Its #NoGrain season and I too am prepping. We’re gearing up for Navratri 2016. Its a festive time in Mumbai, the celebrations started for Ganapathi…they are going to escalate for Dandia and Garba.
Every one I know seems to be speaking of Chania Cholis and Dandias and Garba. For me, more than anything, this time is special…all prayers to Mother Goddess Durga.
So for seven days ,I pray,wear new , blingy clothes ,keep the lamp lit and dont eat any grain.
So there are crackers I do coz I need some salt… and a sweet cookie to dunk into my tea. And this time..I’m making Quinoa Energy Bars.
They is no reason to be eating while you’re fasting… but the tummy grumbles.
And then when you are involved in the party circuit and the dancing,you need something like these quinoa bites. They are packed with protein, fibre , good fatty acids and good health.
And like me ,if you were bombarded with more quinoa than you can eat…this is an amazing way to use it up.
I don’t have too much love for the aroma of black quinoa. Its just not appetizing. I uswd up the red quinoa, and white quinoa I make often. This bag of black hotness was languishing in my pantry. Along with some pecans and candied pomello peel and some aond meal (macarons are on my mind,but the rains must stop) and sunflower seeds and chocolate chips and that bottle.of pure Canadian Maple syrup and that bag if kadhali or raw banana flour.
You can use whatever combination of flavors you want depending upon what is available. Energy bites should not warrant a trip to the stores…
I kept them as squares first, but as I used the least possible maple syrup, the quinoa was falling. So I made them into balls. And stored in the fridge, these will last forever.
I washed both types of quinoa(though they are packaged prewashed-Just my Mom mentality), and left them to dry overnight over a kitchen towel. And I learnt something new.
Did you know that quinoa pops like corn? So you can see miniscule fuzz around the grain. Pretty. And the popping took away that black quinoa smell.
I toasted the raw banana flour. You can use Amaranth flour or buckwheat flour or even Makhana flour( toasted lotus seeds are called Makhana). I added a tsp of ghee, which I now realize was totally unnecessary,as all the seeds have the needed fats.
I studded the balls with my sour cherries for a flavor contrast. All.in all, these are superbly healthy and you dont need.to be on a no grain diet or have celiac disease to enjoy them . You just need a ton of quinoa that you wouldn’t otherwise use.
Make these and dump them in a small zip pouch in your bag or a small Tupperware in your fridge or office desk.
And when you feel the extra spurt in your step…thank the aztecs and me.
You can choose what quantity and which ingredients that you want to use.
Quinoa Granola – NoGrain Energy Bites Navratri/Upvaas Special
1 cup quinoa – I usef half black and half white quinoa
Assorted seeds and nuts 2 tbsp each- Pecans, Sunflower Seeds, Sesame Seeds
3 tbsp non grain flour
1/2 tsp cinnamon powder
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/4 cup maple syrup or honey
1/4 cup almond meal or crushed almonds
1/4 cup candied peel -I used pomello peel
Handful dehydrated sour cherries-you can also use cranberries or raisins
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
- Place the quinoa in a sieve and wash under running water. Allow to dry overnight. Heat a clean pan , place the quinoa in and gently heat allowing the seeda to pop. Remove to a large mixing bowl.
- Toast the non grain flour similarly. You may add the ghee or clarified butter to help you. I dry roasted the flour. Pour over quinoa.
- Chop the pecans and roast the nuts and seeds and place over the already roasted ingredients.
- Chop the candied peel and add along the sea salt to the bowl.
- Stir around and add the chocolate chips.
- Now slowly pour in the maple syrup And mix .
- Press into a parchment paper lined square tin to set or make balls and place in fridge. Allow the balls or bars to set .
- If you have added a little extra maple syrup or honey, you can bake these at 180℃ for 15 minutes. I never wanted to melt the chocolate chips… but they melted with the heat of my hands nonetheless.
- You can eat these as they are ,or pour over some milk or yogurt and enjoy a healthy anytime snack.
- The salt makes it yummier. You can avoid it or replace it with Upvaas wala sendha namak if you are very particular. But it ensures satiety.
- Since everything is toasted, these bites are easy to carry.
My quinoa was black. These will be prettier with white or red quinoa.
I rolled my quinoa bites into balls and stashed them for the upcoming Navratri Fasts.
Keep an eye out for more quinoa recipes. I have a lot of quinoa to go through and this is a healthy alternative to the usual fries and rich Upvaas feast
Do try them out and let me know what you think.
So what are you baking today???