Toasted Quinoa Chocolate Crunch Bars

Toasted Quinoa Chocolate Crunch Bars... Quinoa is a popular superfood, and now you can eat it in your chocolate! | www.somethingswanky.com

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and breast cancer awareness is a cause that has always been near and dear to my heart. We’ve all been touched by cancer in one way or another. Breast Cancer is the most commonly diagnosed form of breast cancer in women, and a handful of the great women in my life have fought the battle.

My grandmother died of breast cancer before I was born. I never had the chance to meet her, but we talked about her a lot growing up so I still felt like I knew her. My mom always tells me that I’m so much like her. I like to think that she’d be pretty excited about this crazy blog of mine :) .

My Aunt battled breast cancer this year, and that was a tough pill to swallow. It doesn’t seem like the people who are the most loving and vibrant in our lives could ever be touched by something as vile as cancer. But, somehow, it happens anyway. Here’s a picture of my beautiful Aunt when she was nearing the end of her treatment. I’m so proud of her!

Toasted Quinoa Chocolate Crunch Bars... Quinoa is a popular superfood, and now you can eat it in your chocolate! | www.somethingswanky.com

Of course, we don’t have a cure for breast cancer yet. But there are things you can be doing to help detect or reduce your risk of getting breast cancer and to support cancer research and those women who are already battling it:

Early Detection:

Look for…

  • Nipple tenderness or a lump or thickening in or near the breast or underarm area
  • A change in the skin texture or an enlargement of pores in the skin of the breast  (some describe this as similar to an orange peel’s texture)
  • A lump in the breast (It’s important to remember that all lumps should be investigated by a healthcare professional, but not all lumps are cancerous.)
  • Any unexplained change in the size or shape of the breast
  • Dimpling anywhere on the breast
  • Unexplained swelling of the breast (especially if on one side only)
  • Unexplained shrinkage of the breast (especially if on one side only)
  • Recent asymmetry of the breasts (Although it is common for women to have one breast that is slightly larger than the other, if the onset of asymmetry is recent, it should be checked.)
  • Nipple that is turned slightly inward or inverted
  • Skin of the breast, areola, or nipple that becomes scaly, red, or swollen or may have ridges or pitting resembling the skin of an orange

source: National Breast Cancer Foundation

Reduce the Risk

…by forming healthy habits like:

  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Stay physically active
  • Eat fruits and vegetables
  • Do not smoke
  • Limit alcohol consumption
  • Get scheduled regular breast exams
  • Preform regular self examinations

Speaking of maintaining a healthy weight and eating well, did you know that Quinoa is actually considered one of the top 5 cancer-preventing foods? It’s really an amazing superfood that is high in protein and riboflavin, low calorie, gluten-free, and has a low glycemic index. Overall, it’s very nutrient dense and a great option for a nutritious and healthy life-style.

Toasted Quinoa Chocolate Crunch Bars... Quinoa is a popular superfood, and now you can eat it in your chocolate! | www.somethingswanky.com

I wanted to create a fun recipe to go along with this Breast Cancer Awareness post, and considering what a rockstar superfood quinoa is, I decided to make it the focal point of this dessert! A while back a sampled a Dark Chocolate Toasted Quinoa Chocolate Bar and was super impressed with it! It tastes very similar to a Crunch or Krackle Bar (made with puffed rice), but it’s so much better for you!

You can see I added some pecans to my white chocolate bars (which I surprisingly ended up liking over the chocolate bars!), and I think these would taste great with a variety of added ingredients like nuts and dried fruit!

With only two ingredients, these bars are really easy to make. And if you don’t have a chocolate mold– no problem! Spread the melted mixture on some wax paper and make a chocolate bark. It will taste just a great!

Toasted Quinoa Chocolate Crunch Bars... Quinoa is a popular superfood, and now you can eat it in your chocolate! | www.somethingswanky.comBefore I give you the recipe, I wanted to touch on one last aspect of Breast Cancer Awareness… support.

Support BCA

There are a lot of ways you can support those who suffer from Breast Cancer and their loved ones. Check out these donation options, and see if one of them is right for you:

Take a moment today to hug the special women in your life (and maybe take them a quinoa chocolate bar :)! We may not be able to prevent or cure Breast Cancer yet, but there is a lot we can do to to detect it early, reduce our risk, and support those who have it or have loved ones with breast cancer!

Toasted Quinoa Chocolate Crunch Bars

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces high quality chocolate melting candy (I like to use Ghirardeli)
  • 1 tablespoon (PRE-RINSED) quinoa

Instructions

  1. Place the quinoa on a small skillet over medium-high heat. Gently shake the skillet over the heat for 3-5 minutes. In this time, the quinoa should become fragrant and will puff ever-so-slightly (though you can't really see it). It may also darken in color just a bit. Remove from heat and set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, heat the chocolate melting candy in the microwave for 1 minute. Stir until smooth. Mix in the toasted quinoa. Pour into a chocolate mold or spread on wax or parchment paper for cooling and hardening.
  3. You can refrigerate for speed cooling and hardening!

Notes

I chose to use chocolate melting candy instead of pure chocolates, because they harden nicely and can be held without melting in your hands. However, if you take the time to temper a pure chocolate, you can certainly use that instead!

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My friend Dorothy and I decided to coordinate our posts today, and she has also posted a dessert recipe correlating to Breast Cancer Awareness! Be sure to hop on over to her site and check out these Toasted Coconut Rice Krispies Treats!

 

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Comments

  1. Wow you made your own chocolate bars, impressive! I have used quinoa in brittle before but never paired it with chocolate!
    Mallory @ Because I Like Chocolate recently posted..Pomegranate BrowniesMy Profile

  2. Genius idea!!! Love quinoa and so cool to use an a ‘crunch’ bar! And congrats to your aunt for being a survivor!
    Averie @ Averie Cooks recently posted..Chewy Oatmeal Coconut Brown Sugar Cookies {Anzac Biscuits}My Profile

  3. I am so happy for your aunt for being so strong through the whole process! And, along with your whole family for being there to support her. We went through the same thing with someone in our family… and her last treatment actually landed on her 35th birthday. It was a great day to celebrate. Thank you for sharing your story and sharing these fabulous bars! (=

  4. Quinoa in chocolate? You are brilliant
    Erin @ The Spiffy Cookie recently posted..Sweet and Sour ChickenMy Profile

  5. Thanks for the great message :)
    Laura @ Lauras Baking Talent recently posted..Cowboy Pork n Onion PizzaMy Profile

  6. I love the idea of pairing quinoa with chocolate- such an easy way to add power foods to your diet! I bet this would be great with dark chocolate.
    Faith @ Pixie Dust Kitchen recently posted..Candy Corn Cookie Crumble BarsMy Profile

  7. Awesome information Ashton – and great bars!
    Dorothy @ Crazy for Crust recently posted..Toasted Coconut Rice Krispie Treats {breast cancer awareness}My Profile

  8. Thanks for such a great post! My grandmother passed away from breast cancer when I was 15. I am sorry you didn’t get to meet your grandmother.
    Nancy P.@thebittersideofsweet recently posted..Stuffed Apple Cinnamon SticksMy Profile

  9. What an awesome, yet simple idea. I love this!

    Love the recipe and what a great little reminder/post on breast cancer awareness.

    Thanks Ashton :)
    Emma recently posted..Caramel Double Choc Chip Energy BitesMy Profile

  10. So much great info here that women need to know! My mom made it through too, but it definitely has me on high alert with it being so close in our family!!! We have just started eating quinoa, so I love that you added it to a candy bar!! Fun!
    Jocelyn @BruCrew Life recently posted..Mocha Pumpkin Spice CookiesMy Profile

  11. Ashton, thank you so much for sharing your experiences and drawing more awareness to such an important cause.

    And also, thank you for making a way for me to eat quinoa. This is def. the way!
    Kayle (The Cooking Actress) recently posted..Chocolate Raspberry Ganache PieMy Profile

  12. These look great. just wondering where you got those chocolate bar molds from.

  13. Your grandmother would 100% be proud of you and your incredible, mind-blowing blog Ashton. Your aunt is a strong woman! Thank you so much for this post. I have known a lot of women (mostly my friends’ mothers) who have not survived. But there IS hope.

    I love crunch bars. They’re a simple delight. And now that I know how to make them at home (with quinoa – what!!), I love them even more.
    sally @ sallys baking addiction recently posted..Iced Raspberry Danish Braid.My Profile

  14. Thanks for sharing this recipe; it sounds great! And I’m glad that you are posting about breast cancer this month, as well. It’s definitely been something very near to my heart this year with my mom’s diagnosis, and with the news that it was hereditary (something that’s likely been passed on to my sister’s and I.) It’s definitely made me be more aware of how I live my life. I’m glad your aunt was able to beat it!
    Katie Clark recently posted..Loaded Mashed PotatoesMy Profile

  15. What a creative use for Quinoa! I love it.
    Julianne @ Beyond Frosting recently posted..Funfetti Skillet Cookie for TwoMy Profile

  16. What a great message in this post! I baked for a bake sale earlier this month and all of the proceeds went directly to Breast Cancer research. It is nice to make any contribution you can! I am so surprised to read how quick and easy it is to make puffed quinoa! I love incorporating healthy ingredients into treats so you feel good about eating them! Is there any particular type of quinoa you need to use? I can’t wait to try this, thanks!
    Mercedes recently posted..How to make Tootsie RollsMy Profile

  17. Really enjoyed your post and passion for supporting Breast Cancer. Thank you for taking the time to share it with us!
    Another note — I love these bars! The crunch of the quinoa is perfect with creamy chocolate!
    Monique @ Ambitious Kitchen recently posted..Turkey Bacon, Avocado, & Mozzarella Grilled Cheese + Artisan Tomato SoupMy Profile

  18. This is such a great post. I just learned something new about quinoa. I love how you used the crunchy grain to give chocolate bars texture. Yum!
    Jennie @themessybakerblog recently posted..Pumpkin Caramel Pecan CakeMy Profile

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