These Maple Sesame Quinoa Bars make a delicious vegan breakfast bar or energy bar. A combo of maple, sesame seed, gluten free oats, sunflower seed butter, and quinoa create a sweet and nutty taste without nuts. A whole grain quinoa bar packed with plant based protein and nutrients.
ALOHA! Oh wait no. We’re not in Hawaii anymore. Although I still wouldn’t mind some more of those fish tacos and papaya taro smoothie we ate on the beach, literally 2 days ago. *Sigh* Anyway, these quinoa bars were totally meant to be shared pre vacation but then I Island time set in. You get that right?
Focus Lindsay, focus. It’s almost FALL! Maple quinoa bars, apple cider recipes, pumpkin treats, yes! Ha ha. Can you tell I need a 180 degree mind shift?
Well, even with vacation brain, I’m still feeling refreshed (work wise) and ready to rock and roll the Fall season to come. I’m actually SUPER duper excited for the Fall colors to shine here in Utah and all things cozy. Cozy Slow cooker meals, cozy soups, cozy pumpkin spice snacks will be DOMINATED.
But first, maple. Let’s just start there. Maple is lovely. Don’t you think? It’s flavor that almost everyone adores. So you can see my eagerness to share these maple sesame quinoa bars. Think of them a little fun twist on your regular maple muesli or no bake oat bars, just a little nuttier in taste.
My goal for these maple quinoa bars were really quite simple.
- Create a bar using leftover whole grains (resourcefulness). Okay ya, got that covered with both quinoa and gluten free oats! For some reason I always make a more than enough quinoa. That’s not really a bad thing. It just means I can either make a leftover quinoa salad wrap or quinoa bars for breakfast meal prep. Done!
- Create a bar that is vegan and nut free friendly. I get a lot of recipe requests for nut free, egg free, and of course gluten free. It can be tricky, right? So many of us have food allergies, intolerances, or have friends/family that have allergies. Trying to accommodate to them all can be overwhelming. Which is why I LOVE to help. Quinoa, sesame, and maple make a great flavor combo and macronutrient combo. Ohh, that’s my number 3. I better not dive too deep into that quite yet.
- Create a vegan bar BALANCED in macronutrients but without protein powder. GOAL complete! These quinoa bars are loaded with plant based complete protein (from the quinoa), minerals from the maple, and healthy fats from the sesame seeds. The topping is a must as well. You are welcome to use a nut butter or sunflower seed butter to make the shell coating. Either way, you’re going to get a creamy nutty flavored shell topping. I’ll explain more on that in a minute. It’s my number 4 GOAL.
- Create a snack or breakfast bar that tastes like my favorite honey sesame bars I used to buy at Whole Foods. Have you seen those? They are thin, crispy, lightly sweet, and delicious. Okay this is where I should be honest. These quinoa bars are just kinda like those. They taste so similar, yes! But missing is the crispy part. That is unless you add extra shell coating. Oh and of course store them in the fridge, which you will need to. Quinoa definitely needs a a few extra binders if you are trying to make vegan bars with it. Not a bad dilemma for crispier bars, right?
All goals complete. Phew! Now let me walk you through the recipe below. You’ll see just how to easy these MAPLE SESAME QUINOA BARS! Plus there’s a wee little trick to get them to stick. Haha, see what I did there?Print
Maple Sesame Quinoa Bars
- Total Time: 15 minutes
- Yield: 14 squares 1x
Maple Sesame Quinoa Bars are a delicious vegan breakfast or energy bar. Maple syrup, sesame, sunflower seed butter, & quinoa make for a sweet nutty flavor. Vegan, gluten free, and a nut-free option.
- ¼ cup sesame seeds (toasted)
- ⅓ cup pumpkin seeds
- 1 cup gluten free rolled oats
- 3 cups cooked quinoa (see notes)
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- ⅓ cup unsweetened shredded coconut
- 7 tbsp coconut oil (solid), butter, or vegan butter (chopped)
- ⅓ cup maple syrup
- ⅓ to ½ cup sunflower seed butter for nut free option (or creamy peanut butter or almond butter)
- ⅓ cup coconut sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla
For the shell topping:
- ½ c sunflower seed butter or nut butter of choice.
- ¼ c coconut oil
- pinch of cinnamon
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line an 8×11 pan with parchment paper. (see notes for pan size options)
- Place sesame seeds on baking sheet and toast in oven for about 5 minutes or until toasted lightly.
- Next combine your dry ingredients. Place cooked quinoa, gluten free oats, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, cinnamon, coconut, cooked quinoa, and in a large bowl. Mix all together. Set aside.
- Place butter (or coconut oil), maple syrup, sunflower seed butter or nut butter of choice, coconut sugar, and vanilla in a small saucepan and cook over medium heat until butter and nut butter are melted. Then turn heat to a quick boil for 1 minute. Reduce and simmer for 5 minutes until mix is thickened, stirring often.
- Pour nut/seed sugar mixture into dry ingredients. Mix all together and then press firmly into pan; Place in refrigerator to set, covered.
- While bars are setting, make your sunflower seed butter (or almond butter) shell. You don’t have to use all of the shell coating if you prefer to make these bars less dense.
- In a small sauce pan, mix together the ½ c sunflower seed butter (or nut butter), coconut oil, and 1 teaspoon cinnamon on medium heat until melted.
- Pour this mix over your pan of bars and place back in refrigerator or freezer until set. Once set, slice bars and wrap each one in foil or wax paper to hold.
- Store in fridge or freezer.
- pan size: If you want thicker bars, use a 9×9 or 8×8 square pan.
- If you don’t need the nut free option, you can use any creamy nut butter of choice for the batter and shell coating.
- Be sure to have cooked quinoa that’s fluffy and dried out a little before using. If quinoa is too moist it will not set.
- For the coating: You don’t have to use all of the shell coating if you prefer to make these bars less dense.
Estimated nutrition for 14 bars, using ⅓ cup of the shell frosting to frost all bars:
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 5 minutes
- Category: snack
- Method: baked
- Cuisine: American
- Serving Size: 1 square
- Calories: 272
- Sugar: 8g
- Fat: 18g
- Saturated Fat: 2g
- Carbohydrates: 23g
- Fiber: 3g
- Protein: 6g
- Cholesterol: 0mg
Keywords: quinoa bars, gluten free, vegan, healthy snacks, nut-free
I love quinoa in savory dishes, but it’s a total game changer for taste and texture when it comes to sweet dishes. This combo of maple, sesame, oats, sunflower seed, and quinoa create an earthy, nutty, but still sweet taste. That being said, I think you should try them. Like ASAP. Mmm k?
If you had an abundance of quinoa, what would you make. Besides salad of course. Have you ever made quinoa bars?
Here’s my list for sweet quinoa snacks so far. Blackberry Quinoa cakes, quinoa Banana Bread, quinoa bars (these), quinoa mug cake and quinoa porridge. Wow, I guess I really do like quinoa. 😉
Cheers to Fall-ish Flavors!
Can the coconut be replaced with something else? Not a huge fan of it.
You don’t really taste the coconut, but you could try shedded nuts or oats in its place. 👌
The sesame cake looks delicious and very interesting, thank you for sharing it.
Could I use quinoa flakes instead of oats? We are allergic to oats.
I think so! But you might need a little extra to help them bind. Keep me posted!
I’ve just gotten into sesame seeds and am smitten! What a great way to get back into the swing of things.
Hawaii must have been magical for you! I miss Maui so much–it’s one of my favorite islands! The sweet potatoes and smoothies are the best parts of the cuisine!
Anyways, fall is one of my favorite seasons for food! Pumpkin spice, cinnamon apple, maple pecan, and so much more are some of my loves! These bars look delicious too. I love that you can use leftover grains for this batch!
Let’s all go back to Maui!
OBSESSED with all the flavors and textures in these!!
dixya @food, pleasure, and health
i have used quinoa flakes to make energy bars…but using cooked sounds delicious. i bet they add a lot of textures.
Liz @ Floating Kitchen
Glad you’re feeling refreshing from your vacation! And I bet Utah Fall colors will be amazing! I hope we get a good show here in New England this year! These bars are loaded with all my favorite things. I mean, maple syrup basically runs in my veins at this point. Lol.
I love all things nutty and seedy! These look amazeballs 🙂
WOW! Not only do these look so incredible, but I can also actually make these for my allergic kiddos and the kids are so excited to be able to help AND eat them!
These look unreal! SO perfect for Fall!
Natasha @ Salt & Lavender
Definitely love maple!! I’m not the biggest quinoa fan, but I’d say putting them in these bars makes it much more tolerable… dare I say even delicious?!
yes, dare say it my friend! LOL!
Love these bars! Perfect afternoon pick me up!!
Jody - Fit at 59
I wish I was in Hawaii too!!!! 🙂 I am so glad you got to go!!!
Now send these to me! 🙂
I wish we could go back now, all of us!
Laura @ Sprint 2 the Table
Welcome home! Boo for reality though. 😉
These remind me of something I used to eat as a kid, but I can’t put my finger on it. Clearly, I need to make them to jog my memory!
healthy or unhealthy bars? Now I am curious! LOL!
Megan @ Skinny Fitalicious
hmm….I could go for a batch of these right now and a trip to Hawaii!
wanna go back? 😉
Mary Ann | The Beach House Kitchen
Hope you guys had a fabulous trip! LOVE these bars Lindsay. Packed with goodness, and that shell topping makes them extra decadent!
Emily @ Robust Recipes
YUM! these look and sound amazing!
I do love them so! Hehe
Jennifer @ Show Me the Yummy
Love the sesame seeds in this!!
These look like they are bursting with so much flavor!