white chocolate

Peanut Butter + Brown Rice Granola Bars (GF+ Vegan)

Granola bars + white chocolateIt’s finally happened. After all these years of hoping, praying and wishing only to be faced with the disappointment of not being quite there. But then just out of nowhere, boom (I just have to stop saying this word, I’m 32) and I’m there, success. I’ll never forget this day.

Peanut butter + brown rice granola bars of course. I’ve finally found what I’ve been hoping for. They just work for me, a granola bar that’s so crazy tasty, ridiculously healthy and holds together perfectly. Like I dropped it on the gravel and it didn’t even flinch, not even a chip on the the side. I really didn’t think it was possible but here’s a granola bar with spot on taste, a chewy texture and an impressive health rating. The other thing I like about these is they’re super good value too, often I find that granola bar recipes contain a lot of pricey superfood ingredients. These peanut butter + brown rice bars use simple, healthy, using widely available and very cheap ingredients. Each bar cost less than 25 pence which is a steal when compared to how much store bought varieties are.Granola bar process

The urge to get some white chocolate involved proved a little too much and why not because these are spectacularly good for you, too good really. They’re so tasty I had no choice but to have two with my coffee, it’s almost as if the decision was out of my control. No worries though, the recipe makes 14 good sized bars so with 10 remaining I can divide these with Russ for our weekday work snacks – 2 for him and 8 for me. Sorted!chopping

Here’s why you need these in your life:

utterly delicious
100 % whole grain
gluten free
high in B vitamins+ potassium
high in heart friendly monounsaturated fats
sweetened naturally with maple syrup
a good protein source
breakfast on the runStoring granola bars

As if you need any more convincing but what the hell we’ll go for some bonus points. These bars are extremely easy to put together, I’m talking 5 minutes and they require zero baking time. You can use the nut butter of your choice and add any of your personal granola bar favourites. These don’t need the white chocolate drizzle as such, but I just love the peanut butter and white chocolate combo so yes, I guess they do need it!

I do hope you’re having a fabulous day!A granola bar pile up

Peanut butter + brown rice granola bars

(makes 16)

1 1/2 cups brown rice cereal
1 1/4 cups gluten free oats
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 vanilla pod, seeds scraped out
1/4 cup maple syrup
3/4 cup natural smooth peanut butter
2 tablespoons coconut oil

chocolate drizzle:

1/4 cup dairy free white chocolate
2 tablespoons coconut oil

1. Add the brown rice cereal, oats & salt to a large mixing bowl. Stir until evenly distributed.
2. Meanwhile, add the remaining ingredients to a pan & simmer over a low heat until fully combined.
3. Add the cereal mix to the pan (or the wet mix to a bowl if the pan is too small) & combine with the  wet ingredients thoroughly. Transfer to a greased 9X13″ baking pan.Press down evenly so that the mixture is compact.
4. Place in the freezer for 45-60 minutes until set. Remove & slice into 12-16 bars.
5. Melt the white chocolate & coconut oil over a low heat. Spoon this over the cereal bars & place in the freezer for 15 minutes until set. Store in an airtight container.

Caramel Maca Chocolates – GF + Vegan

Caramel chocolatesAs a kid (and adult!) I had a big thing for white and golden caramel chocolate, especially Caramacs, Milky Bars, white chocolate mice, well white chocolate anything really. I’m just a fiend for white and gold chocolate full stop but the thing is it’s just so sweet, my taste buds must have matured or something! A lot of commercial white chocolate is rammed full of sugar and trans fats so the plan was to make some myself. Plus I was also looking for an excuse to use my heart shaped silicone chocolate moulds!Chocolate making!

These aren’t really like traditional white or golden chocolate because they contain lucuma and maca – they’re Peruvian superfood chocolates! The lucuma provides natural sweetness in maple/caramel tones and the maca gives a malty cereal flavour making them great additions. Both are super healthy for you, so this chocolate is turbo charged with a natural sweetness and a lot of goodness.

Maca, also known as the Peruvian ginseng is an adaptogen which basically means it helps the body to adapt to particular stresses, allowing it to deal with these and adapt naturally. In my opinion this is what makes maca a superfood but of course there’s more to this wonderful root from the radish/broccoli family. It’s rich in protein and B vitamins which is helpful for vegan diets and it’s renowned for it’s positive effects with regards to endocrine hormones balance, fertility issues, mood balance, osteoporosis, skin conditions and as an overall energy tonic. I must start adding this to my smoothies more often.

Sweet and fragrant lucuma is pretty special too and is a fantastic sweetener that doesn’t actually raise blood sugar levels. How that is even possible, I do not know! Derived from the subtropical fruit of the lucuma tree, this powder contains 14 essential trace elements including potassium and calcium and is rich in B vitamins. It’s anti-inflammatory, anti-aging, regenerative and has been shown to aid skin repair and wound healing. I’m in.Simple & vegan chocolate

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I didn’t think making chocolate from scratch was for me being super easy to buy and a lot cheaper too. However,I wanted to make something that was actually good for me, dairy free, with less sugar, contained maca (don’t ask me why!) and of course would make use of my love heart moulds. So I found this recipe on the Sunfood website which looked really easy and is also supercharged with healthful ingredients, like maca. It wasn’t only simple, it was very quick too -just a case of melting the cocoa butter and adding the remaining ingredients before transferring to silicone moulds for the freezer. See- 5 minutes tops. I found I didn’t need as much lucuma (I used just 4 tablespoons) but you can pretty much gage quantities as you combine the ingredients. The key is to create a consistency that’s not too thin but also not overly thick so it can’t be poured into the moulds with ease.I also added two tablespoons of sweetener and a tad more vanilla than the original recipe for a softer flavour.

Easy process for a superfood chocolate

The taste was quite a shock at first as they’re nothing like my Caramac memories but fear not these are delicious in their own spectacular superfood way. Like shop bought chocolate these had a very creamy taste and texture but the flavour is much less sweet with malty cereal undertones. Satisfying. Update: I’ve just eaten another and it tasted better than the first, they’re very moreish! Although I thought ‘do it yourself’ chocolate wasn’t for me, I am ever so slightly converted, mainly because it’s so easy, the results are pretty good and you can control the sweetness levels and flavours too. The plan is to make a darker coconut variety next, or peanut butter, or spiced orange……..

What’s your favourite chocolate and do you make your own?Heart shaped chocolates

Caramel maca chocolates

(makes 20 small chocolates)

1 cup cocoa butter
4 tablespoons lucuma
1 tablespoon maca
vanilla pod, deseeded
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoon agave nectar

Method.

1. Melt the cocoa butter over a very low heat until no solids remain.
2. Transfer to a bowl & add the remaining ingredients, mix until smooth.
3. Transfer mixture to silicone moulds or paper cases. Freeze for 30 minutes. Remove from the moulds before the chocolates reach room temperature.