Warm, sweet, and rich all in a little bar that packs a big nourishment punch with minerals and protein – this molasses snack bar is perfect for busy days and on the go snacks!
So we’ve got the first couple weeks of summer break under our belt, and I *think* we are finally ready for some action!
We definitely were in need of a routine break – so the first couple weeks off school we literally did nothing 🙂 And I loved every minute! We have hung out in the sun, had a couple of mornings at the park, and just enjoyed being home with nothing to do! Ha!
I am definitely all about summer being more laid back in routine and schedule, but we do balance that with some staple summer things like weekly trips to the beach down the road, our zoo pass, the splash pad in town, park days, library days, and of course all the summer fruit picking we have available in the area we live in!
And with all the go go go of some of those summer days, comes hungrier kids!
Last week I could tell my girls were getting a little bored with the same on the go type snacks I had been packing for zoo outtings or the beach and decided to try making something new.
My goal in these molasses protein bars was:
- Quick and simple (not a load of ingredients and can be mixed up quick)
- Pack up easily for travel
- Use different ingredients than the other bars I have in the freezer to give the gut variety
- Loaded with nourishment from minerals and some protein/fat to hold busy girls over until lunchtime or the next meal.
My usual energy bars and granola bars are a staple in my freezer that all 3 girls really love. It is a good thing to rotate ingredients/food around in the diet though. And this is not only to be kind to our guts with variety, but also to create broad taste palates in our kids – meaning they don’t get used to just one food all the time.
Quinoa is actually not a huge favorite in our home (I usually end up making a quinoa bake instead of eating it just plain!) – so don’t let that ingredient scare you if the kids aren’t big fans! It does provide a nice, difference source of protein and carbohydrate so it is great way to change things up.
The buckwheat gives a nutty flavor without the nuts. We handle nuts fine in the house but I don’t think they need to be eaten everyday if we want to keep our tummies happy.
The molasses has a great mineral content, and the rich warm flavor is so yummy! You can definitely swap this for all raw honey but I would give it a try to change things up!
Just a quick note on the batch size! This makes a whole sheet pan (large jellyroll pan) worth of bars – I think I cut up about 20. So the measurements seem big because it is a big batch! I like it that way so I don’t have to make them all the time! If you don’t want to store that many in the freezer, you can half the recipe and bake it in at 9×13 dish, which I also tried and it worked out great.
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Molasses Protein Snack Bars
- 2 cups quinoa I get the linked brand at Costco
- 4 cups buckwheat flour I get mine in bulk at our health food store
- Juice of 2 lemons
- 4 cups water
- 1 cup unsweetened coconut shreds I get mine in bulk at our health food store
- 1 cup avocado oil I get mine at Costco
- 3/4 cup organic molasses Sometimes our Costco has this brand otherwise I get it on Amazon
- 1/4 cup raw honey If you want it sweeter you can double this. I get mine from a local farmer. If you do not have local access THIS is a good brand.
- 2 TB vanilla extract
- 2 tsp sea salt
- Put the quinoa, buckwheat flour, lemon juice, and water in a large mixing bowl, combine, and soak overnight or 8-12 hours. This soaking process breaks down the phytic acid and helps the grain and seed digest better on the gut - it also makes their nutrients more available to absorb!
- After the mixture soaks, add the rest of the ingredients, stir to combine, and spread out on a silpat or parchment paper lined large jellyroll pan.
- Bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes, cool, and cut into bar size you want.
For more snack ideas, check out my Snack Ideas board on Pintrest!
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I am allergic to sesame seeds which are in the same family as buck wheat, would gf oats be an okay substitute?
Hi Lauren! Yes that is a great question! I do think that will work – I make bars similar to these with oats (soak them just like the buckwheat) and they are great 🙂
hi!! have you ever used Teff flour? just curious why you use the buckwheat flour and how it reacts to the soaking/cooking process so I know better how to substitute! thanks!
Hi Jodi! I haven’t worked with teff much because it has gluten! I’m not sure how that would work in this recipe. I love the protein content of buckwheat!
Sounds like a great snack to have on hand! Perfect for on-the-go summer snacks. Yum!
These look great! And I love the pictures of your kids playing on the beach!
I have a whole sac of buckwheat flour. This sounds like a great way to make snacks with it! Thx!
These look great!! Love the soaked grains and yes, how nice to be able to make them ahead and then just hand them out to hungry kids– problem solved! Your summer activities sound dreamy. I’m ready for beach and zoo trips! (I miss the zoo!!) 😉
These look so unique! Great alternative to the overly processed store bought kind!
Fantastic recipe! What a wonderful, healthy and convenient snack for the kids!
Made these this morning, so easy and so tasty! My girls loved them and they will be a staple in our freezer stash of snacks to grab for busy summer days!
Forgot to add my rating!
Oh great Amy! Thanks for coming back with the feedback!
I just wondered if you have a substitute for the shredded coconut due to a coconut allergy?
Thanks for your time! 🙂
Hi Shannon! Yes for sure! You can use another flour if you want just half the amount. Or you could do ground up seeds (flax, sunflower etc). Does that help some?
Hi Renee! Trying to use what I have on hand…I assume melted coconut oil or butter could replace the avocado oil? And maple syrup for the honey? Thanks!
Hi Kimber! Yes for sure those swaps should work fine!
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Hi, do these need to be refrigerated? I need something for travel.
Hi Nicole! They should be good for a couple days or so without being in the fridge 🙂
Is the 2 cups quinoa you are using in this recipe cooked or uncooked? Also I read some where on the net that quinoa needs to be rinsed under cold water several times (until the water runs clear) to get rid of the saponin it has. How do you clean your quinoa? Even I have the organic quinoa from Costco, but it doesn’t mention anywhere on the pack that the quinoa needs to be rinsed? Any feedback? Thanks for your time.
Also, I have a 4 year son, just found your website and am loving it. Tons of useful information…I really appreciate and thanks for all the time and effort you put into this website so many families can benefit! (inspite of having 3 young kids:) )
Great job! Awesome 🙂
Hi Swarna! Thank you for your kind words!
Yes the qunioa does need to be rinsed – the brand our Costco carries does have it on the packaging that it is pre-washed/rinsed. Eden Organic is another brand that is pre-rinsed/washed. If your packaging does not, then simply put the quinoa in a bowl fill with water, and drain until the water runs clear. In the protein bar recipe the quinoa is NOT cooked before going into the batter – the buckwheat flour and quinoa soak overnight to reduce phytic acid and then the rest of the ingredients are mixed in and they are baked. I hope that helps!
I am going to make these bars this weekend for a back to school snack. My girls take lunch plus a snack each day, so this is perfect. Quick question: what is your method for freezing them? Individually wrapped, etc? Trying avoid a ziploc bag full of stuck-together bars. 🙂
PS: just found your site and made your tomato soup last night with some of the zillions of tomatoes we have from our garden. So good! The leftovers went on the freezer for – what else? – lunchboxes. Tis the season!!
Hi Lauren! I’m so glad you liked the tomato soup – it is so nice to freeze up!
I do just throw them cooled in a bag and lay the bag flat in the freezer – these ones don’t really stick. I do individually wrap some things though and that might make it easier to quick grab to put in the lunchboxes in the morning – no containers needed if it is already wrapped up 🙂
Thanks for getting back to me! I will try these out this weekend. Recipe looks very easy and the fact that your toddler loves these bars is really driving me to try soon. Hopefully my 4yr son will like them too! I will let you know how it goes.
Have a wonderful holiday weekend with your family 🙂
Hi Swarna! I hope he likes them too! And thank you – enjoy your weekend too!
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I am planning on making these bar this week! However, I did not see the nutritional breakdown. Do you have that information?
Hi Steph! Great! I don’t have the nutritional breakdown, but there are a few online tools you should be able to Google and just plug in the ingredients to find out!
Am trying these tomorrow! thank you! After soaking overnight, do I need to rinse off the buckwheat flour and quinoa and use fresh water? Or you just use the water from the overnight soak, to complete the recipe?
Hi Lindsay! I just use the same water – no draining needed!
Hi! These look amazing. I am new to the allergen world of eating and cannot have honey. Can I substitute maple syrup or agave? Thank you so much!
Hi Katie! Yep maple syrup is fine! I am not a huge fan of agave syrup as it really spikes blood sugar (even worse than plain sugar!) so if it were me I woul stick to the maple syrup!
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[…] Molasses Protein Bars […]
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Hey Renee, these look great and I can’t wait to try them. Just a question about the soaking: shouldn’t we be draining the water and rinsing the mixture to get rid of the phytic acid that’s been leeched out? Or is it OK to leave it since it’s been “broken down”? This is something I always wonder about re overnight oatmeal too so I thought I’d ask. Thanks for all your wonderful recipes and tips! Your elderberry/rosehip syrup makes the rounds in our house a lot during the winter months 🙂
Hi Ayshin! When you soak grains and nuts/seeds the phytic acid is just broken down – not leeched into the mixture, so they don’t need to be drained unless you don’t want that much moisture. Same goes with oats – I don’t drain them – just cook them right up!
Thank you for your kind words! We are glad to have you around!
Nailed it. Happy bellies, happy bodies! Baked ours for 25 min.
I made these and I loved them but more importantly my kids like them too. I hadn’t made anything with molasses in ages so I was looking for a new way to use this ingredient. These bars were perfect. So different from other bars I’ve made in the past. And I like the way you include quinoa in them too. Actually, I love all the ingredients in these! I’ll be making them again.
I’m so glad you and the kids enjoyed them Stephanie!
[…] Molasses Protein Snack Bars […]
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After soaking ,and mixing grains/seeds / nuts then roasting and spraying molasses giving shape if moisture is less than 5% for shelf life .