Toasted Quinoa Chocolate Crunch Bars
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!
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:
- 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
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.
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!
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:
- Donate to help provide breast health services to women in need ($100 pays for a mammogram!)
- Organize a fundraiser like a bake sale or ticketed event
- Find a planned fundraiser near you!
- Become an Advocate for Hope
- Become a NBCF Sponsor
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!
- 8 ounces high quality chocolate melting candy (I like to use Ghirardeli)
- 1 tablespoon (PRE-RINSED) quinoa
- 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.
- 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.
- You can refrigerate for speed cooling and hardening!
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!
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!