Quinoa Breakfast Bars with Cacao Nibs Recipe

cacao nibs recipe

A few months ago I ended up with 2 bags of cacao nibs. More than I need or know what to do with. I can use a bit in this cacao nibs brownie bites recipe, throw on top of frozen fruit or yogurt, but what to do with cups and cups of cacao nibs? There must be a better way (classic Shark Tank’s quote haha) to use these little nuggets of health!

cacao nibs recipe

Cacao nibs are simply peeled and crumbled cacao beans. Think nature’s chocolate chips when combined with fruit. On their own cacao nibs taste bitter. But they are full of antioxidants, minerals and fiber. When you hear dark chocolate is good for you it is because of cacao beans’ magic nutrition properties.

This quinoa breakfast bars cacao nibs recipe idea was born out of pure necessity to use up a giant mass of cacao nibs and make them taste sweet. I thought if I mash bananas and add creamy peanut butter, that creates a pretty good “sticky” base for the bars. Then add cooked quinoa for its nutrition content and oat flour to help things hold together,

cacao nibs recipe

Last come sweetened dried cherries, cranberries and blueberries. You can use any dried fruit. It will add more sweetness. My dried fruit was sweetened which is OK because it was organic, unsulphured and my bars needed that tiny touch of sweetness.

And cacao nibs of course. I love the contrast in this photo.

cacao nibs recipe

The texture of these quinoa breakfast bars was soft. They are more breakfast bars than crunchy or chewy storebought bars. If you are wondering what happened to cacao nibs, they softened up during baking and did in fact taste like chocolate chips because every bite contained sweet dried fruit.

Enjoy this quinoa breakfast bars with cacao nibs recipe! They were delicious and I had 2 with a cup of coffee for breakfast. It was a lovely change to overnight oats and oatmeal.


And next to the bars I have these chocolate coconut flour muffins that are to die for! Made with applesauce, they are dairy, gluten and sugar free.

Quinoa Breakfast Bars with Cacao Nibs Recipe




1/2 cup quinoa, dry
2 medium-large ripe bananas
1/4 cup peanut butter (any nut or seed butter works)
1/2 cup coconut flakes, unsweetened
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup oat flour
1/2 cup cacao nibs
1/2 cup dried cranberries, blueberries or cherries
Cooking spray


Cook quinoa as per package instructions.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 8” x 8” square baking dish with unbleached parchment paper and spray with cooking spray.
In the meanwhile, in a large bowl mash bananas. Add peanut butter, coconut flakes, vanilla extract and salt; mix well. Add cooked quinoa and oat flour; mix. Add cacao nibs and dried berries; stir until well incorporated.
Transfer mixture in a prepared baking dish and level with spatula. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool completely before slicing into 12 bars.
Keep in a cool dry place for a few days. Refrigerate in a container with a lid that has ventilation so bars do not become soggy.

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