Sweet Potato Energy Bars
Loaded with oats, quinoa and seeds, these Sweet Potato Energy Bars are full of fiber, protein and healthy fats to keep everyone satisfied until their next meal. Mixing in cooked sweet potato and apple adds natural sweetness which allows us to cut back on the other sweeteners. These bars are chewy, not overly-sweet and totally satisfying. Make a batch over the weekend to enjoy throughout the week.
Feel free to customize these bars with ingredients in your pantry. Swap in any nut or seed butter for the peanut butter, sunflower seeds or chopped nuts for the pepitas, and your favorite dried fruits. We love a mix of dried cherries and cranberries but raisins or chopped dried apricots would be delicious, too. The chocolate drizzle is optional but highly encouraged!
Quick cooking (not instant) oats work best in this recipe, but you can use rolled oats if that’s what you have. If you choose to use rolled oats, toast them with the quinoa for best texture and flavor.
Sweet Potato Energy Bars
Prep time: 20 min.
Cook time: 20 min.
Total time: 40 min.
Makes 20 bars
½ cup uncooked quinoa
2 cups quick cooking oats*
½ cup toasted pepitas (or nuts or sunflower seeds)
⅓ cup dried cherries
⅓ cup dried cranberries
1 cup peeled and diced sweet potato
1 cup peeled and diced apple
½ cup peanut butter (or nut/seed butter of choice)
⅓ cup maple syrup
⅓ cup honey
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon
¾ teaspoon sea salt
¼ cup dark chocolate chips, melted (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Spread the quinoa onto a sheet pan. Toast in pre-heated oven for 8-10 minutes, or until just lightly golden, then transfer to a large bowl and toss with oats, pepitas and dried fruit.
While the quinoa toasts, toss the diced sweet potato and apple together in a shallow microwave-safe dish. Add enough water to just cover the bottom and seal tightly with plastic wrap. Microwave on HIGH for 4 minutes. Carefully remove dish and plastic wrap (steam will be hot!). Drain sweet potatoes and apples and transfer to a food processor.
To the food processor add the next 6 ingredients (peanut butter through sea salt) and blend until smooth. Pour the sweet potato mixture over the oats and quinoa and mix until well-combined.
Line a 13x9 inch pan with parchment paper (allow a couple inches of overhang). Spread oat mixture in an even layer, using your hands or a spatula to firmly press it into the pan. Bake for 20 minutes, or until the edges become lightly golden brown.
Allow to cool in the pan for at least 30 minutes before lifting bars from the pan. You can also refrigerate or freeze for 30 minutes to speed up the process. These are easiest to cut when chilled. Cut into 20 bars. Drizzle with melted chocolate if you like.
Keep in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to a week, or freeze up to 3 months.
*Quick cooking (not instant) oats work best in this recipe, but you can use rolled oats if that’s what you have. If you choose to use rolled oats, toast them with the quinoa for best texture and flavor.
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