Cranberry Quinoa Peanut Butter Power Bars

Not only are these tasty, they are healthy! Quinoa, masquerading as a grain but actually a seed, is a complete protein, and it’s high in magnesium, fiber, and antioxidants. Combined with the healthy fat from the peanut butter and the vitamin E, zinc, selenium, copper, iron, and fiber in the oats, these make for a great power breakfast or afternoon snack. Yum!



  • 2 C cooked quinoa
  • 2 C raw oats
  • 1/2 C dried cranberries
  • 1/2 C smooth peanut butter (or nut butter of choice)
  • 1/2 C milk (or non-dairy substitute)
  • 1/3 C brown rice syrup
  • 1/4 C ground flaxseed
  • 1 tsp cinnamon


You’ll need to either have some leftover cooked quinoa on hand, or cook some up before you start this recipe. Two cups cooked quinoa is equal to roughly 1/2 cup uncooked, so prepare that amount according to the instructions on the box. Be sure to let the quinoa cool a bit afterwards.

Preheat your oven to 350.

Toss all the ingredients in a bowl together and stir until everything is well mixed. Use some muscle!

Scoop it all into a baking pan — I used my 7 x 11 pan, but you can use whatever size you have.

Pop it in the oven and bake about 12-15 minutes. ENJOY!!

Once you’ve tasted them (!) and they’ve cooled a bit, I’d recommend storing the bars in the fridge covered in tin foil — it will help them to harden and stick together better. You can even cut them into bar-sized snacks and store them separately for easy grabbing and going!


Click here for the original post with more pictures!


  1. 5

    Thanks for providing the new link, Anne. I have updated it.

  2. 6

    This looks very good. I was wondering if you could tell me which brands make “raw oats?”

    • 7

      By raw oats, I just mean old fashioned oats (not instant oats) :) Just buy the Quaker old fashioned kind!

    • 8

      Quick oats are parboiled, so everything else (groats, steel cut, regular) are raw. Surprisingly, you don’t have to cook oats at all: just soak them overnight and they’ll be edible.

  3. 9

    Where did you get brown rice syrup? I’ve never heard of it.

  4. 12

    Have you tried increasing the amount of quinoa and reducing the amount of oats? I wonder what the texture would be like…

    I made a batch following your recipe. Super delish!

  5. 14

    How about publishing the nutritional content and number of servings with your recipes?

    • 15

      I’m sorry – I wish I could, but being in grad school full time and maintaining this blog I just don’t have time to calculate it all :( Please let me know if you calculate any of it and I will add it happily!

    • 16

      Hi Mary Kay, Anne P,

      I saw this post and thought, sure I have the time. So I’ll work it up based on the recipe as Anne P has it posted. :-)

      • 17

        Ingredients: Calories/Carbs/Fat/Protein/Sodium/Sugar
        Ancient Harvest Organic Traditional – Quinoa: 344/62/6/12/2/6
        Quaker Oats – Old Fashioned Rolled Oats (Uncooked): 600/108/12/20/0/ 0
        Sun Maid – Cape Cod Dried Cranberries: 195/50/0/0/0/41
        Publix – Deli Peanut Butter – Fresh Ground: 800/28/64/32/0/0
        Milk – Nonfat (fat free or skim): 43/6/0/4/64/0
        Lundberg – Organic Orig. Sweet Dreams Brown Rice Syr: 375/90/0/0/175/55
        Bob’s Red Mill – Whole Ground Flax Seed Meal: 120/8/9/6/0/0
        Spices – Cinnamon, ground: 6/2/0/0/1/0
        ****14 Small Bars , cut from 9X11in pan (didn’t quite fill whole pan)
        Totals: 2483/354/91/74/242/102
        Per Serving(based on 14 serv): 177/25/7/5/17/7

  6. 19

    Could I substitute something else for the brown rice syrup?

    • 20

      I wouldn’t – they probably wont’ stick as well without it!

    • 21

      Hi Arlene, Anne P,
      I’ve done this recipe more than a dozen times since finding it!!

      I have found that the Brown Rice syrup is hard to find nowadays.
      I substitute instead: Molasses (brand: “Slow As” it’s Light/Mild and Pure Unsulfured)
      -Since this not ‘Black Strap’ Molasses this has been through 1 process hence the Light/Mild appearance and consistancy. I prefer this over ‘Black Strap Molasses’ due to the bitter and heaviness that one leaves in the mouth.
      -Since brown rice syrup would be similar in consistancy, I have had no problem with sticking. But the bars are not solid but moist and bendable.
      -For storage I wrap in wax paper and put in Ziploc Sandwich baggies for the fridge. “Grab and Go!”, as Anne P says. :-)

    • 22

      You could substitute honey. It would be healthier than the brown rice syrup – non GMO, etc.

    • 23

      I substituted raw, local honey because its what I had, and it worked great! Did bake them a little longer. Would love to try them with steel cut oats to amp the nutrition and flavor, but they might need to be soaked in the liquid ingredients for a while.

  7. 25

    I just made these and added chocolate covered sunflower seeds cause I had em. So delicious. I was obviously eating it by the spoonful before I even baked it!

  8. 27

    Would Agave work as a substitute for brown rice syrup?

    • 28

      You could try it, but I’m not sure they would stick together as well?

      • 29

        Hi Ryane, Anne P,
        I tried this and it was too runny. So although there was a bit of a sticky factor not enought to get through the baking stage.
        It turned out more of a crumbly bar. But hey, I would go well in a Greek Plain Yougurt!

  9. 30

    My kids are not usually fans of homemade granola bars but they loved these. And I love that I have another good use for my huge bag of quinoa.

  10. 31

    I decided to try this recipe tonight on a whim because I had just made a lot of cooked quinoa as part of dinner. I have also been looking for a good recipe like this for some time to have healthy, filling bars for breakfast on-the-go. These are delicious!! However, I did tweak them a little bit, and they still turned out great!! I used raisins instead of cranberries (simply because that’s what I had). I also used almond butter. The major change I made was with the brown rice syrup. I unfortunately did not have this on hand, but I also wanted to change it a little to make it not so sweet as I will be eating these for breakfast (I am assuming that brown rice syrup is sweet based on the name although I have never had it). So instead of this I used egg whites. I just measured with my eyes, but I would say I probably put about an eggs worth in. This held them together great!!! They are cooling in the fridge, and I can’t wait to have one for breakfast tomorrow :)

  11. 33

    I would like to try and make this recipe. I also don’t have brown rice, nor do I want to go buy it, so…here are some replacements I have found that seem to have the same consistency as brown rice syrup…
    1 c BRS = 3/4 c maple syrup plus 2 tbs liquid
    1 c BRS = 3/4 c honey plus 2 tbs liquid
    1 c BRS = 1/2 c molasses

    I think I will try the honey substitue

  12. 34

    I was just wondering if there was a gluten free substitute to the oats?


    • 35

      Hi Katinka, oats actually are naturally gluten free! The only problem is that they are often contaminated by gluten during processing, so just make sure to buy oats that are noted as certified gluten free. Enjoy!

  13. 36

    I’ve made these a few times and they’re excellent! I never have dried cranberries in my kitchen, but I always have raisins. I like the addition of pepitas for a little crunch.

  14. 37

    Thanks for the recipe I made these last night and they are DELISH!!!!
    I used brown sugar (I will use honey next time I should have read through the comments) which I think made it a bit too sweet. And since I was out of dried cranberries I used dried cherries. I also tossed in a few chocolate chips and cinnamon chips and a handful of sliced almonds. (this is out dessert alternative) they came out GREAT!!! thanks you fun recipe to play with and very delish!!

  15. 38

    How long will these last in the fridge and would they freeze ok?

  16. 40

    Hi I can’t wait to make the recipe. I only have steel cut oats right now. Do you think they will work?

  17. 44

    what would happen if you used instant oats? that is all I currently have and don’t want to make an attempt if it will ruin the recipe and render it inedible

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