I tried making these chocolate quinoa crisps from the Toasted Pinenut that I had saved to Pinterest, and even though they looked nothing like the picture I saw online, they still tasted great. This definitely isn’t my favorite dessert I have featured on this blog, but it’s a fun addition to add crumbled on top of plain yogurt for added crunch and flavor! Plus doesn’t dessert seem so much healthier when it has quinoa in it? 😛
When I tried to make mounds of the quinoa crisps using a cookie scooper, I realized that the shape was not staying in nice circles, so I decided to combine the chocolate quinoa into one big bark (which I later crumbled into pieces). I found this more fun to eat anyways than a cookie.
I also discovered through this recipe that you can puff quinoa, which I did for the first time. People will substitute puffed quinoa for popcorn, but regular popcorn tastes much better in my opinion. I puffed my own quinoa for this recipe. I did a lot of reading online about how to do so, and ended up deciding on a dry popping method to save time (oven popping takes much longer). The original recipe from The Toasted Pinenut uses ready-made puffed quinoa, which you can buy online (see below for how I made puffed quinoa at home).
Chocolate Quinoa Bark
- 1/2 cup unrefined coconut oil, melted (you can also use refined coconut oil for a milder flavor)
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 1/4 cup cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cup puffed quinoa
- In your bowl, whisk together the coconut oil, maple syrup, cocoa powder, and vanilla until smooth.
- Fold in the puffed quinoa.
- Flatten out on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
- Use a spatula to flatten out evenly.
- Pop in the fridge or freezer for 1 hour until harden.
- Break apart bark into pieces and transfer to a bag or container and store in the fridge until you’re ready to eat!
Here’s the recipe from Bon Appetit that I used to pop the quinoa (I used tri-color because this is the only quinoa I had at home). These were really fun to watch pop, as they flew like crazy!
- Heat a deep sauce pot over medium-high heat, until the surface is almost smoking. Add enough raw grains/seeds to coat the bottom of the pot in a single layer, without crowding or overlapping. Turn the heat down to medium, cover the pot, and shake it. Shaking the pot ensures that the grains/seeds won’t burn, and also agitates them, prompting them to pop.
- Because they are so small, they don’t take long to heat up and should begin popping almost immediately after you add them to the pan. Continue shaking the pan, cracking the lid once or twice to let steam escape, until the sound stops. If things smell a little toasty, remove the pan from the burner, and continue to shake it. It’s easy to take your grains and seeds from perfectly puffed to burnt, so pay attention to what your nose knows. Once the popping stops, immediately pour the grains onto a rimmed baking sheet so they can cool. Leaving them in the hot pot means they’ll continue to cook, which can mean burnt amaranth before you know it. Nobody wants that!