Hungry? Why wait, grab a.......candy bar? Hmmmmm something about that just doesn't seem quite right to us. Now we're not saying that snacks have to be boring and bland but they should provide some nutritional benefit and definitely be satisfying and filling. We are going to prove to you that homemade snacks can be all this and more with this nutrient packed recipe using puffed grains. So please toss those processed snack/candy bars and get in the kitchen!
To start with a little background; this recipe was inspired by Jess's recent trip to Chile where she encountered (and brought home in her suitcase) endless amounts of puffed quinoa. After falling in love with this product, it was unfortunate to find that puffed quinoa was not readily available at local markets but that didn't stop us! Puffed millet, amaranth or wheat all work great in this recipe. Puffed millet and amaranth may be available at specialty grocery stores (we found ours at Whole Foods Market) and puffed wheat is available in most cereal aisles. So what makes this recipe an ideal snack? For starters it includes chocolate (haha!); but really the simple sugar in chocolate and honey help to immediately satisfy your hunger craving. After that simple sugar is digested, you'll be left with the complex carbohydrates and fiber found in the puffed whole grains and seed topping which will digest slower to keep you full longer. Not to mention that this recipe is packed with plenty of plant based protein and healthy fats from the nut butter (and some from the seed topping) to keep your tummy full and happy until your next meal. Can a candy bar really do all that? We think not...
Snack Attack Bars
PREP TIME: 15 mins
TOTAL TIME: 45 mins (includes cooling)
Servings: 10 bars
2 1/2 cups puffed grains (we used 2 cups puffed millet and 1/2 cup puffed, toasted amaranth)
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup nut butter (we used 1/4 cup almond butter & 1/4 cup peanut butter)
1/2 tsp sea salt
6 oz dark chocolate bar, 72% or greater
2 Tbsp coconut oil
1/8 cup hemp hearts
1/8 cup chia seeds
dash of sea salt
Prepare a 14" x 4" pan, or 9" x 9" (will make thinner bars) with a sheet of parchment paper overlapping two sides for easy removal of bars once set. Combine the puffed grains in a large mixing bowl, sprinkle with sea salt and set aside.
Measure honey and nut butter and add to a small sauce pan. Heat mixture over low heat, stirring constantly until the two have formed a sweet, nutty sauce. Turn the heat off and slowly pour honey and nut butter mixture into the bowl with the puffed grains. Stir grains until well coated with honey and nut butter mixture. Pour well coated grains into prepared pan and press mixture down using a small sheet of parchment paper (easier and less messy on your hands) until firm and level. Now begin the chocolate glaze.
Finley chop chocolate, put into a microwave safe bowl, and add coconut oil. Heat in microwave in increments of 20 seconds at a time, as to not burn the chocolate. Once chocolate and coconut oil mixture is fully melted, pour an even layer over the top of the puffed grain. While the chocolate is still warm, sprinkle hemp hearts, chia seeds, and dash of sea salt over the top. Set in the fridge for 20-30 minutes until chocolate is set. If you can't wait like us, set pan in the freezer for about 12-15 minutes or as long as you can wait! Lift parchment paper from pan, cut bars onto desired shape and get your snack on!!
Satisfied? Yeah we thought so. You should probably just go ahead and stash some of these babies at the office, in the snack cabinet at home, and in your purse because you'll find yourself searching for yet another Snack Attack Bar next time your stomach is calling.
Jess and Cecelia
Jess and Cecelia welcome you to our kitchen. We are fun-loving and passionate foodies working to make the world a healthier, happier place one plant based recipe at a time.