When you think of quinoa, dessert may not be the first thing that comes to mind, but trust me on this one, it’s a perfect fit. Since quinoa’s rise to superfood stardom, the internet has exploded with recipes for salads, sides, burgers and more, all featuring this hearty little seed, front and center. And for good reason. Quinoa is packed with nutrients — B-vitamins, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, vitamin E, and the list goes on — not to mention being a great source fiber and protein. But as I sift through its thousands of savory uses, I can’t help but wonder: what about dessert?
As quinoa has transformed from fad food to pantry staple, I’ve made it a point to experiment with using it in a sweet capacity, and over the years several of those recipes have become permanent fixtures in my kitchen. From this quinoa pudding, to this crunchy granola-like version, and let’s not forget Camille’s gorgeous power bowls, it seems that the possibilities for this ancient superfood are endless. But you guys, this crunchy, salty, bittersweet Mocha Coconut Quinoa Bark is so so good, it may just be my favorite variation yet.
Packed with nutrient-dense seeds and nuts, and free of refined sugars and gluten, this bark is a powerhouse of delicious yet guiltless ingredients. The uncooked quinoa takes on a satisfying crunch in the oven, which when combined with honey and instant coffee granules, bakes into a lightly sweet and candy-like brittle. It is irresistible on its own, but absolutely out of this world when slathered with a decadent layer of dark chocolate. I encourage you to go as dark as you can — I used a 75% dark chocolate — as the deep, earthy bitterness of a high quality dark chocolate pairs perfectly with the granules of coffee that are laced throughout. To round out the coconut mocha flavor, and to add even more addictive texture, sprinkle with cocoa nibs (I absolutely love the complex crunch they add), toasted coconut, and hazelnuts.
Inspired by Minimalist Baker
- 1/2 cup honey
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- 1 cup white quinoa
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 3 tablespoons chia seeds
- 3 tablespoons flax seeds
- 1/2 cup raw hazelnuts, chopped, plus more for sprinkling
- 1/2 cup raw pecans, chopped, plus more for sprinkling
- 1 1/2 teaspoons instant coffee powder
- 1 tablespoon turbinado sugar
- 16 oz. dark chocolate
- 1/4 cup unsweetened coconut flakes, toasted
- 2 tablespoons cocoa nibs
- Preheat the oven to 350F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
- In a medium, microwave safe bowl, combine the honey and coconut oil and microwave for about 30 seconds, until melted. Stir well to combine.
- Add the quinoa, salt, seeds, nuts, instant coffee and turbinado. Stir to evenly coat all of the dry ingredients with the wet ingredients.
- Pour mixture onto the prepared baking sheet and use a spatula to spread into an thin, even layer.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the bark is golden in color and the nuts smell toasty. Remove from the oven and let cool on a wire rack while you prepare the chocolate.
- To melt the chocolate, place in a microwave safe bowl and microwave in 30-second intervals, stirring between each, until melted.
- Pour the melted chocolate over the baked quinoa and spread into an even layer. While the chocolate is still wet, sprinkle with remaining nuts, toasted coconut and cocoa nibs.
- Place in the freezer for 30 minutes to set, then break into pieces. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.