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August 30, 2015

by Alyssa

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Quinoa Bars

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These amazing Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Quinoa Bars will make all your fall dreams come true! Made with quinoa, pumpkin, banana, flax, hemp, and chickpeas, they're healthy, vegan & gluten-free! 

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Protein Quinoa Bars | gluten-free + vegan | simplyquinoa.com

Well hello there! Does anyone else spy a little orange tint to those quinoa bars?

Oh yes my friends, it's happening. Pumpkin. And chocolate. And quinoa. All wrapped up into one little square of deliciousness.

You aren't going to believe me when I tell you about these bars. They're sort of a crazy jumbling of ingredients and my goodness they are good. Like realllllly good. So good in fact, that I've had to give part of the latest batch away because I'm finding myself sitting on the couch and eating like four at a time.

No bueno.

Although they do taste super bueno and, despite their decadent look, they're actually healthy too.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Quinoa Bars made with chickpeas, hemp hearts and quinoa! | recipe on simplyquinoa.com

I know it's probably a little early for pumpkin season, but I just couldn't help myself.

After your response to the peanut butter bars and the blueberry breakfast bars I made a few weeks ago, I've been dreaming up fun new ways to add quinoa to bars. Why? Because since so many of you are busy busy, bars are a great option when you need something quick and healthy while you're on the go.

These? They're no exception. And even though they are studded with dark chocolate chips, you're going to love all the goodness that's happening inside.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Quinoa Bars -- packed with protein, naturally sweetened and 8g of protein per serving!

Aside from the obvious addition of quinoa, these bars are stacked with a whole list of super-charged ingredients:

  • Pumpkin: not only is pumpkin one of the greatest flavors ever, but it's also got lots of nutritional benefits that work for us. Pumpkin is packed with fiber, is high in vitamin A, has lots of beta-carotene (gimme all the orange veggies!) AND is super high in potassium. Plus, it's relatively low in calories and can be a great addition to baked goods (like these) to replace some fat and add some moisture.
  • Banana: Oh how I adore banana and if you haven't already noticed, I'm kind of obsessed with adding it to my baked goods. Banana is high in natural sugars which makes it perfect for adding to things like this because it amps up the sweetness without the need for tons of added sugar. Bananas are also high in fiber, potassium, vitamin B6 and vitamin C.
  • Flax: we use flax a lot around here as an egg replacer, but flaxseed meal is also a really amazing ingredient. Flax seeds are one of the highest plant-based sources of omega-3 fatty acids which support heart health, regulate circulation and support proper kidney function. Flax is also high in both soluble and insoluble fiber and is super easy on the digestive tract.
  • Hemp hearts: ahh hemp hearts! They've seriously stolen my ❤ (see what I did there?) We don't use them much around here, but man are these tiny little seeds amazing. Hemp hearts are an excellent source of fatty acids, are considered a complete plant protein, meaning they have all the essential amino acids (like quinoa). They're also high in antioxidants and a multitude of vitamins. Arguably one of most powerful things about hemp hearts is their protein content, with a serving size clocking in at 10g, and this particular form of protein is much more digestible than meat, dairy, eggs, and other animal proteins. ????????

High Protein Pumpkin Quinoa Bars - sweetened naturally and studded with chocolate chips | gluten-free & vegan | simplyquinoa.com

And while all those ingredients are simply amazing, I've got one more surprise in store for you.

Unlike my blondies or peanut butter bars, the base of this sweet treat isn't a nut butter. In fact, there's hardly any fat in these at all.

Instead, we're using…


Say whaaa? I know it sounds insane. But it's pretty amazing too.

Granted, this isn't a new idea. There are lots of recipes out there for chickpea blondies, but this is my first time dabbling in the chickpea-inside-of-baked-goods world and yes, while I was also a little skeptical at first, I think you're going to be amazed at how tasty these are.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Chickpea Blondies made with quinoa flour + hemp hearts for extra protein | gluten-free & vegan | simplyquinoa.com

Let's think of them as a different version of black bean brownies, which definitely have become a “thing” in the last few years.

Adding chickpeas to your bars is basically the same thing, but I almost think better because they let you play around with your other ingredients more. Black beans? They need chocolate. Chickpeas? You can go in whichever direction your heart takes you!

Plus, they really amp up the protein of these quinoa bars. So there's that going for them too.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Quinoa Bars made with chickpeas, hemp hearts and quinoa! | recipe on simplyquinoa.com

OKAY. Let's review.

We've got: quinoa, pumpkin, banana, flax, hemp, and chickpeas (plus coconut sugar, spices and chocolate chips). What we don't see: gluten, dairy, oil, refined sugar, eggs, or nuts.

Ummm hello. These bars are perfect.

And if it was me…these beauties are TOTALLY breakfast worthy. Woo hoo!

simply-quinoa-instagramPS: if you make this recipe (or any others!) make sure to snap a pic and share it on Instagram using hashtag #SIMPLYQUINOA – I want to see your creations!

AMAZING pumpkin chocolate chip quinoa bars are packed with protein, naturally sweetened and low in fat! | gluten-free + vegan | simplyquinoa.com

More Healthy Quinoa Pumpkin Recipes

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Protein Quinoa Bars

Oh yes my friends, it's happening. Pumpkin. And chocolate. And quinoa. All wrapped up into one little square of deliciousness.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 16 Bars
Calories 92kcal
Author Alyssa
Print Pin
Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Quinoa Bars made with chickpeas, hemp hearts and quinoa! | recipe on simplyquinoa.com
4.50 from 6 votes



  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease and line an 8x8 baking pan with parchment and set aside.
  • Whisk together the flaxseed meal and water in a small bowl. Set aside for 5 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, blend the chickpeas, banana and pumpkin in a food processor until completely smooth.
  • In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients, reserving the hemp hearts and chocolate chips. Pour the chickpea-pumpkin mixture into the bowl along with the flax egg and mix to combine.
  • Fold in the hemp hearts and chocolate chips.
  • Dump the batter into the prepared pan. Bake on the center rack for 22 - 26 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  • Let cool in the pan for 10 - 15 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack and cool completely before slicing.
  • Slice into 12 - 16 bars. Store in an airtight container for 2 - 3 days.


If you can't find vanilla powder, substitute 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract and add the vanilla to the food processor while blending the wet ingredients.
adapted from my Peanut Butter Quinoa Bars


Calories: 92kcal | Carbohydrates: 13g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 3g | Sodium: 95mg | Potassium: 78mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 1210IU | Vitamin C: 0.9mg | Calcium: 23mg | Iron: 1mg


AMAZING pumpkin chocolate chip quinoa bars are packed with protein, naturally sweetened and low in fat! | gluten-free + vegan | simplyquinoa.com

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About Alyssa

Hey there, I’m Alyssa Rimmer, a certified Holistic Nutritionist, yoga-lover, dog mom, and founder of Simply Quinoa. It’s nice to meet you! I created SQ as a way to provide solutions for women just like me, who were struggling to find helpful information about how to live a healthy and fulfilled life. My hope is that you will find inspiration here on SQ – in my story, in my recipes, in the hundreds of wellness articles, and in our amazing community. Welcome!

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  1. I have tried numerous cookie recipes using chick peas that were awful, so I was sceptical about this recipe. Glad to say we liked it and will definitely make again.

  2. I’ve made these twice and they are a new favorite healthy treat! Really moist and not too sweet. As an FYI – the second time I accidentally omitted the flax egg and didn’t have any problems.

  3. […] Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Quinoa Bars — Simply Quinoa […]

  4. I have a food sensitivity to flaxseed and eggs. How would you make an egg substitute if not using the flax version? mashed banana?

  5. […] Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Quinoa Bars — Simply Quinoa […]

  6. Hi there – these look fabulous and ours are in the oven baking right now! Wondering if you have a nutritional information anywhere on these beauties?

  7. sounds good – one thing I do know, cooking or heat of any kind with flax destroys its most important benefits. I usually grind and use fresh in salads. I am going to try this recipe – as I am trying to go plant based for life.

    • I haven’t tested it with anything other than quinoa flour, but you could try another flour and see how it works!

      • I couldn’t find quinoa flour, I just threw quinoa in my ninja. Worked great. Also, I just realized I used a whole can of chickpeas. Oops! They still were good. Really moist but good. I didn’t have flax. :/

  8. […] Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Quinoa Bars – Simply Quinoa […]

  9. My dish is in the oven now. Wondering why garbanzo beans? seemed a little chunky in the batter as i sampled it. Navy beans may be smoother? I’ll have to experiment! Thanks for sharing!

    • How did they turn out? I didn’t find mine to be chunky at all – perhaps you didn’t blend them long enough? Definitely think navy beans could work, but they would be a little more watery, so you might want to adjust other ingredients (or baking time) accordingly!

      • They were FABULOUS! I had a few chunks here and there but nothing to be upset over. Probably my terribly food processor! I loved this recipe and have it saved for future use! First time using the toasted quiona you recommended doing. Not bitter at all! Thanks!!!!

        • Hi, Your website is great! Thank you for sharing your recipes and techniques. I would like to make this recipe. Do I measure the chickpeas before or after they are cooked? Thanks for your time. 🙂

          • Thanks, Lynn! Great to have you here 🙂 The chickpeas are measured after they are cooked. If you’re using canned it’s about 1/2 a can. I’m not sure what it would be if you were starting with uncooked beans. Let me know how they turn out!

  10. OMG these look so good and I would not have thought they had chickpeas in them. I want to try these for the kids who are picky eaters.

  11. […] Kate-Gutierrez One little square of pumpkin deliciousness — Simply […]

  12. […] One little square of pumpkin deliciousness — Simply Quinoa […]

  13. Oh, you had me right up until chickpeas (I”m allergic.. I know, right?!) I usually sub navy beans in every other recipe.. do you think they would work ok in this?

  14. I want to try this but all I have is dried chickpeas… would you happen to know how long to soak them before adding them to the recipe. I bought them thinking I could use them for hummus but thought I could possibly use them for this 🙂

  15. I just made these, because pumpkin season. And I really, really like them! I had slightly not enough banana, so I increased the pumpkin to make up for it, and I also halved the sugar (and also used cane sugar since I don’t have coconut) and found them perfectly sweet.

    • I haven’t tested freezing, but I’m not sure they would work very well due to the beans. I’ve read others who freeze black bean brownies successfully, so I think it’s worth a shot. Make sure to stop back and let us know how they are 🙂 xo

    • You could absolutely try, but I’m not sure that it would work since applesauce isn’t as sticky as bananas and the bananas really help hold the mixture together. I think what I would try if I was replacing the bananas, was to increase the pumpkin by 1/4 cup, add 1/4 cup more sugar and add an extra flax egg. If it seems too wet, then I’d add a tablespoon or two of quinoa flour.

      Let me know if you give it a try!



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