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Healthy Crunch Bars – Vegan + Gluten Free

Chocolate Crunch Bars made healthy! By using almond butter and puffed quinoa, this vegan and gluten free treat will satisfy your sweet tooth without any refined sugars or unhealthy ingredients.

healthy crunch bars stacked on a wooden board

Are you a fan of Crunch Bars? Me too! In fact there aren’t many chocolate bars I don’t like. πŸ˜‰

Making some Healthy Crunch Bars seemed like a good idea to me!

The inspiration for this chocolate bar was a bag of puffed quinoa from the bulk food store.

hand holding a baggie of puffed quinoa

My goal was to re-create a Nestle Crunch bar with healthy, nutritious, but equally delicious ingredients.

I achieved that goal. 

healthy chocolate crunch bar with a big bite out of it

HOW TO MAKE HEALTHY CRUNCH BARS:

It was an easy prep.

It consists of measuring out the ingredients and stirring.

Check out the whole foods list of ingredients:

Maple syrup.

maple syrup in a measuring cup

 

Natural Almond Butter.

almond butter in a measuring cup

 

Cocoa powder.

cocoa powder in a measuring cup

 

The puffed quinoa.

puffed quinoa in a measuring cup

Pour melted coconut oil over the almond butter, cocoa powder and maple syrup.

coconut oil being poured over cocoa powder and peanut butter

Add in the puffed quinoa and stir it all up.

mixing bowl with chocolate and puffed quinoa

 

…pour into parchment lined mini loaf tins. You could also use lined muffin tins or a parchment lined square pan.

 

a tin lined with parchment paper filled with crunch bar ingredients

Licking the bowl is mandatory. πŸ™‚

A finger with chocolate on it.

Freeze for 15 minutes and store in the fridge/freezer in a sealed container

I ended up cutting these bars in half for better portion control. I wanted these to last longer! Very, very good. I could also see using puffed brown rice in this recipe as well.

Healthy Crunch Bars stacked on a wooden board

This was quick and easy. These bars are nothing but good for you.

 

The following are my top 5 favourite snack recipes. I hope you enjoy your time in the kitchen creating magic for your family and for yourself!

 

MORE HEALTHY SNACK RECIPES:

 

Crispy Chewy Brown Rice Balls

 

Maple Cinnamon Roasted Almonds

 

Ginger Molasses Cookies

 

Blonde Macaroons 

 

Fudgy Cupcakes

 

[mv_video key=”apb9gkv6efyethf7tayy” volume=”70″ aspectRatio=”true” title=”Seven DELICIOUS Gluten Free Snack Recipes” thumbnail=”https://mediavine-res.cloudinary.com/v1570387242/avc6pencelhjwlofkdyg.jpg” doNotOptimizePlacement=”false” doNotAutoplayNorOptimizePlacement=”false” sticky=”false”]*Originally posted May 17, 2013. Updated November 19, 2019*

 

Be sure to follow me on social media! I love pinning to Pinterest, sharing on Facebook and posting pics to Instagram. See you there.Β  πŸ™‚

 

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healthy chocolate crunch bars

Quinoa Crunch Bars

Sharon Rhodes
Chocolate Crunch Bars made healthy! By using almond butter and puffed quinoa, this vegan and gluten free treat will satisfy your sweet tooth without any refined sugars or unhealthy ingredients.
3.75 from 27 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
Chill 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Dessert, Snack
Cuisine American
Servings 12 squares/cups
Calories 201 kcal

Ingredients
  

Instructions
 

  • Line your pan with parchment
  • Combine all ingredients and stir
  • Pour into pan and freeze for 10 minutes

Nutrition

Calories: 201kcalCarbohydrates: 14gProtein: 3gFat: 15gSaturated Fat: 8gSodium: 2mgPotassium: 147mgFiber: 2gSugar: 5gCalcium: 48mgIron: 1.2mg
Keyword almond butter crunch bars, homemade crunch bars
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Healthy Crunch Bars Recipe Pinterest Graphic

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65 Comments

    1. Hey Joan! I’m not sure why they would rise to the top. Perhaps your bars are a bit too thick? Also, I have found that puffed rice works better than puffed quinoa for the crunch factor. A fresh bag helps too! Sometimes the puffs can be stale.

    1. If you can handle dairy melted butter could work. The oil is what holds these together and it is kind of hard to replace, unfortunately. Coconut allergies are difficult.

  1. 5 stars
    I made these for my family and they loved them. My kids even asked for seconds! I’m planning on making them again, do you think I could omit the sunflower seeds? I want to make them for my extended family and my mother doesn’t like sunflower seeds! Thank you!!

  2. 5 stars
    I just started trying out Vegan dishes, desserts, etc and this one is a MUST! It does not taste like it is “vegan” as some people have this particular taste association for vegan foods. So I am careful about dishes I make. For this I didn’t tell anyone that it is categorized as “vegan”. They loved it. Gone in 60 seconds (I think it was less!). I have to make more and will put it in a tight container to be displayed so it is the choice for snacks. I gave out the recipes as popularly requested and no one questioned because it is just o good and so easy to make. THANK YOU! This will be ne of my go to desserts” till I find out to add.

    1. That is so awesome! So satisfying when the recipe goes over this well. Thanks for the great review, Claire! Much appreciated. πŸ™‚

  3. Love these! How do you keep them from melting so quickly when you remove them from the freezer? I’d love to have them out for a party or to take to work, but I can’t keep them from making a huge mess when you try to eat them.

    1. Hey Rebecca! I love these too – but the downside is they don’t travel well at all. Coconut oil melts SO fast and they need to be kept cold to hold together. It’s too bad because like you, I would love to share these with friends at work.

  4. Did this with puffed amaranth. I like the chocolate recipe although in the future I think I’ll lend 1/4 cup less from the coconut oil and add it to the nut butter. I know coconut oil is necessary for it to solidify in the freezer, but this was a tad oily. Solid, solid recipe though!

  5. I made these for a Halloween party and they turned out great! They get soft pretty quickly though as soon as I took them out of the freezer (not really surprised based on the ingredients!). I made my on quinoa as well since I didn’t have any puffed on hand (I had never even heard of it before). It was relatively easy and turned out pretty well! All I had to do was rinse the quinoa well (this was the hardest step… in retrospect I should have used cheesecloth but didn’t think of that til afterwards), dry it in the oven on the lowest setting with the door propped, then drop it in small-handful batches into a pot pre-heated to medium on the stove (no oil necessary). It started popping almost immediately, and once the popping slows down and it starts to look toasty I removed it to a bowl and started the next batch. Mine looks a lot toastier than the stuff in the picture, but my chocolate turned out very crispy!

    1. That’s so cool Allison! I totally just bought my puffed quinoa at the bulk food store. I love that you popped your own. I’ll bet they tasted much crispier than my version. I’ll have to give this method a try! Thanks. πŸ™‚

  6. These look and sound wonderful. Just wondering if you have ever made an extra large batch and kept any frozen for a longer time. I’m always trying to prep for later too ??

  7. I didn’t have any luck popping quinoa. It either burnt immediately or didn’t pop at all! But I used a puffed boxed cereal instead, and these turned out so delicious!!! Will definitely make these again and again!

    1. I usually buy it already puffed at the bulk store. I’ve never tried to pop it myself. πŸ™‚ I’m glad you enjoyed them. Using any kind of crispy cereal would probably work well. Lots of variety with this one. πŸ™‚

  8. These. Are. Awesome. I tried puffing my own quinoa or amaranth and that didn’t really work for me, so I used a puffed cereal instead. Will try again with different ‘puffy’ things! πŸ™‚

  9. Hi Lisa,

    I love the ideas of these bars. Unfortunately, I can’t do coconut oil What would be a good alternative. Anxious to make these. Thanks.

  10. Girl, these look awesome! Is the quinoa soft or actually crunchy? I’m heading to TJs tomorrow and would love to give these a try!! πŸ™‚

    1. It’s not quite crunchy yet not quite soft either. It just gives a nice texture. If you want a bit more of the crunch factor puffed rice is nice. πŸ™‚

  11. Wow,these are good. I used Agave nectar instead of maple syrup. For those of you also counting points with weight watchers, I cut them into 15 pieces & I calculated the Points Plus Value @ 3.

  12. Hey! Sounds so yumm and easy to make!
    I have a question though, does puffed quinoa mean raw quinoa grain or are you supposed to cook it?

    1. Hi Ankita! Puffed quinoa is actually similiar to a puffed cereal (think rice crispies). It can be bought in the bulk stores. If you can’t find it puffed brown rice also works well.

  13. Sharon! Thank you for your wonderful recipes. I had some quinoa puffs sitting in my cupboard (intended to be used for cereal) and loved the idea of using them in a dessert! I’m happy to say that all your recipes that I have tried (5-7) in the past 5 days are excellent. So happy I discovered your blog. Looking forward to trying many more!

    1. Thanks, Kara! I’m glad you found me, too πŸ™‚ These bars are a favourite of my very picky boyfriend so I’m sure you’ll love them! Thanks again for the kind words!

  14. Made them! Wow! five stars – thank you ! No one in the family believes they are healthy.. made your quinua today for dinner also with a tomato paste and coconut milk sauce – ( ihad planned on making your bolognese sauce but time didnt permit the shopping – my creamy red sauce wasnt bad.. had no idea how great a sub the quinoa would be for pasta! delish! thank you!

    1. I love it when people can’t believe things I make are healthy. It shows that good food is just that. Good food! As far as quinoa as a sub for pasta…I know! It’s been years now since I’ve eaten standard white pasta and I’ve never looked back…
      Thanks so much for your positive feedback! It’s muchly appreciated:)

  15. OMG these look fantastic! That’s so creative to use them for a crunch bar-type recipe. I’ve never even heard of puffed quinoa and would have no idea what to do with it!

    1. They are so good! That batch was gone before I knew it…Look for puffed quinoa in the bulk bins.

      1. I haven’t tried it with amaranth but, I think if it was puffed it should be a fine swap. Let me know if it works out!

  16. I love crunch bars and I know they’re terrible for you. I love this idea! Kudos for being so creative.