Saturday, May 28, 2011

Treat time

I found this recipe in vegan cookbook (How it all Vegan) for Chewy Nutty Cereal Chip squares. They are no bake and very easy. I have modified the recipe slightly to make it a little healthier and increase the protein content. I usually find snacks and treat food are high on the carbs but low on the protein, which is something I have to ensure I get enough of.

Because I’ve changed the recipe to my liking, I’m renaming the bars "Cocoa-nut crispy squares":

2 cups Kashi Go Lean cereal (The original recipe calls for rice krispies but Kashi has a lot more protein in it)
½ cup nut butter ( I have used both almond and cashew butter and both work well)
5 tbsp maple syrup (or any combination or honey, agave nectar or maple syrup. I have not tried it with molasses yet)
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
3 tbsp unsweetened shredded coconut (you could use sweetened but I’m trying to make this treat as healthy as possible)
Couple small pinches sea salt
1 tbsp cocoa powder (the original recipe calls for vegan chocolate chips. These are hard to find. You could use cacao nibs or carob chips though or regualr chocolate chips but they won't be dairy free. I tried it with cocoa powder to keep it healthier and ensure it is dairy free)
1 tbsp soy milk (I put this in but not sure exactly how important it is!)

Over low heat, melt the syrup, nut butter, sea salt and soy milk until blended. Do not boil.

In another bowl, combine cereal and coconut.
Add vanilla and cocoa powder to nut butter sauce. Add sauce to dry ingredients and mix to combine. If you are using choc chips in stead of cocoa powder, add at the very end and don’t mix too much or they will melt. Not a bad thing, it makes a chocolatey sauce but if you like your chips to stand out, mix cautiously.

Press in to a lightly oiled baking dish or tray and place in fridge to set/cool.

Makes 16 small squares approx 1.5 inch x 1.5 inch.

I estimate these to be about 100 cals per square.

I’d like to experiment and improve the nutritional content (tasty treats that are good for you? Oui, C’est possible!) with adding hemp seeds, chia seeds and also using the base recipe minus the cocoa and then making a chocolate topping to spread on top. I’m thinking dark chili chocolate topping or seasalt chocolate. I also want to see how relevant the 1 tbsp of soy milk is and try to determine how to keep the cereal crispy after the wet ingredients have been added. Ideas?

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