Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Quinoa Flakes

To market, to market I go, looking for a substitute for the oatmeal in the fruit and nut bar I want to make. Oatmeal is one of those grains that is maybe / maybe not gluten-free. One article I read said that if wheat or rye grow in the field adjacent to the oat field, chances are your oats will NOT be gluten-free.  

   On the Left are the Brown Rice Flakes. They are about the size of Oatmeal, but hard. They need some cooking to soften them before eating. 

 On the Right are the Quinoa Flakes. They are smaller and resemble the texture of oatmeal. They win for this application. (How did they manage to make the tiny Quinoa seed into a flake?) 

Fruit and Oatmeal (Quinoa) Bars

6 tablespoons grapeseed oil, or other neutral oil,
  plus a little extra for brushing the pan
2 tablespoons vegetable shortening
1/2 cup agave syrup
1/3 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
pinch of salt
( - a note here - this looked like a lot of sweet to me and it made my stomach hurt thinking about it. So I ditched the brown sugar. I cut back on the maple syrup and substituted 3 tablespoons of molasses for some of the syrup. Then I increased the quinoa flakes by a 1/2 cup. I'll leave the recipe alone as I found it and let you decide about making substitutions.)

2 cups rolled oats (quinoa flakes)
1/2 cup mixed seeds such as pumpkin, sunflower and sesame
1 1/2 cups mixes dried fruit such as raisins, cherries, apricots, papaya, pineapple and cranberries.
1 teaspoon ground cardamom

1.  Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9 inch square pan with parchment paper or foil, letting a few inches hang over the side of the pan. Brush parchment paper with oil.
2. Spread oats and seeds on another baking pan an toast in oven just until golden and fragrant, 6-8 minutes, shaking pan once.
3. In a saucepan, combine oil, vegetable shortening, agave syrup, brown sugar, maple syrup and salt. Stir over medium heat until smooth and hot. 
4. In mixing bowl, toss together the oats, dried fruit and cardamom. 
5. Pour hot sugar mixture over fruit and nuts, stir until well combined.
6. Transfer to prepared pan and press into pan evenly.
7. Bake at 25-30 minutes, until brown. 
8. Transfer the pan to a cooling rack and let cool completely.
9. Grab onto the overhanging paper and lift out of the pan. Place on a work surface. Cut into bars 1.5 inches x 3 inches.

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