed uncooked quinoa, toasted*
2 tablespoons flax meal
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup roughly chopped almonds
1/3 cup dried cranberries
2 ripe bananas, mashed (about 3/4 cup)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup smooth almond butter or sunflower butter
2 tablespoons honey

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line an 8×8-inch pan with aluminum foil or parchment paper. Spray foil or paper with vegetable oil.

2. In a large bowl, combine oats, toasted quinoa, flax meal, cinnamon, salt, almonds and cranberries. Mix well.

3. In a separate bowl, combine bananas and vanilla.

4. In a small bowl, heat almond butter and honey in the microwave for 20 seconds. Stir to combine. Add to banana mixture and stir to combine. Fold into dry ingredients and mix well to evenly coat ingredients.

5. Scrape dough into prepared pan and spread evenly.

6. Place in preheated oven and bake 25 minutes or until edges are golden-brown. Remove from oven and let cool before cutting.

*TIP: To toast quinoa, heat a dry cast iron pan or other heavy-duty skillet over medium heat. Add uncooked quinoa and toast, stirring frequently, until grains begin to pop, about 5 minutes. Do not let quinoa burn. Let cool before adding to other ingredients in step 2.

HOMEMADE BAR TIPS: Use gluten-free rolled oats in these recipes, not steel-cut oats or quick oats.
Cut the bars on a cutting board. Use a pizza wheel to slice them cleanly into equal pieces.

Each bar containss 202 calories, 9g total fat, 1g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 0mg cholesterol, 60mg sodium, 26g carbohydrate, 4g fiber, 6g sugars, 6g protein, 12Est GL.

Food editor Beth Hillson is a chef and cooking instructor. She is founder of Gluten-Free Pantry, one of the first gluten-free companies in the United States, and author of Gluten-Free Makeovers and,The Complete Guide to Living Well Gluten Free (Da Capo Lifelong).

Each serving contains calories, total fat, saturated fat, trans fat, cholesterol, sodium, carbohydrates, fiber, sugars, protein.

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