Crispy quinoa puff, peanut and chocolate candy bars

February 6 2012
by emma

I found this wonderful recipe for healthy candy bars recently (check out the rest of the site, it has tasty recipes for healthy minded people).  I have a big bag of quinoa puffs which, while I love to eat them for breakfast, I wanted to do something a bit more fun with, so I thought I’d make these chocolatey treats on a sunny morning to have with a cuppa.

These bars are very hard to turn down.  They have a lovely toffee/chocolate flavour, like a proper candy bar, but also differing textures of crunchy, creamy, nutty and fudgy which is very appealing.  They’re also a much healthier option than the ones you buy from the shop but having said that, there’s still some sugar going on.  So when you reach for your 2nd or 3rd bar with your cup of morning coffee (oops), you’ve been forewarned and forearmed.

I halved the original recipe as there’s only two of us at home, and tweaked a couple of things.


6-10 dates, pitted (depending on size, I used 10 small)
3/4 cup raw peanuts, toasted in 180 degree oven for 5 minutes
1 1/2 cups quinoa crispy puffs
1/2 cup plus 10mls brown rice syrup
3/4 cup dark chocolate chips
20ml milk of your choice

Place the dates and peanuts in a food processor and blend on medium speed, stopping to scrape down the sides occasionally.  Once the mixture is of a chunky consistency, blend on high until mixture is smooth.

Transfer the mixture to a greased and lined square baking dish (the smallest one I had was 18x18cm – if you can use one a bit smaller, the bars will be taller).  Using the back of a large spoon (or your fingers) press the mixture into the dish to form the first layer.  If you have excess oil from the peanuts simply use a paper towel to absorb it once it’s in the dish.   Set aside.

Add the quinoa puffs to a bowl and set aside.

Heat 1/2 cup syrup in a medium sized saucepan on medium/high until bubbles start to form.  Remove from heat and immediately pour over quinoa puffs.  Stir to combine and pour over peanut layer in baking dish.

Gently press the puffs into the baking dish to form the second layer.

In a metal bowl over a saucepan about 1/4 full with simmering water on medium heat, add the chocolate chips  and 2 tbsp milk and extra tablespoon of syrup or to taste, stirring continuously to melt the chocolate and until the mixture is combined and smooth.  Add a bit more milk if mixture is too thick.

Remove the chocolate bowl from the heat and pour the mixture over the rice puffs, using a spatula to smooth it.

Place the bar into the fridge for around 15-20 minutes or until set.  Using a sharp knife, slice into pieces.

Makes: 9 bars

Adapted from and printed with kind permission from: The Joy of Clean Eating

Edited note: I buy my quinoa puffs from Organic Road (Australia)

14 Responses leave one →
  1. I think the quinoa puffs are so healthy, a lot more than the Rice Crispy puffs that we use here in the U.S. to make all kinds of snacks and desserts with. Quinoa is so easily available at health food markets, and are so versatile. I have never saw it in candy bars! Awesome, inviting, and oh, so yummy!
    Emma, thanks for sharing the super delicious and addictive treat, recipe:DDD

  2. These look awesome! I love that there are a lot of different possibilities for them. I can’t wait to try them, or at least my own version of them – they look like a nice healthy treat 😀

  3. I’m loving the sound of this recipe BUT I can’t eat peanuts (and we have a 1 year old who’se not yet tried them either). Do you think this recipe would work if made with almonds or cashews instead? I can tolerate them in small amounts and my little one loves them. Perhaps I’d need to add some coconut oil in too, given the high fat percentage in peanuts?
    I’d be interested in your thoughts.
    Cheers, Nina

    1. You could use cashew nuts and add the dates as per the original recipe and see how you go. I don’t see why it wouldn’t work to be honest but haven’t tried it. Almonds might give a very different flavour to the bar which might not work (as much as I love almonds). You shouldn’t add any further oil to the base.

      Alternately, you could leave the base off altogether if you’re concerned about nut allergies or intolerances – you would then have a chewy toffee quinoa layer with chocolate topping – I’m pretty sure that would still taste great. You would have to line the tin really well obviously, to prevent sticking.

      Hope this helps.

    1. Hi Lauren

      Sadly no. You need something puffed and crispy and cooked quinoa just wouldn’t work imo. The original recipe uses brown rice puffs – they might be a bit easier for you to find maybe?

      Let me know how you go!

    1. Hi Sarah

      You could try maple syrup, molasses, golden syrup or corn syrup – as long as it’s thick it should work.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *