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Healthy Chocolate Puffed Quinoa Crunch Bars

HealthyCrunchChocolate

10 minutes + 5 ingredient chocolate…but wait, it gets even better.  These simple and satisfying chocolate candies are reminiscent of those crunch bars you had growing up but made even healthier with puffed quinoa, that despite its trendy reputation is an easy DIY as well.  Toasting the quinoa while simultaneously air-popping them not only brings out their naturally nutty flavor, it also softens its bite and brings incredible texture to these re-vamped chocolates.  Also, if you whip up a bigger batch of this puffed quinoa, you can add it to everything from rice crispy treats to yogurt parfaits.  Pro-tip: rinse and dry the quinoa well before using to avoid any bitterness.

The base of these chocolates remain the same with equal parts coconut oil, cacao/cocoa and sweetener.  Incidentally, these can also be made into vegan treats.  These have been such a nice afternoon pick me up without the crash, especially since healthier treats are very expensive on our island.  Speaking of, island weather can be hot and humid so if you’re living somewhere with a similar environment, I would highly recommend keeping these chilled in the fridge.  They almost instantly melt in your mouth into silky, chocolate perfection.  You’ll be so happy that you have that familiar chocolate square waiting for you but all wrapped up in a more mature, responsible package.  I love that they’re so versatile, too.  Goji berries give these a nice chew and color contrast while chia seeds can also add in a different kind of texture.  You can really have fun with this all while feeling less guilty about indulging in chocolate which is something no one should be without!

Next time you’re craving chocolate, don’t deny yourself.  Instead, try these better-for-you, wholesome bites of blissful chocolate.  J didn’t even realize they were “healthier” when I shared some with him while I was testing these in the kitchen.  Side note, apologies in advance for getting you addicted to puffed quinoa.  I’ve been a woman obsessed!  Puffed quinoa has been going into everything like my cereal, granola bars {even Nala’s peanut butter puppy truffles}.


5.0 from 1 reviews
Healthy Chocolate Puffed Quinoa Crunch Bars
 
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 6-8 chocolates
Ingredients
  • 2 tb puffed quinoa
  • 2 tb unrefined coconut oil
  • 2 tb unsweetened cacao/cocoa
  • 2 tb sifted powdered sugar {or sweetener of choice}
  • Pinch of sea salt
Instructions
  1. To puff/pop the quinoa, add rinsed and dried quinoa to a hot, dry pan.
  2. Shuffle them around so it doesn't burn. Soon, you'll see them jump and hear them pop.
  3. It's ready when the popping slows down and it's golden brown. Set aside.
  4. Whisk together the coconut oil, cacao/cocoa, sweetener, and sea salt.
  5. Stir in the cooled quinoa.
  6. Pour into molds of choice and set in the fridge for 15 minutes.
  7. Un-mold and enjoy. Store in fridge to prevent melting.

 

Creamy 2 Ingredient Mango Popsicles

11

Right now, in St. Croix, we’re in full mango season swing.  We even had an entire festival dedicated to it called Mango Melee just last weekend.  Needless to say, the mango is very much loved here.  There’s something magical about trekking through the grasses to pluck one ripe fruit after another and pausing to enjoy the fruits of your labor intermittently throughout the process.  Sweet nectar dribbles own your chin and arms, but you don’t really care because the fruit is just so candy-sweet.  It’s like a mango-utopia.  There are several dozen varieties with each one possessing a distinctive flavor and texture.  I can’t really decide which ones are my favorite as of yet but the Julie mango is very popular here.  So much so, that the 30th legislature of the USVI actually passed a resolution declaring it to be the Virgin Islands choice of fruit.  Many locals enjoy it for its smooth and creamy thread-less texture {a stringy mango is not highly favored here, hence the ones rotting on the ground as I’ve come to find out}.  I’ve had it on several occasions and can vouch for its deep tangerine flesh and tart lemon-pineapple like flavor.

For today’s recipe, you can really use whatever variety you have available to you.  That’s precisely what I did.  We went foraging in our backyard and I collected whatever was ripe to use in our popsicles today.  The most important aspect of this simple, 2 ingredient recipe is that you use very ripe fruit.  The fruit should be soft to the touch, speckled and smell very sweet.  It makes my heart ache whenever I see people cut open an underripe fruit of any sort…it’s as if it will never fully realize its fruit potential.  This is why I’m always going on and on about coveting those brown and freckled bananas but ah, I digress.

Rich homemade coconut milk and bright, fruity mango whirl together to create a creamy, delicious popsicle that is a cinch to make.  The assembling of the popsicles takes a mere 5 minutes.  It’s the freezing part that takes the longest.  These are a great healthy alternative for kids or those trying to limit refined sugars but really, they’re just a great excuse to enjoy popsicles on a regular basis.  You can feel good about using wholesome, better-for-you ingredients and cool off the natural way with ripe, seasonal fruit that mother nature bountifully yields for you and me to all enjoy.


Creamy 2 Ingredient Mango Popsicles
 
Prep time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 4-6 Popsicles
Ingredients
  • ½ c filtered water
  • ½ c unsweetened coconut flakes or mature coconut
  • 1 c soft, spotty and ripe mango
  • Optional: 1-2 tb rum or liquor of choice.
Instructions
  1. Blend the water and coconut for 3-5 minutes in a high speed blender.
  2. Strain the pulp through a fine mesh sieve until you're left with bone dry flakes.
  3. Combine the coconut milk and mango and blend. Add liquor, if using.
  4. Fill desired molds and freeze for 3-6 hours.

 

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