Energy Bars with Quinoa, Dark Chocolate and Peanut Butter

I’m a calorie watcher. Keeping track of what I eat has been a part of my life since I lost a few pounds several years ago.

I’ve been calculating calories in my head for so many years now, it’s not often that I put those numbers down on paper.

Quinoa, Dark Chocolate and Peanut Butter Energy Bars

However, there are times that I’m completely surprised when I calculate calories for you, and what I thought would be a skinny recipe, turns out to be a treat.

Thus was the case with this homemade energy bar recipe inspired by Recipe Girl.

Quinoa, Dark Chocolate and Peanut Butter Energy Bars

Quinoa, Dark Chocolate and Peanut Butter Energy Bars

I thought Recipe Girl’s idea of using pitted prunes as a sweetener was genius – a natural sweetener with  loads of fiber – but that’s where our energy bar recipes parted ways.

Quinoa was my grain of choice,  along with dark chocolate, peanuts and peanut butter. I believe the peanut butter and chocolate is where my  bars took a not-so-calorie-friendly turn.

My estimated 150 calorie healthy snack, was now a 250 calorie treat.

Quinoa, Dark Chocolate and Peanut Butter Energy Bars

Quinoa, Dark Chocolate and Peanut Butter Energy Bars

Nevertheless, this easy seven ingredient pick-me-up sticks to your ribs and satisfies your sweet tooth, so all is not lost. That’s a good thing for this “Queen of Snacking.”

Happy, healthy cooking!

Quinoa Energy Bars
  • 2 cups quinoa, cooked
  • 1 cup dried prunes, pitted
  • ⅓ cup peanut butter, creamy variety
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • ½ cup peanuts, pieces
  • 1 ½ cups oats
  • 1 cup dark chocolate chips
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Place prunes in hot water for 10 minutes to soften, then drain and add to a food processor.
  3. Add peanut butter and honey to the food processor and pulse until you have a rough paste-like consistency. Then add quinoa (quinoa should be warm, so if it's not freshly cooked, warm it in the microwave) and pulse a few more times to blend.
  4. Scrape this base into a bowl, then add oats, peanuts and chocolate chips. The chips will slightly melt due to the warm quinoa.
  5. Spray an 8 x 8 baking dish with cooking spray and spread this mixture out into the dish.
  6. Bake for 20 - 25 minutes until the mixture is firmly set.
  7. Chill and then cut into bars.
Calories: 249kcal
Weight Watchers PointsPlus 7
Saturated fatty acids: 3.39g
Monounsaturated fatty acids: 4.11g
Polyunsaturated fatty acids: 1.90g
Total fat: 9.40g
Calories from fat: 84
Cholesterol: --
Carbohydrate, by difference: 36.57g
Total dietary fiber: 4.47g
Protein: 6.70g
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 12

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Thank you for sharing!



    • says

      I’m getting back into smoothies now that winter has passed. For some reason, they aren’t as appealing in the crummy weather as they are in spring and summer. :)

  1. says

    I actually make a granola bar that is VERY similar to this, but with oats instead of quinoa (and no chocolate….I may have to change that pronto!). Thanks for sharing. I love prunes. Yep, love em’.

    • says

      I’ve not often used dried prunes, but I will from now on. What a terrific sweetener and fiber boost, and the texture is perfect for binding granola bars.

    • says

      Hi Marta – I lost weight with Weight Watchers 18 years ago, but these days when I want/need to watch calories I use SparkPeople or LoseIt. Both are free, and a terrific resource to track calories, exercise and basic nutrition. :)

    • says

      You actually don’t taste the quinoa, it acts more like a binder. You taste the peanut butter and chocolate, but the quinoa makes a nice protein packed alternative for oats.

  2. says

    Counting calories is a good thing, although sometimes you’re surprised at how caloric things can be. These look terrific, and well worth every calorie. So I’d eat a bit more of these – I’ll eat a bit less of something else. Well, that’s the theory. 😉 Anyway, super recipe – thanks.

    • says

      That’s the truth. I’m a pretty experienced calorie counter, but sometimes combinations of ingredients certainly catch me by surprise. Still these were a healthy and tasty bar that my husband loved because they satisfied his Reeses cravings. :)

  3. says

    The ingredients for this energy bar of yours sound very creative. The combination of quinoa, chocolate, peanut butter and prunes sounds very intriguing and your energy bars have a wonderful warm and delicious color!
    Have a great Wednesday!

  4. says

    Quinoa, chocolate and peanut butter all in one bar, sounds very interesting, so interesting that i’m going to have to make my own…..thanks for the recipe

    • says

      Hi Phillip – thanks for visiting. You’ll have to let me know how they turn out for you. I love hearing how fellow cooks change up my recipes. :)

  5. says

    I’ve made bars with dates but not prunes before. Prunes are pretty delicious, so I bet I’d love these! I have a weekend training coming up in a few weeks that i’ll def need energy for. perfect timing! Thanks for sharing.

    • says

      The prunes were new to me too, but they worked perfectly to bind the bars together and add a natural sweetness. If you make them, you’ll have to let me know how they turn out. My fellow cooks always have their own twists on recipes. It’s fun to hear their improvements. :)

  6. says

    So interesting Kristi, quinoa in bars? Like the chocolate and peanut butter…it is sure packed with energy :)
    Hope you are having a great week!

  7. says

    Lol I’m with you! When I start working on developing recipes I go to calculate calories and there are definitely OMG moments where I’m trying to figure out where all the calories/fat came from! I think these look like delicious mini treats though – the quinoa and peanut butter would definitely keep you satisfied for a while.

    • says

      I admit I wasn’t my usual hungry a few hours later, so the protein in the quinoa combined with the fat in the chocolate and peanut butter did the job. :)

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