A healthier version of dark chocolate crunch bars made with mood-boosting raw cacao powder and coconut oil instead of processed junk. Plus there’s no cooking needed and they are gluten free, dairy free, and sugar free. The perfect anytime treat for everyone!
Have you guys heard of procrastipacking?
Allow me to explain….
Procrastipacking is what happens when you have less than one week to pack your entire apartment before moving to a new address, only instead of packing you decide to bake/cook ALL the things.
Or in this case, not bake/cook because these heavenly chocolate vegan rice crispy crunch bars require zero of either. They also come together in less than five minutes and require only seven simple ingredients.
Really, I think that I did both of us a favor by making them last week because it means a new, healthy-ish dessert/snack recipe for you and it meant one less jar of coconut oil that I needed to pack.
That’s what I like to call a win-win my friends.
Also, I kind of owed you guys something sweet because I totally left you hanging last Friday and neglected to post at all. [Insert red-faced embarrassed emoji here x 20.]
Despite my best efforts to plan the blog’s content in advance and work ahead, I grossly underestimated how long it would take me to pack my ever-growing collection of gold-rimmed dinnerware, fancy bowls, and assorted goblets and glasses…Not to mention all 14 of my cake stands.
Don’t judge me.
You’d think that living in earthquake country would make me less inclined to own and continue purchasing pretty plates and dishes but alas, I can’t (ahem, and won’t) be stopped.
Anyway, I hope you’ll accept my apology for the missed post on Friday and for not dropping tons of nutrition knowledge on you today.
Maybe the fact that this week’s recipe is a healthier take on a Nestle Crunch or Hershey’s Krackle bar will redeem me in your eyes?
SWEET LIKE CANDY, ONLY NOT
You know how we do it here on Honestly Nourished, folks.
While these chocolate vegan rice crispy crunch bars may not be the epitome of health food—because let’s not fool ourselves, a chocolate bar is still a chocolate bar even if it’s been healthified—they are made without refined sugar and oil and are certainly more nutritious than a typical processed candy bar.
They also contain stress-relieving, mood-boosting raw cacao powder, which I honestly try to incorporate into my diet daily.
This usually happens in the form of a small treat like these chocolate vegan rice crispy crunch bars, Chocolate Post-Workout Recovery Smoothie Bowl, a piece of my Nourishing Raw Sugar-Free Chocolate Freezer Fudge, or a mini Salted Dark Chocolate Almond Butter Cup.
As I’ve said before, there are numerous health benefits of cacao, including being an incredible source of antioxidants and flavonoids, which help our cells to repair and protect from oxidation. It has also been shown to help lower the levels of LDL cholesterol in our blood and promote a sense of well being via phenylethylamine.
Instead of relying on processed, no-good-for-you white sugar, these candy-like crunch bars are sweetened with all natural maple syrup.
Yes, it’s still a sweetener and will still impact your blood sugar accordingly, but maple syrup does contain a few more nutrients than the white stuff and again it’s not refined or processed.
Remember, when it comes to making and enjoying treats or dessert, it’s about both balance and choosing healthier ingredients when possible.
RICE, RICE BABY
Oh but I’m forgetting about the main ingredient in these bars that makes them so divine—the sprouted organic puffed rice cereal! Duh!
I’m kind of obsessed with stuff because growing up I loved Kellog’s Rice Krispies (mostly for use in making rice krispy treats, obviously because Cinnamon Toast Crunch was my true love) and these are similar but without all the junk. They are also sprouted brown rice, which means that the rice has germinated. This process increases the natural nutrient content of the rice, specifically magnesium, potassium, vitamin E, niacin, thiamine, and the fiber.
I love the One Degree Organic Foods Veganic Sprouted Rice Crisps because they are sprouted, organic, and contain no weird fillers or preservatives like BHT, which is a known endocrine disrupter that’s found in most processed commercial cereals.
BHT isn’t allowed in cereals sold in Europe but we are still letting the food companies poison ours with it. Grrrr. So do yourself and our food industry a favor by supporting smaller brands like One Degree Organic Foods.
You can even scan the box on this brand of cereal to find out where all the ingredients came from (hello fun!). Anyway, totally not an ad or sponsored post, I just love supporting my fave organic brands!
Let’s get straight to the stress-relieving, mood-boosting, cacao-filled goodness, shall we?
Serves: 12-16 bars
- 4 cups One Degree Organics Veganic Brown Rice Cereal
- ½ cup cashew butter
- 1 cup raw cacao powder (or sub high quality cocoa powder)
- ½ cup coconut oil, melted
- ½ cup maple syrup
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- ¼ tsp sea salt
- For the chocolate top coating:
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- ½ raw cacao powder
- ¼ cup cashew butter
- ¼ cup coconut oil, melted
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Line a baking pan with wax paper and set aside.
- Place all ingredients for bars except rice cereal into a bowl and whisk to combine. If needed, you can use a microwave to melt the coconut oil first.
- Add organic sprouted rice cereal and stir until well coated.
- Use a spatula to transfer chocolate-coated, sprouted rice cereal to prepared baking pan and spread to evenly distribute.
- Place pan in freezer for 10-15 minutes until set. While the bars are hardening, make the top coating the same way—whisk ingredients in a bowl until combined.
- Pour chocolate top coating over bars and put back in the freezer until set. Remove and slice into desired bar size with a serrated knife.
** Like all vegan, coconut-oil based chocolates, these are best enjoyed soon after removing from the freezer because they will melt at room temperature. (You won’t want to wait long anyway, trust me!)
*** You can easily omit the cashew butter and sub sunflower seed butter to make it nut free if needed/desired.
So there you have it. A short but sweet recipe!
Annnnnd you may have noticed, you can now easily print the recipes here on Honestly Nourished thanks to some lovely styling by my way talented designer Amanda. I still have to go back and update the old recipes to the new styling so stay tuned!
I promise to be more on top of my nutrition nerd game next week (i.e. less sleep deprived and nourished by more than froyo that won’t fit in our new freezer or PB and banana sandwiches). At least I hope to be anyway…
YOUR THOUGHTS >>>
I have two very important questions today….What was your favorite unhealthy cereal growing up? Are you Team Krackle or Team Crunch?