Pumpkin Spice Quinoa Bars

Ingredients:

Dry:

- 1 c. Whole wheat flour

- 1 t. Pumpkin pie spice

- 1 t. Baking soda

- 2 c. Oats

- 2/3 c. Chopped nuts (I used half almonds, half pecans)

- 2 T. each, Chia and flax seeds

- 1/3 c. each raisins (or craisins) and dried cherries

- 1/2 c. mini chocolate chips

Wet:

- 1 c. pureed pumpkin

- 2 c. Cooked quinoa

- 2 eggs

- 2/3 c. Applesauce (or a couple mashed bananas)

- 1/2 c. Honey

- 1 t. vanilla

Optional:

- 1-2 T. Wheat bran to sprinkle on top

Directions:

1.  Make quinoa according to package directions.  (1 c. Uncooked makes about 4 c. Cooked, so I made this ahead and stored in the fridge).  Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

2. In a large bowl, mix quinoa with remaining wet ingredients.

3. Add dry ingredients (except wheat bran), and stir until just combined. Since I'm often short on time, I've been mixing the dry ingredients into gallon ziplock bags so they're ready to go when I have time to bake. Saves a lot of time measuring/digging out ingredients while trying to keep Peanut from eating the flour/oats/chocolate chips...

4. Grease a 9 x 13" pan with cooking spray, then pour batter into the pan. Use the back of a spoon to press evenly into the pan. Sprinkle with wheat bran, if desired.

5. Bake in preheated 375 oven for 20-25 min, until set and lightly browned. Allow to cool then slice into bars and package into individual servings for easy on-the-go breakfasts or snacks.