No words for this, just yum!
Yesterday I went to a cat shelter and vet to go help clean out poo boxes and give meds to the little rascals. Let’s just say that the adorableness cannot be accurately explained. I already wanted to take one home, but my sneaky inquiries revealed he was already taken. Some of these creatures just take a hold of your heart on first sight and it’s difficult to keep one’s distance. When I volunteered at an orphanage it was easier in some respects – I didn’t want to take any babies home! – but in other ways it was infinitely more difficult than I expected. When my ‘favourite’ kids were adopted or when we had funerals for deceased and alone babies…those were tough moments that convinced me all the more that humans should be more responsible with their bodies, their choices and their aspirations, because often poor or fleeting or rash decision-making can lead to a life of suffering for someone else, be it a child or creature. Anyway, I have a home in my heart for the abandoned of all species, because there’s something about that profound lack of belonging that speaks to me on so many levels. I’m excited to keep volunteering there, but I need to learn to not fall in absolute love so easily!We’re meeting Marmiet this afternoon for an official family farewell lunch, since she’s actually known my in-laws for decades. It’s amazing how in such a short time she was been such a wonderful part of my life, and working with her has made me feel much more human in the workplace that I have in other places.
With that in mind, I decided to dedicate the upcoming week to making an array of treats for her last stint in the city, so that she can have energizing and delicious snacks on hand whilst she packs and carries on in a frenzy. I know that when I have to move the last thing I want to do is plan food or stress about ways in which I can unwind (foooood!). Hopefully she’ll get a natural sugar boost and satisfy any stress-munchies that may appear with these delicious treats!
I based my recipe loosely on this one from 86lemons since it looked uber yummy and had the basics that I wanted to get rid of in the house. I’ve been eating wayyyy too much nut butter and carob chunks and stuff in the evenings (like, tablespoons!), and any fat, however healthy, can easily make you more rounded depending on your metabolism or what not. I don’t mind, except I bought a bunch of clothes because my old ones were sitting like sacks, and I actually have to stay one size now! (clothes are bladdy expensive)
Ingredients (makes 16 squares):
- 3 cups puffed brown rice cereal (gf)
- 1/2 cup goji berries
- 1/2 cup macadamia nut butter
- 1/4 cup agave syrup
- 2 TBSP black strap molasses
- 1/2 cup carob chunks, melted
- 1 tsp vanilla essence
- Cinnamon galore
- Pour your rice cereal and goji berries into a big bowl and set aside. Splash liberally with cinnamon.
- Line a 8″ square pan (makes it easier to lift out and cut later). No need to spray!
- In a small non-stick pot, heat up the rest of your ingredients and stir occasionally with a wooden spoon until the nut butter gets melt-y.
- Once the nut butter is softer and the mixture somewhat smooth, pour it into the rice & goji bowl and stir continuously until it is all mixed.
- Transfer to the pan and pat down very thoroughly so that the surface is smooth and the mixture is somewhat …compacted. I used another baking sheet on top so as not to get too messy, and it might have helped with the patting down in terms of smoothness (well, as smooth as anything with puffy cereal can be).
- Transfer to fridge for 30 minutes upwards. I left mine for an hour or so (forgot about it, which is madness!).
- 1/2 cup – 1 cup carob chunks, melted (quantity depends on how thick you’d like it – I wanted mine relatively thin so 1/2 = 3/4 ought to cut it).
- 1 TBSP blackstrap molasses
- 1 tsp vanilla essence
- Optional: 1 tsp coconut oil
- In a microwave bowl melt the carob chunks for about a minute, then stir vigorously until smooth. In another smaller bowl quickly heat up the black strap and vanilla essence together, then add them to the carob smoothness, stirring continuously til mixed (OR just clean out your non-stick pot nicely, wipe it down, then heat the toppings together).
- Pour over surface of rice crispy treats, using a spoon to smooth it out over the whole surface (as it hardened I had to scrap and carry on).
- Pop back into the fridge for another 1/2 hour and then slice into your bits! I got 16 out of these and they are *more* than satisfying.
Man-thing took a bite of one, nearly swooned, then immediately grabbed another one and scurried off to the couch to devour the goodies in comfort. He was very complimentary, but he’s a sucker for crispy treats. I also struggled when cutting these – not because they were difficult to cut (I was SO impressed, they were so intact despite my manhandling!) but because I kept on cutting skew on purpose so I could cut again and eat the “untidy” bits. My resolution to make things and give them away so that *I* wouldn’t eat them kind of failed in this respect. :p
The blackstrap molasses just adds a tiny bit of depth to this really fabulous and easy sweet treat. I packaged all the squares in four containers; one for Man-thing, and the rest to share between Marmiet, my in-laws, and my SIL and her man, Foxtrot. Man-thing was most sad about the sharing aspect, the rascal!
Anyway, these are easy, DELICIOUS, happy-inducing, and all-round awesome. If you like you could add some peanuts on top before melting the chocolate, as if they weren’t crazy enough. I’m not too sure if I could control myself if these were constantly in the house, but certainly they make an excellent snack to send along with quick-stop visitors and the like.