Puffed Amaranth, Pistachio and Dark Chocolate Granola Bars

Puffed Amaranth, Pistachio and Dark Chocolate Granola Bars- sweet, salty and nutritious, these granola bars are sure to become your new favorite snack! 
Puffed Amaranth, Pistachio and Dark Chocolate Granola Bars- sweet, salty and nutritious, these granola bars are sure to become your new favorite snack!  #plantbased #glutenfree #grainfree

If you would have asked me ten years ago if I knew how to puff amaranth, I would have looked at you like you were crazy. Then I would have asked you what kind of pipe you might use for such practices? Just out of curiosity.

Now I’m that girl who’s into the whole healthy eating trend so I’m well aware of amaranth and exactly how to puff it. All you have to do is toast it in a pan on the stovetop until it pops. Kind of like popcorn. Only it’s much easier to burn and only half of it pops before the rest starts to burn. To be honest, it’s kind of pain.

The good news is that you can buy it online already puffed. So all you have to do is open the box and pour it in a bowl with the rest of the ingredients. Gotta love the internet.

Puffed Amaranth, Pistachio and Dark Chocolate Granola Bars- sweet, salty and nutritious, these granola bars are sure to become your new favorite snack! 

Puffed Amaranth Granola Bar Ingredients

We love this specific combination of ingredients but the beauty of this recipe is that it’s totally customizable. Keep reading for possible substitutions!

  1. Puffed Amaranth– as I said above, while puffing amaranth yourself is more affordable, you end up wasting half of it because it burns. Plus it’s time consuming and stinks up your house. Some things are worth the money. That said, you can easily substitute quick cooking oats if you like.
  2. Pistachios- pistachios are one of my favorite nuts and they work so well with the flavor combos in these granola bars. But if you don’t like them, feel free to use any kind of nut you want.
  3. Hemp Seeds- hemp seeds are a great source of omega 3’s, protein, and iron. They also have a subtle neutral flavor that blends perfectly here. Again, if you’re not a fan you can substitute sesame seeds, chia seeds, or finely chopped sunflower seeds.
  4. Shredded Unsweetened Coconut- this is added mostly for texture so it isn’t necessarily vital to the recipe. You can sub equal amounts additional hemp seeds or amaranth.
  5. Lemon Zest- lemon zest provides a brightness and subtle tang that makes these bars super addicting.
  6. Dried Cranberries- the hint of sweetness and chewy texture pairs well with the pistachios and lemon, however you could sub raisins if you’re not a fan of cranberries.
  7. Honey and Almond Butter- this mixture is used to bind, sweeten and provide moisture. Brown rice syrup or agave nectar will work in place of the honey and cashew butter will work in place of the almond butter.
  8. Dark Chocolate- between the sweetness of the cranberries and honey, you don’t want to overpower it with a sweet milk chocolate. Using dark chocolate is the perfect balance although it can be omitted if you prefer. *If you are using it, be sure to refrigerate it until cold so that it doesn’t melt from the warmth of the melted almond butter and honey.

Puffed Amaranth, Pistachio and Dark Chocolate Granola Bars- sweet, salty and nutritious, these granola bars are sure to become your new favorite snack!  #plantbased #glutenfree #grainfree

How to Make Puffed Amaranth Granola Bars

  1. Melt the honey and almond butter in a small saucepan and stir to combine.
  2. Place all of the remaining ingredients (minus the chocolate) in a large bowl.
  3. Pour the honey mixture overtop and stir to combine.
  4. Add the chopped chocolate, stir together, then press the mixture in a square baking dish lined with parchment paper.
  5. Refrigerate until set, cut into bars, serve and enjoy!

Puffed Amaranth, Pistachio and Dark Chocolate Granola Bars- sweet, salty and nutritious, these granola bars are sure to become your new favorite snack!  #plantbased #glutenfree #grainfree

Puffed Amaranth, Pistachio and Dark Chocolate Granola Bars- sweet, salty and nutritious, these granola bars are sure to become your new favorite snack!  #plantbased #glutenfree #grainfree

These granola bars are incredibly addicting and delicious! They would make a perfect gift for a loved one or a healthy snack to savor at home.

I hope you love them as much as we do!

Puffed Amaranth, Pistachio and Dark Chocolate Granola Bars- sweet, salty and nutritious, these granola bars are sure to become your new favorite snack!  #plantbased #glutenfree #grainfree

Print Recipe
5 from 5 votes

Puffed Amaranth, Pistachio and Dark Chocolate Granola Bars

Sweet, salty and nutritious, these granola bars are sure to become your new favorite snack!
Prep Time20 mins
Total Time20 mins
Servings: 12

Ingredients

  • 1 cup puffed amaranth
  • 1/2 cup hemp seeds
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1/2 cup shelled pistachios, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries, preferably juice sweetened
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest, from 1 lemon
  • 1/2 cup almond butter
  • 1/2 cup honey, or brown rice syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate, chopped and refrigerated

Instructions

  • Line an 8 x 8" baking dish with parchment paper then set aside.
  • In a large bowl, add the amaranth, hemp seeds, coconut, cranberries, and lemon zest.
  • In a medium saucepan, combine the almond butter and honey then melt over medium-low heat. Remove from heat, add the vanilla extract and stir until evenly combined. Allow to cool for 5 minutes.
  • Once the honey mixture has cooled, pour it into the large bowl with the dry ingredients. Stir until evenly combined. Add the (cold) chopped chocolate then stir again to combine.
  • Transfer the mixture to the baking dish then press it firmly into the bottom and out to the sides until the top is a flat, even surface. I like to use a pastry roller to help but if you don't have one you can use another piece of parchment paper on top to keep it from sticking to your hands. Refrigerate for 2-4 hours to set.
  • Once the mixture has set, use the parchment paper to lift it out of the baking dish. Using a large, sharp knife cut it into 12 separate bars. Serve immediately or place in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 5 days.

Nutrition

Calories: 330kcal, Carbohydrates: 35g, Protein: 9g, Fat: 19g, Saturated Fat: 5g, Cholesterol: 1mg, Sodium: 5mg, Potassium: 292mg, Fiber: 5g, Sugar: 18g, Vitamin A: 55IU, Vitamin C: 1.3mg, Calcium: 86mg, Iron: 4mg
Course: Snack
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