Anyone else have fond memories of those irresistibly crispy chocolate wafer cookies? Well, these no-bake chocolate amaranth bars are kind of like those, but made vegan, gluten-free, whole grain, and…maybe even better! They’re crispy, chocolaty, delicious, and require just 6 ingredients and 15 minutes of active prep time. Basically, they’re flawless!
Inspired by our Easy Vegan Protein Bars, this chocolaty version is rich enough to satisfy that post-meal sweet tooth but balanced enough to enjoy as a healthier snack. Needless to say, we’re thrilled with the result! Let’s make bars!
What is Amaranth?
Amaranth is a pseudograin, which means it’s technically a seed but can be cooked and used similarly to other grains. It was considered a “super grain” by the Aztecs who saw it as a nutritious option for infants and found it provided enough strength for soldiers!
It’s rich in iron, magnesium, phosphorous, selenium, calcium, vitamin B6, and protein. Plus, it contains all the essential amino acids.
How to Make Chocolate Amaranth Bars
Making these amaranth bars starts with popping the amaranth (like popcorn, but faster!). The keys are to make sure the pan is hot and to cook it in small batches. It can take a few tries to pop the amaranth without burning it, but you’ll get it right!
When everything goes as planned, the dry amaranth will pop after just 10 seconds, expanding in size and transforming into super snack-able puffed amaranth! Popping it yourself is more affordable, but if you want to make this recipe even easier, you can use store-bought puffed amaranth.
Next we get to the chocolate situation. A simple (but oh-so-delicious) mixture of melted dark chocolate, almond butter, coconut oil, salt, and vanilla combine for a rich, chocolaty coating that holds the amaranth together.
Stir it all up.
Then press it into a loaf pan (or any similar-sized dish) lined with parchment paper and transfer to the refrigerator to let it set.
After a quick hour or so, these tasty treats are ready to be sliced into bars and enjoyed!
We hope you LOVE these amaranth bars! They’re:
& SO Delicious!
We love having them around as a nutrient-packed option for sweet tooth cravings. They’d pair dangerously well with a glass of Creamy Chocolate Hazelnut Milk or Feel Good Hot Chocolate. There’s no such thing as too much chocolate, right?!
More Chocolaty Treats
- Almond Joy Stuffed Dates
- 3-Ingredient Chocolate Fudge (Dairy-Free)
- 1-Bowl Chocolate Zucchini Bread
- Dark Chocolate Hemp Energy Bites
If you try this recipe, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo @minimalistbaker on Instagram. Cheers, friends!
Dark Chocolate Amaranth Bars (6 Ingredients!)
- 6-7 Tbsp uncooked amaranth (6-7 Tbsp uncooked yields ~1 ¼ cup or 65 g popped/puffed)
- 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips or pieces (ensure vegan-friendly as needed, such as Enjoy Life)
- 1/4 cup creamy unsweetened almond butter (if nut-free, sub sunflower seed butter)
- 1 Tbsp coconut oil*
- 1 healthy pinch sea salt
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- Line a standard-size loaf pan or similar-sized dish (~8 ½ x 4 ½ inches) with parchment paper and set aside.
- To pop the amaranth, heat a large rimmed skillet (or large saucepan) over medium-high heat. Set a medium mixing bowl to the side for the popped amaranth. Once the pan is hot (give it at least 3-5 minutes to heat up), add 1 Tbsp (10 g) unpopped amaranth and immediately cover with a lid. Shake/slide the pot back and forth over the heat (wearing oven mitts can be helpful) to move the grain around. It should start popping within 1-3 seconds and be done popping at the 10-second mark (if it’s not, that means the pan isn’t hot enough). Quickly empty into the mixing bowl.
- Be sure to pull the amaranth off the heat at around 10 seconds (or when the unpopped grains are turning from golden to dark brown) or the amaranth will burn. It’s okay if not every single grain has popped. It may take a couple tries to dial in your heat and not burn the grains, but then you’ll hit your stride!
- Continue until you have roughly 1 ¼ cup (65 g) popped grain (adjust amount if altering number of servings).
- Add 1 inch of water to a small saucepan and bring to a low boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to a simmer. Place a small glass or metal bowl over the saucepan and add the chocolate chips, almond butter, and coconut oil. Heat, stirring occasionally with a spatula or spoon, until melted and no lumps remain (~3-5 minutes). You can also melt them in a heat-proof glass bowl in the microwave in 20-second increments.
- Once melted, stir in the salt and vanilla and carefully remove from the heat. Pour the chocolate mixture into the bowl of popped amaranth and stir until it is evenly coated in chocolate.
- Transfer to the parchment-lined pan and refrigerate until set — about 1 hour. Then slice into bars — we like slicing into ~12 bars as they are rich and satisfying even as a small bar.
- Store in the refrigerator for up to 1-2 weeks or in the freezer for 1 month.
*Prep time includes 1 hour for chilling the bars.
*Nutrition information is a rough estimate.