Sesame Peanut Chewy Bars

Sesame Peanut Chewy BarsI bought puffed buckwheat and quinoa recently to eat as a cereal for breakfast. I don’t know if any of you have tried this stuff, but it pretty much tastes like air. Out of frustration of wasting money on these products I decided to incorporate them into a granola-type bar.Just in this case, I swapped the ‘granola’ for puffed buckwheat- and I’m so glad I did. These bars make a perfect breakfast or snack as they aren’t overly sweet but leave you satisfied. The addition of sesame and ginger play on the savoury side of things so I highly recommend these to those absolutely crazy ‘non-dessert’ people out there. These come together super quick and stay nicely in the fridge or freezer. Hope you love them!

Sesame Peanut Chewy BarsSesame Peanut Chewy Bars
Sesame Peanut Chewy Bars

Ingredients:

• 1/2 cup pitted dates
• 2 tbsp honey or maple syrup
• 2 tbsp coconut oil
• 3/4 cup creamy peanut butter (all natural)
• 1/2 cup water (or more) to thin out peanut butter mixture
•1 tsp freshly grated ginger (optional)
• 2 cups puffed buckwheat (or your favourite gluten free cereal)
• 1/2 cup chopped peanuts
• 1/2 cup toasted sesame seeds
• 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
• 1/2 cup 70% dairy free chocolate, melted
• pinch of sea salt

Directions:

1. Line an 8 x 10 inch or 5 x 20 cm baking dish with parchment paper.

2. Process dates in a food processor until a paste forms.

3. Melt coconut oil, peanut butter, sweetener of choice, and ginger in a sauce pan over medium heat. Whisk until combined.

4. Once combined, whisk in your date paste. Use hot water as needed to thin out the mixture. It should almost look like caramel.

5. Remove from heat. Fold in your peanuts, puffed cereal, sesame seeds and coconut.

6. Press your mixture into baking dish and allow to firm up in the fridge or freezer for at least an hour. Remove from the cold, and drizzle on melted chocolate then sprinkle with sea salt. ENJOY!

Sesame Peanut Chewy BarsSesame Peanut Chewy BarsFullSizeRender

Sesame Peanut Chewy Bars

Chocolatey Banana Chia Pudding

Photo 4-10-2014, 8 40 35 AM

Woke up with a bit of a sweet tooth this morning and was craving something rich and delicious. Chocolate has always been a weakness of mine. Since giving up refined sugars my sweet tooth has noticeably diminished. I never thought it would be possible to eat a meal without having something sweet after (I know I’m not alone here). But trust me, anyone who knows me would tell you that I would never say no to a piece of dark chocolate with sea salt. Chocolate can actually be very healthy for you. No, not your Kit Kat or Coffee Crisp (so sorry) but raw unprocessed cacao is loaded with properties that contribute to wellness. Let me reiterate,cacAO NOT cocOA. Sounds the same, but nutritionally are far different. Heres the breakdown:

Cacao

Cacao refers to the raw form of chocolate, including the tree and bean. Raw cacao powder is not roasted, mostly unprocessed, and has no sugar or cocoa butter. Seeds of the cacao tree are roasted and then the shell is removed which produce cacao nibs (quite bitter in flavour but provide a nice crunch if used appropriately). Cacao is a great source of antioxidants which contribute to fighting off cancer and wrinkles (woooot). Chocolate and cocoa also contain a high level of flavonoids, which may have beneficial cardiovascular effects on health.

Cocoa

Once the cacao bean is roasted and essentially transformed (rid of its nutritional value) then does it become the ever so popular cocoa. After it has been roasted it continues its processing as it is ground, and usually mixed with cocoa butter and a sweetner. This same kind of cocoa you find in your Oh Henry bar, or in the cup of cocoa you get at the ski hill. Delicious, yes… nutritional not exactly. The downfall of cocoa is that within the processing (roasting, grinding, mixing) most of the nutritional benefits are eliminated. It definitely won’t kill you to have a little cocoa, but if raw cacao is available to us, why wouldn’t we use it?

This recipe for chocolatey banana chia pudding is soooooo good, and is Clean Eating Goddess approved for breakfast, yes… BREAKFAST! With the addition of all natural organic peanut butter, your kids will believe they are having a bowl of melted reeses pieces for breakfast (best mom/dad ever!). If your child has a peanut allergy, feel free to use a nut/seed butter of your choice. Best part is, its ready in a flash and can be made the night before to grab and go in the morning. Full of nutrients and fibre, this chocolatey banana pudding is the perfect dessert or breakfast. Did I also mention it is gluten, dairy and sugar free.. oh and vegan! Bon appetit readers!

Ingredients:

• 3-4 tbsp chia seeds
• 1 tsp cacao powder
• 3-4 drops stevia or 1 tsp maple syrup
• 1 cup unsweetened chocolate almond milk
• 1 mashed banana
• 1 tbsp peanut butter or nut/seed butter of choice
• 1 tsp hemp seeds
• berries and chopped banana

Directions:

1. Place chia seeds in a bowl or jar with almond milk, stevia and cacao powder. Mix very well and place in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. Stir occasionally. The longer it rests in the fridge the more thick and pudding-like it will be.

2. Remove from the fridge and add fruit, peanut butter and sprinkle with hemp seeds.