Vegan Cacao Almond Baked Breakfast Quinoa Squares


Even though this recipe is called Vegan Cacao Almond Baked Breakfast Squares, it looks like the kind of breakfast you would feel guilty about eating.

Surely something that looks like a brownie couldn’t be healthy and nutritious for breakfast?

But yes they are!

They have a really unique texture.  Not really a coarse cake-like texture like cake or brownies but more like a soft, mousse-type texture.

It’s a good way to use leftover quinoa (maybe from dinner the night before) and the recipe only needs 1 cup to make it.

They are a nice change from the typical breakfast entrees…pancakes, muffins, waffles and cereal but are super healthy and full of protein.

But, even though they are called breakfast squares, you could certainly make these whenever a healthy snack is in order.

And another surprise…they are vegan, flourless and gluten-free too!




5 Fast Facts About Quinoa:

  • high in anti-oxidants
  • anti-inflammatory
  • high in magnesium at 20.9% RDA and folate at 19.5% RDA
  • gluten-free
  • complete protein containing all 9 essential amino acids

5 Fast Facts About Dates:

  • natural energy booster
  • high iron content
  • rich in potassium
  • good source of dietary fiber
  • excellent source of vegan protein

5 Fast Facts About Hemp Seeds:

  • healthy inflammatory 3:1 ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 fats
  • contains 10 essential amino acids
  • 11 g of raw vegan protein
  • helps to reduce blood cholesterol
  • natural appetite suppressant

5 Fast Facts About Apples (Applesauce):

  • rich in anti-oxidants
  • good source of B-complex vitamins
  • helps to reduce cholesterol
  • 1 apple contains 17.4% RDA of fiber
  • helps to regulate blood sugar

5 Fast Facts About Cacao:

  • contains over 300 compounds including protein, calcium, copper, zinc and iron
  • super high in anti-oxidants
  • helps promote cardiovascular health
  • can help to decrease blood pressure
  • contains 4 different neuro-transmitters to promote a positive outlook

5 Fast Facts About Almonds (Almond Meal):

  • regulates cholesterol and blood pressure
  • energy booster
  • 1/4 cup contains 8 g of vegan protein
  • high in antioxidants
  • reduces risk of heart disease

5 Fast Facts About Pink Himalayan Salt:

  • contains 84 minerals
  • unrefined, unprocessed, raw
  • promotes stable pH balance in cells
  • controls water levels in the body
  • aids digestion and facilitates  better nutrient absorption




Where to Buy:  If you have trouble finding any of the ingredients to make this recipe, you can order online from Amazon and have them delivered straight to your door and, you’ll be supporting The Healthy Family and Home website at the same time!



Vegan Cacao Almond Baked Breakfast Quinoa Squares The Healthy Family and Home


  • 1 cup organic quinoa (cooked)
  • 1 1/2 cup non-dairy milk
  • 1 cup organic pitted dates
  • 1/2 cup organic hemp seeds
  • 1/2 cup organic unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/3 cup organic cacao powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon pink himalayan salt
  • 1/2 cup almond meal
  • 1/4 - 1/2 cup almond meal (for topping)


Step 1 Prepare 1 cup of quinoa according to package directions.

Combine non-dairy milk, dates, hemp seeds, applesauce, cacao and salt in a Vitamix and blend until creamy and well combined.

Pour the chocolate mixture into a large mixing bowl and add the 1 cup of cooked quinoa and 1/2 cup of almond meal and stir.

Pour the mixture into an 8 x 8 baking dish and scatter the additional 1/4 - 1/2 cup almond meal over the top.

Bake at 350 degrees for approximately one hour or until firmly set.

Cool for 1 hour and then carefully run a paring knife around the pan to loosen the edges.

Cut into squares and serve.



Recipe source:


Simple Meal Planning - Plan to Eat



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    • Karielyn says

      Hi there! They are pretty darn good and really easy to make.

      Another reason I like them so much is because they aren’t too sweet.

      Thanks for visiting and I hope you enjoy the recipe if you give it a try :)

  1. Jamie says

    I feel like a dork for asking this, maybe I’m just having a burst of mommy brain, lol. But is it one and a half cups of milk or a half cup of milk? For some reason I’m interpreting it both ways and can’t make up my mind. lol

    • Karielyn says

      Hi Jamie! I looked back at it and I can see how it could look confusing so…no mommy brain problems lol!

      It is actually one and a half cups (1 and 1/2 cups) of non-dairy milk and not 1/2 cup.

      That was a great question and I hope you enjoy the recipe if you decide to make it :)

  2. Nina says

    hey karielyn! first of all: I love your website. I’ve tried a TON of your recipes and me and my family loved all of them :))
    these quinoa-squares are next on my list, I just have one qucik question: can you freeze them? I think they would be a perfect grab and go snack or breakfast and would save me so much time :)

    • Karielyn says

      Hi Nina! Thanks so much for the kind comments…I really appreciate it!

      This is the first time I made these and actually didn’t have any left over to freeze (lol!)

      But in the original recipe, they give freezing instructions: “To freeze, wrap individual squares tightly and store in the freezer. Thaw in the refrigerator or microwave”. (I personally wouldn’t use the microwave but would just thaw on the counter at room temp or refrigerator).

      You may want to sprinkle some fresh almond meal on the top when you re-serve them.

      That is an excellent idea to make some ahead of time and would certainly help on busy mornings.

      I think the next time I make them I’ll make a double batch and do that. Snaps for Nina! ;)

      • Nina says

        I just wanted to let you know that freezing them worked out beautifully! the texture and the taste were both as good as fresh :)) thanks again for that great recipe, my kids loooove them as an midafternoon snack and they always ask me to put them in their lunch boxes yaay :)
        oh and they are my favorite breakfast for hectic mornings, they replaced my green smoothies! ;)

        • Karielyn says

          Hi Nina! Oh wow..thanks so much for checking back in to let us know about freezing them!

          I think though, that I would have to make a double batch to have enough left over to freeze lol!

          My most favorite thing about them is that they are a good source of protein.

          Thanks again for taking the time to give us an update ;)

    • Karielyn says

      Hi Abby! I know…a nice surprise! And something healthy to add a little variety for breakfast :)

  3. Tamara says

    Hi Karielyn! I love your site, the recipes are fab!
    Just one question on this recipe if you don’t mind- what could I substitute for the dates and hemp seeds? Would chia or linseed work as well as Hemp seeds?
    Thanks in advance.

    • Karielyn says

      Hi Tamara! Thanks for your kind comments!

      Let’s see…the dates are used for sweetness so maybe you could try your favorite liquid sweetener, a little maple syrup, figs or even apricots maybe.

      For the hemp seeds, I think they might be added for extra nutrition. Maybe leave them out completely or you could try to substitute the amount of hemp seeds for more quinoa, ground flax seeds, pecans, sunflower seeds or even sesame seeds.

      I’m not sure how any of that will taste or if they will work though.

      I wouldn’t use chia seeds because they absorb liquid and will become gel-like.

      I hope that helps…and thanks for the question :)

    • Karielyn says

      Hi Jessica! All you need for this recipe is 1 cup of ~cooked~ quinoa. When I make quinoa, I usually make more than one cup in my rice cooker, so I just scoop 1 cup from what I’ve made and use that.

      Or, you could just make 1 cup just for this recipe, using these instructions from the original recipe:

      Measure 1 cup dry quinoa. Rinse quinoa in a fine sieve until water runs clear, drain and transfer to a medium pot. Add 2 cups water and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until water is absorbed, 15 to 20 minutes. Set aside off the heat for 5 minutes; uncover and fluff with a fork.

      I hope this helps and that you enjoy the recipe ;)

    • Karielyn says

      Hi Stella! I use “medjool” dates in my recipes, including this one. I wasn’t familiar with “jujube” dates so I looked them up and they look like they are similar in size to the medjool dates.

      I would think it would be fine to use those instead of the medjool dates, using the same amount.

      Some other date varieties are smaller and you would need to use two smaller ones to equal one large medjool, but I think you’d be fine with the jujubes.

      Thanks for the question and I hope you enjoy the recipe if you give it a try ;)

  4. Parizad says

    Made these yesterday, & they came out just perfectly delicious! I subbed cashew meal instead of almond meal too. Yummo! :) thanks for your amazing website!

    • Karielyn says

      Hi there Parizad! I am so glad to hear that you enjoyed the recipe and love the substitution you made!

      Thank you for trying out the recipe and taking the time to let me know you liked it, I really appreciate it ;)


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