Chocolate Crunchy Squares/Bars

Here are my rice krispie square and granola bar inspired "Chocolate Crunchy Squares or Bars".  They are sweet,  chewy, gooey and of course crunchy! :)

Here are my rice krispie square and granola bar inspired “Chocolate Crunchy Squares or Bars”. They are sweet, chewy, gooey and of course crunchy!

Two nights ago I was suddenly craving for rice krispie square, a fond memory of a yummy treat from my childhood, and at the same time, I wanted granola bar as a snack for my day trip the next day.  It is quite strange yet I guess it’s a natural response, as I slowly move towards healthy eating, I no longer feel the compulsion to buy a snack outside (e.g. from vending machine, fast food etc.) to satiate my hunger.  I rather bring my own healthy snack to munch on or wait till I go home to make something nutritious.  As a result, I decided to combine my desires for both a rice krispie square and a granola bar into creating the following healthy snack recipe.

I hope you enjoy making and sharing my Chocolate Crunchy Squares or Bars with your family and friends, as much as I did! 🙂

 

Makes: 24 squares or 12 bars

Preparation Time: 5 minutes

Total Time: 10 minutes

 

Special Notes:

-You can substitute any cereal into the recipe and it doesn’t have to be gluten-free.  I made it gluten-free to suit my dietary needs.

-If you have a sweet tooth, this recipe is most definitely for you!  The squares/bars are extremely sweet.  If you don’t want them that sweet, you can decrease the amount of honey into 2/3 cup, and the chocolate chips into 1/4 cup.

-Please store no more than 2 days at room temperature in airtight container, covered with parchment paper.

 

Ingredients:

1 cup manuka honey

2 cups gluten-free cereal (I like Nature’s Path Sunrise Crunchy Vanilla Cereal; it has corn, rice, flax, quinoa, buckwheat & amaranth)

1 cup rolled oats (wheat-free & dairy-free)

1/2 cup sunflower seeds

1/2 cup pumpkin seeds

1/2 cup semisweet or bittersweet chocolate chips

 

Instructions:

  1. Warm up honey on medium heat until it simmers in a saucepan.
  2. Remove from heat.
  3. Immediately add cereal and rolled oats in the saucepan, and stir evenly.
  4. Quickly add sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds and mix well.
  5. Reheat mixture in saucepan on medium heat, and quickly stir in the chocolate chips until well coated.  The chocolate chips should melt within seconds.
  6. Remove from heat and press mixture evenly into a baking tray (lined with parchment paper).
  7. Cool mixture completely before cutting into either squares or bars.
  8.  Enjoy! 🙂

A Simple & Satisfying Superfoods Salad!

My Avocado, Blueberry and Kale Salad, minus the chia seeds and pumpkin seeds.  In my haste to eat it, I forgot to add them for the photo!

My Avocado, Blueberry and Kale Salad, minus the chia seeds and pumpkin seeds. In my haste to eat it, I forgot to add them for the photo!

Lately, I’ve been absorbed in reading about the kinds of healthy food we should eat to maintain good health and nutrition.  I learned about the “superfoods”.  It is a term coined for food that have many health and healing benefits and nutrients for the body.  I have been slowly adding some of them into my daily diet.  Of course, there are so many of them, that one can get overwhelmed.  Therefore, it’s one day at a time for me!

Anyways, the other night I was flipping through my newly purchased book written by Kimberly Snyder called The Beauty Detox Foods: Discover the Top 50 Beauty Foods that Will Transform Your Body and Reveal a More Beautiful You, and was excited to try her Blueberry & Avocado Salad recipe, since I love both of these superfoods, and knew I had them in stock.  Today seemed like the perfect day to try it out as I felt like having something light and refreshing for lunch.

In my journey of healthy eating so far, I learned that making your own food is so much better because you control what goes into your mouth, and ultimately your body!

Without further ado, please enjoy my version of the salad, inspired by Kimberly Snyder, using some other superfoods.  I guarantee that you will find this salad simple to taste and make, but very satisfying!

VIOLET’S AVOCADO, BLUEBERRY & KALE SALAD

Makes: 1 serving

Preparation Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: about 20 minutes

Ingredients:

1 cup kale leaves

1 cup blueberries

1/2 or 1 peeled and chopped into cubes/sliced avocado (the amount depends on how filling you want your salad)

1-2 wedges of lemon

1 tablespoon of chia seeds or pumpkin seeds (or both if you prefer, both are a source of protein; if you prefer to eat your salad without them, you can also leave them out)

Instructions:

  1. Wash, drain and dry blueberries and kale.
  2. Toss kale and blueberries together in a salad bowl with freshly squeezed lemon juice from the wedge of lemon.
  3. Place chopped/sliced avocado on top of the salad, and if you prefer, you can also squeeze a little bit of lemon juice on them.
  4. If you have chia seeds and/or pumpkin seeds, sprinkle them into the salad as well.
  5. Mix the salad and enjoy!

Special Information on Each Superfood & Its Benefits:

Avocado- It is filled with fiber and healthy fats, lowers cholesterol,  and keeps skin smooth and youthful.  It helps protect the body from heart disease, cancer, degenerative eye and brain diseases.

Blueberries- They are high in water and fiber, which help to cut down sugar cravings.  They make eyes (the antioxidant anthocyanin strengthens eyes and vision) and skin beautiful, plus promote brain function, lower stress level, and boost energy.  They also help to prevent the body from diseases such as cancer, heart disease, stomach ulcers and high blood pressure.

Chia Seeds- They are high in fiber, antioxidants, omega-3 fats, protein, calcium, potassium and iron.  They are a good workout food, as they supply the body with strengthening and toning nutrients.  They also help with digestion.  The most amazing thing about this superfood is that they swell more than 5 times their weight in liquid so it means when you add 1-2 tablespoons of them to meals, you will feel fuller faster, and have a long burning source of energy.

Kale-  It is rich in iron, copper, minerals, vitamins A, C, E and K, magnesium,  calcium, and omega-3 fats, and antioxidants.  It is high in fiber so it helps to tone up the body, and make it strong and resilient.  Also, it is an anti-cancer and anti-aging food!  One cup of kale provides about 10% of the RDA of omega-3 fatty acids, which help fight against arthritis, asthma and autoimmune disorders.  Other interesting facts about this superfood is that per calorie, it has more iron than beef, and more calcium than milk!  No wonder it is called “the new beef” and “the queen of greens”!!

Lemon- It is rich in vitamin C, balances our pH level, detoxifies the liver, helps to eliminate waste in our body and improves our digestion.

Pumpkin Seeds- They are rich in zinc, magnesium, iron, calcium, phosphorous, manganese, copper, sulfur, vitamins A, B, C, E, K, fatty acids, and protein, and contribute to the growth of healthy and shiny hair.  The high zinc content helps in avoiding acne and other skin imbalances.  They help stabilize blood sugar which means weight loss.  Like the lemon, they balance the body’s pH level.  A great fact to know, if you’re looking into moving away from getting protein from meat, is that a 1/4 cup serving of pumpkin seeds provides approximately 16 percent of your daily value of protein.

Sources I took information from, and if you would like to read more about each superfood:

The Beauty Detox Foods: Discover the Top 50 Beauty Foods that Will Transform Your Body and Reveal a More Beautiful You by Kimberly Snyder

http://www.naturalnews.com/038324_food_superfood_nutritional_density.html

http://kimberlysnyder.net/blog/2012/03/31/12-superfoods-for-a-healthier-lifestyle/

http://kimberlysnyder.net/blog/2011/08/23/5-superfoods-that-improve-your-memory/

http://kimberlysnyder.net/blog/2011/06/07/25-snacks-that-will-give-you-energy-througout-the-day/

http://www.drfranklipman.com/the-super-7-foods-with-benefits/

http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-4408/Top-10-Health-Benefits-of-Eating-Kale.html

http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-8354/5-amazing-benefits-of-drinking-lemon-water.html

http://www.care2.com/greenliving/16-health-benefits-of-lemons.html

http://getmotivatedpaige.blogspot.ca/2013/01/10-reasons-lemon-juice-is-superfood.html

http://www.care2.com/greenliving/10-health-benefits-of-pumpkin-seeds.html

http://www.livestrong.com/article/253658-what-are-the-benefits-of-eating-pumpkin-seeds/

What are your favourite superfoods, and how do you eat them?

I would love to hear how you add them into your diet, and learn some new recipes for my healthy eating lifestyle!

Thanks & Love, Violet