Carrot Cake Quinoa Bars are a nutritious (and delicious!) way to satisfy your sweet tooth. Packed with protein, fiber, and healthy fats, these gluten-free and vegan Carrot Cake Quinoa Bars make the perfect on-the-go breakfast or snack!
I may be a dietitian, that doesn’t stop me from having a pretty mean sweet tooth. Fortunately (or unfortunately, depending on how you want to look at it), the 891,527,523 hours I’ve spent studying nutrition – and its never-ending slew of health and wellness implications – just so happens to be enough to keep me from leading a life fueled entirely by ice cream and cookies.
While I certainly indulge in my fair share of desserts (read: everyday), I do my best to keep nutrition a top priority. That being said, I’m always on the prowl for ways to satisfy my sweet tooth without sacrificing taste, quality, or nutrition.
These Carrot Cake Quinoa Bars fit all of the above criteria (and then some!). They’re made with wholesome ingredients like quinoa, dates, and nuts and filled with protein, fiber and healthy fats. And on top of that, they come together in just 15 minutes and don’t require any baking. Oh, and did I mention that they taste flippin’ PHENOMENAL?? Yeah, there’s that too.
These bars themselves remind me of a cross between a Larabar and a Cliff Bar. They’re moist, dense, and loaded with carrot cake flavor. And since no cake is complete without frosting, these bad boys are topped with a blend of creamy cashews, sweet maple syrup, and a hint of tangy lemon for a taste that is reminiscent of cream cheese frosting.
Are you drooling yet??! No? Just me? Awkward…
Now, as a wise woman once said…
Let them eat cake (for breakfast)
Carrot Cake Quinoa Bars (GF, V)
Carrot Cake Quinoa Bars are a nutritious (and delicious!) way to satisfy your sweet tooth! Packed with protein, fiber, and healthy fats, these gluten-free and vegan bars make the perfect on-the-go breakfast or snack!
- For the bars:
- 3 medium carrots, peeled and chopped (~1 cup)
- 12 large pitted medjool dates
- 1/2 cup raisins
- 1 1/2 cups cooked quinoa, cooled
- 2/3 cup walnuts
- 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- For the frosting:
- 2/3 cup raw cashews, soaked 2-3 hours and rinsed
- 4 tsp coconut oil, melted and cooled
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 5 tsp maple syrup
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- Line an 8x8" baking dish with parchment paper so that there are "tabs" on two of the sides. Set aside.
- Place dates and raisins in a large bowl with warm water and allow to soak for 10-15 minute to soften. Drain and set aside.
- While fruit is soaking, assemble your frosting. Add all frosting ingredients to a small food processor or blender and blend until smooth and creamy, stopping periodically to scrape down the sides. Set aside.
- Add chopped carrots to the bowl of a large food processor and pulse until finely chopped (about 5 seconds). Add remaining carrot cake bar ingredients (including drained and soaked fruit) to the food processor and pulse until well combined, stopping to scrape the sides as needed.
- Transfer bar mixture to prepared baking dish. Top with cashew frosting and grated carrots or crushed walnuts (optional).
- Leftover bars can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 5-7 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.