Mocha & Quinoa Crunch Bar

Chocolate and coffee — my two vices. I bet some of you can relate. This time of year, chocolate is everywhere in the stores, tempting me. But those gourmet chocolate bars are a pretty penny — you can easily pay $6 for one bar! 

But I’ll let you in on a little secret: It’s way too simple not to create your own at home! The best thing about homemade chocolates is you can add your own unique twists to it like I did! This Mocha & Quinoa Crunch Bar is inspired from a yummy quinoa bar that I’ve purchased at the store. 

I added mocha and vanilla to give it a unique flavor profile. The possibilities are endless and left to your imagination. Some like it spicy with cayenne, and some like it sweet with cinnamon, but I like a little crunch and, because chocolate is always better with coffee, espresso was added to give it a mocha flavor. As you prepare for Valentine’s Day, add this gourmet chocolate bar to your list.

What are you favorite chocolate combinations? 

Mocha & Quinoa Crunch Bar

Recipe developed by Kristina LaRue, RD

Makes around 12 ½-oz. servings

2 tablespoons quinoa
1 cup dark chocolate baking chips
1 teaspoon instant coffee
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. Place wax paper on rimmed baking sheet.
  2. In small pan, toast quinoa over medium heat until it begins to pop, about 4 minutes. Meanwhile, place chocolate in medium-size microwave-safe bowl and melt chocolate in microwave for 1 minute.
  3. Stir coffee and vanilla into melted chocolate and continue to stir until smooth. If needed, place chocolate back in microwave for 10-15 seconds to melt thoroughly.
  4. When chocolate is smooth, stir in quinoa.
  5. Pour chocolate onto baking sheet lined with wax paper and spread until smooth on top.
  6. Allow to dry until chocolate hardens. Store in air-tight container.
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Kristina LaRue, RD, CSSD, LDN, CLT
Kristina LaRue, RD, is the sports dietitian with University of Central Florida Athletics, provides nutrition services for Tara Gidus Nutrition Consulting, and works in the treatment of eating disorders with Joyful Nutrition. Read her blog, Love & Zest—and connect with her on Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook and LinkedIn.