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Controversial Ingredient Alert: Quinoa Bars

Quinoa is a pseudograin and does not contain gluten (of which I am intolerant). In recent years it has been awarded the prestigious title of Superfood, in light of its reasonable levels of fibre, phosphorous, calcium, magnesium and iron.

Quinoa Bars

Paleo purists put a big black mark against all grains including pseudo-grains as they are seen to contain anti-nutrient compounds which may promote a leaky gut, which in turn causes inflammation, which in turn encourages autoimmune disease.

However, even Dr Loren Cordain qualifies this view with 'if consumed in high amounts on a regular basis' so I do eat quinoa occasionally. If you notice any adverse digestive reaction or otherwise post-consumption then naturally just stay away!

In the same vein, flaxseed is technically a seed not a grain but Paleo purists spurn it for similar reasons!

Herein lies my imperfect approach to Paleo!

This recipe is an adaptation of Gwyneth Paltrow's rather bizarrely named 'Bummer Bars' from her book 'It's All Good'.

Quinoa Bars

Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Nut-free, Refined Sugar-free

1 cup cooked quinoa
1 1/2 cup flax meal
1 tbsp cinnamon
pinch of salt
1/2 cup mixed seeds (pumpkin, sunflower, sesame, linseed)
1/2 cup chopped prunes
5 dried figs chopped into small pieces
1/4 cup coconut oil
2 eggs
1 tbsp vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 175 degrees celsius.
2. Line a cake tin/ baking tray with at least 2cm height/ muffin tray, with baking paper/ muffin cases.
3. Mix everything together until well combined in a large bowl (or as I'm super lazy and try to minimise washing up, in the saucepan I cooked the quinoa in!)
4. Mixture should look very sticky! Press it firmly into the tin/tray/muffin moulds, smoothing the surface with the back of a spoon or spatula.
5. Bake in preheated oven for 30mins until golden in colour and firm to the touch.
6. Cool completely before removing from tray and slicing - it will crumble when hot.
7. Store in airtight container (after eating a few slices first).

** For those just starting to transition to no/lower sugar intake try adding 1/4 to 1/2 cup honey for more sweetness. Since completing the 21 DSD (21 day sugar detox) I find even a little sweetness sufficient. Plus excessive sugar causes immense discomfort of bloating and stomach cramps for me so I mostly try to steer clear.


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