Of course, that many energetic, exercise-loving participants means a lot of hungry people at the end of the 3 hour marathon, and if last year's activity is any indication the food table will be decimated by clean-up time! Never a bad thing, obviously - and I knew I wanted to contribute a few "healthier" snacks that would also be safe for anyone with celiac or a gluten intolerance. Protein bars immediately popped into my head, and since I still had some pumpkin left over (not to mention an open bag of delicious, gluten free granola on hand) and a recent trip to my second home found me with a bag of kañiwa - something I'd heard of on the 'net but never tried (FYI - it's delicious, especially mixed with amaranth in a "pilaf"!). I was hesitant to try it at first, since it's cousin quinoa is not exactly my best friend (I just can't get over it's flavour as a grain... the flour baked into things is A-OK!) but I was pleasantly surprised by the nutty, almost sweet flavour it had - and the lack of saponins means no rinsing for ages!!
The nutritional profile is impressive too - single 3.5 ounce serving of gluten free kañiwa seeds holds 31% of the recommended daily fibre intake for adults, it has more high-quality protein than quinoa, (16% vs 13%) and is packed with B vitamins and antioxidants to boot! For a little extra protein, skim milk and whey protein powders mixed into the already protein-rich flour blend, and I bumped up the fibre with psyllium, carrots, flax and a brown rice bran and germ powder.
Phew! All this good stuff crammed into a gluten free bar that tastes like a mixture of carrot cake and pumpkin pie, with a decadent crunch in every bite? I'm sold!
Shared with Gluten Free Fridays
Sweet Veggie Protein Bars
Makes 24 bars
2 tbsp coconut cream (not milk)
1 cup pure pumpkin puree
¼ cup jaggery or coconut sugar
2 tbsp honey
¼ cup skim milk powder (you could use soy milk powder if you need dairy free)
¼ cup naturally sweetened vanilla whey powder (or soy protein if you need dairy free)
¼ tsp salt
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 cup sorghum flour
¼ cup quinoa flour
½ cup amaranth flour
⅓ cup Natural Traditions Brown Rice Bran and Germ Powder
2 tbsp ground flaxseed
3 tbsp psyllium husk powder
1 tsp xanthan or guar gum
1 tbsp baking powder
2 tbsp kaniwa, teff seeds or amaranth
1 large, finely grated carrot
½ cup raisins, soaked in hot water and drained (reserve ¼ cup soaking water)
2 cups Nature’s Path© Gluten Free Fruit & Nut Granola
- Line a 13 x 9-inch baking pan with parchment and set aside.
- Using an electric mixer, beat eggs, coconut cream, pumpkin, jaggery, honey, milk and whey powders, salt and cinnamon until well combined.
- Add flours, rice bran and germ powder, flaxseed, psyllium, xanthan gum and baking powder, mixing until combined.
- Fold in kaniwa, carrot, raisins (with liquid) and granola.
- Spread into the pan and allow to stand for 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, heat the oven to 325 F.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes.
- Let cool in pan before cutting into bars.
Total Fat: 3.6 g
Cholesterol: 21.5 mg
Sodium: 49.5 mg
Total Carbs: 21.0 g
Dietary Fiber: 3.4 g
Protein: 5.8 g
Psst- only 3 days left to enter my @naturespathorganic #OnMyPath Giveaway!