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For those with gluten-free diets, most energy bars are off-limits. Enter the brownie bar. These indulgent DIY bars work great for backcountry breakfasts or trail-side pick-me-ups. The quinoa flakes give the bar a grainy texture that’s not quite as smooth as a brownie but not as crunchy as granola bar. Meanwhile, mini dark chocolate chips make the flavor pop. And for extra protein and healthy fats, slather on some peanut butter. Make the bars before a trip, store them in the freezer, and then throw them in a zip-top bag when you’re ready to go. —Rachel Kiely
The Gluten-Free Lexicon
Xanthan gum: Gives the batter the “stickiness” that otherwise comes from gluten
Sorghum flour: Major grain in Africa and India that’s gluten-free
Quinoa: A gluten-free grain high in protein It’s also a good source of dietary fiber, phosphorus, magnesium, and iron.
1 cup sorghum flour
1/2 cup quinoa flour
1/2 cup potato starch
1 cup quinoa flakes
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 2/3 cups light brown sugar
2/3 cup light olive oil
3 tablespoons real maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon Authentic Foods Vanilla Powder (used in place of vanilla extract for gluten-free recipes)
2 to 4 tablespoons warm water
2/3 cup mini dark chocolate morsels
2 tablespoons peanut butter (to be slathered onto the brownies on the trail)
Preheat oven to 350°F and grease a 9×11 pan. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients. In a measuring cup, mix together wet ingredients. Combine wet and dry ingredients in the bowl. Beat eggs and add to batter. The dough should be thick and sticky. Add 2 to 4 tablespoons of warm water to achieve a mixture with the consistency of cookie dough. Add 2/3 cup mini dark chocolate morsels (or 1 cup, for chocoholics).
Spread batter into pre-greased pan. Bake 22 to 30 minutes until golden. Cool and cut into squares. Wrap in wax paper or tinfoil, and store in freezer until trip.
Makes 15 to 18 brownies