It probably comes as no surprise but, I've had Halloween on my mind for quite a while now. Every year I talk about what I am going to be for a solid three months - in August it is always something super specific, extravagant and pricey, in September I have 100 new ideas that are slightly more "practical" and by October 30th, well, I usually panic due to my poor planing and end up being nothing at all. Anyone else?
Now, if there is something I don't have trouble committing to, its making healthy versions of halloween treats. I am a sweets junkie - but as a plant based vegan I have made it a goal to create as many "feel good" candy recipes as I can that will have even the most sugar-addicted among us totally satisfied.
This one is a HIT! My quinoa crispy bar is a take on rice crispy treats but with an elevated palate, a killer crunch and a pretty wonderful ingredients list. Everyone who has sampled these has loved them and I fully intend on making them for Halloween - and you should too!
Note: Puffed quinoa can be hard to find in the states, but I found a bulk bag on Amazon that I totally love (link below).
Makes: apx. 12 3"x3" bars • Prep Time: 15 min • Total Time: 2 hr 15 min
1. In a medium saucepan combine the nut butter, maple syrup and coconut oil until fully melted.
2. Allow the above mixture to cool slightly on the stovetop while adding the puffed quinoa and oat bran to a large bowl.
3. Pour the nut butter mixture over the quinoa mixture and stir until fully coated. Transfer to a parchment lined rimmed baking dish and firmly press it out into an even layer using the back of a spatula.
4. Before placing in the freezer, place another piece of parchment on top and gently press down on the mixture using your palm to further help compact it. Allow to chill for at least 1 hour.
5. Chop two 3 oz. chocolate bars and add to a small sauce pan with the coconut cream - heat gently while stirring frequently until the chocolate is fully melted.
6. Remove the quinoa base from the freezer and pour the chocolate over in a smooth, even layer and place the whole thing back in the freezer for another hour to fully set up.
NOTE: You can double the chocolate ganache recipe for a thicker chocolate layer, but I think the ratio works out quite nicely here.
7. After freezing, slice the frozen bars into any shape you like using a very sharp knife. You may let the bars de-frost for a few minutes but please enjoy them cold (they get a little crumbly otherwise). Store in the freezer in an airtight container for up to a few weeks.