These gluten-free cookie bars are quick to put together and simple to make. The thing I love most about these healthier cookie bars is that they’re reminiscent of the ooey-gooey Magic Cookie Bars I remember from my childhood.
I made them my way, though, and instead of being drenched in sweetened condensed milk and lots of sugary chocolate and butterscotch chips I opted for more nutrient-dense ingredients.
This recipe is my contribution to Diane’s (The W.H.O.L.E. Gang) 30 Days to Easy Gluten-Free Living.
What do Magic Cookie Power Bars have to do with living gluten-free the easy way? Well….learning to cook gluten-free gave me to freedom to drop conventional cooking guidelines and be as creative as I want. Once I let go, gluten-free cooking became easy. And fun.
Here’s what I did to transform a traditional sugary cookie into a slightly sweet snack that could pass for a breakfast bar:
- Using quinoa flakes in the crust adds protein, manganese, magnesium, and iron.
- Coconut oil is a healthy fat that is readily converted to energy as opposed to being stored. It’s also thought to have anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties
- Walnuts not only add great flavor and texture but are packed with omega 3 fatty acids, potassium, and manganese, have been shown to decrease LDL and total cholesterol, and can help increase bone health.
- Instead of sweetened condensed milk, I blended almond milk with dates and thickened it with chia seed meal. Chia seeds are a superfood that contain omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, and protein and antioxidents.
They’ve got all the right ingredients to give you a mid-day boost without a sugar crash. Cooking gluten-free and refined sugar-free has taught me that when there’s a will, there’s a way. You can make anything you want, any way you want.
Other Easy Gluten-Free Living Ideas
- Shredded Chicken Tortilla Soup from SS&GF
- Raw Date Truffles from SS&GF
- Grilled Fruit Cobbler from Silvana’s Kitchen
- Gluten-Free CrockPot Bread from A Year of Slow Cooking
Serves: 12 (2″ x 2¾″) bars
- 1 cup (225 grams) unsweetened almond milk
- 3 large (50 grams) medjool dates
- 2 tablespoons (10 grams) chia seed meal
- ½ cup (70 grams) juice-sweetened dried cranberries
- 1 cup (90 grams) quinoa flakes
- ¾ cup (88 grams) Amy’s Basic Gluten-Free Flour Blend
- ¼ cup (40 grams) coconut palm sugar
- ½ teaspoon (1 gram) xanthan gum
- ¼ teaspoon (1 gram) kosher salt
- ¼ cup (50 grams) coconut oil, melted
- ¼ cup (55 grams) water
- ½ cup (100 grams) unsweetened carob chips
- ½ cup (60 grams) toasted, chopped walnuts
- ¾ cup (60 grams) unsweetened, shredded coconut
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly mist an 8×8-inch pan with cooking spray.
- Put the almond milk and dates in a blender and puree. Transfer to a bowl and mix in the chia seed meal. Set aside. Put the cranberries in a bowl and cover with warm water. Set aside.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the quinoa flakes, flour blend, coconut palm sugar, xanthan gum, and salt. Mix in the melted coconut oil and water until a crumbly dough forms. Press the dough into the bottom of the prepared pan.
- Put the carob chips on top of the crust, followed by the chopped walnuts. Drain the cranberries and layer them on top of the walnuts. Pour the almond milk mixture over the top of the cookie bars and spread evenly with a spatula. Sprinkle the coconut over the top and lightly press it into the almond milk.
- Bake for 40 minutes, rotating 180 degrees halfway through, until the coconut is light golden brown. Let cool completely before cutting. Store at room temperature in an airtight container.