Nearly Sugar-Free Muddy Buddies
The Holidays are in full swing and I've been feeling ALL the stress! Between present buying, prepping for the New Year - and my Husband's 30th birthday immediately after, writing my 2nd cookbook manuscript and preparing for yoga auditions at my favorite studio just after the New Year - I've been busy! But we all are this time of year. Wrapping up everything in 2017 up nicely before tearing into the giant gift that is 2018!
Because I'm a totally stress eater, I try to help myself out during this crazy time of year by NOT having tons of sweet treats around to pick at. It's only trouble if I do! That said, it just isn't the Holidays if there isn't some type of snackable chocolate something on the counter! This year I decided to reform my normal chocolate Muddy Buddies recipe and make them something I could snack on - guilt and nearly sugar-free - through Christmas. So I subbed out the powdered sugar for a homemade, sugar-free, monkfruit version, instead! Muddy Buddies are a totally Holiday classic in this house and one of my Husband's favorite things to snack on while watching Christmas movies. The only sugar in these babies are the trace amounts in the cereal and dark chocolate chunks we melted down for coating! We used EnjoyLife's Mega Chocolate Chunks for this recipe since they're allergen-free (and I have all the allergies), but you can use whatever chocolate makes your heart happy. Let's make some muddy buddies!
9 cups Rice Chex (they're vegan - but you can use whatever kind or brand you prefer!)
2 cups powdered monkfruit sweetener OR 1 cup regular monkfruit sweetener (we used Lakanto - but you can also use powdered stevia or even regular powdered sugar here if you prefer)
1 cup vegan chocolate chunks (we used this brand)
1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
1/4 cup vegan butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
In a large bowl, measure and set aside the cereal.
If you're using prepared powdered sugar, go on to the next step. If you've got regular monkfruit sweetener and need to make it in into powdered 'sugar', simply place 1 cup of sweetener into a blender or food processor and process for 1-2 minutes, until the sugar has pulverized into a finer, powered sugar. It should double in size using this method. Set aside.
Using the double boiler method (or a microwave!), melt together the chocolate chips, peanut butter, vegan butter and vanilla until creamy, stirring consistently. Pour the melted chocolate mixture over the cereal and use a wooden spoon to gently toss and stir until the cereal is evenly coated. Pour the powdered sugar evenly over the mixture and continue to use the wooden spoon to toss and stir the mixture until the chocolate-coated chex are all evenly covered in a fine layer of powdered sugar. Enjoy or save in air-tight container on the counter or in the fridge for up to a week. Enjoy!
If you prefer regular sugar here, go ahead and use it.
If you find another sugar substitute you prefer, use that instead. I can't guarantee the quantity exchange will be 1:1, but a little taste test should help guide you if you're unsure.
Healthy Homemade Granola
Keeping up with healthy, clean eating recipes we present our go-to travel favorite: Homemade Granola! We make this recipe all the time and jar it up for easy eating on-the-go, but its just as good in a bowl, on your couch, while watching Saturday morning cartoons (Is that still a thing? We don't have cable.)
Either way, the cashews & almonds keep you full and the light smattering of agave will help curb that sweet tooth. Its the kind of snack you can feel pretty good about snackin' on. And if you like dried fruit (raisins, craisins, ect.) feel free to toss in a handful when its cool. I prefer a few slices of fresh strawberry on top with a little coconut milk, but Alex goes for the raisins every time and swears by it.
3 cups GF rolled oats
1 cup almonds, roughly chopped
1 cup cashews, roughly chopped
1/2 shredded coconut
1/4 hemp seeds
1/4 flax seeds
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup agave nectar or maple syrup
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
Optional Add-Ins (AFTER granola has cooled):
1 cup raisins or craisins
1/2 cup chocolate chips or cacao nibs
1/2 cup goji berries
a handful of sunflower seeds
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a large mixing bowl combine everything but the oil & agave (or maple syrup). Mix well to combine. Add in the liquid coconut oil & sweetener and mix very well, so everything gets coated evenly. Spread onto a large, ungreased baking sheet and bake for 20-30 minutes, stirring about every 5-10 minutes as needed. Granola cooks quickly and even crisps up a bit after being removed from the oven, while sitting on the pan cooling, so remember to pull it from the oven before it gets too dark. Once you have removed the pan from the oven, let it cool for at least 20 minutes. Once cool, add in any additional little bits (i.e. the cacao nibs, dried fruit, or whatever) and move to a sealed storage container, like a glass jar or large plastic bag. Stays fresh for up to 2 weeks. Enjoy!
Classic Rice Krispie Treats
Punxsutawney Phil has officially delclared an early spring! As far as I'm concerned, that means we can get to the Valentine's Day, St. Patty's Day, and Easter desserts already.
And Rice Krispie Treats are a perfect Valentine's Day treat! They're a dessert everyone loves, and one that doesn't take hours to make. Wrap 'em in pink cellophane with heart covered ribbon? Adorable & delicious gifts!
My favorite part? Only 3 ingredients!
And sometimes, you only have time for three ingredients, ya know?
We found Dandies at Mother's Market, Whole Foods, and of course at veganessentials.com.
Vegan marshmallows are a little hard to find, but are good to have on hand anyway. Throw a couple on top of anything chocolatey or melt some over sweet potatoes for instant Thanksgiving dinner...they're the best!
6 cups crisped rice cereal
1-10 oz. bag Dandies marshmallows
3 tablespoons earth balance (or other vegan butter)
Lightly grease a 13x9 in. (or slightly smaller) glass or ceramic baking dish & set it aside.
In a large saucepan, melt your vegan butter. Add the entire bag of marshmallows to the melted butter. Cook on low to medium heat, stirring occasionally in the beginning and more so as the marshmallows melt. Once the marshmallows have completely softened and combined with the butter, add in the crisped rice cereal. I usually mix in a cup at a time using a wooden spoon to more evenly distribute the marshmallow. Be sure to stir quickly so you don't get just a giant clump of marshmallowy rice.
Once cereal is evenly covered in the marshmallow mixture, press into the prepared baking dish using the back of a wooden spoon.
Let cool, then cut into squares.
These sweet, crunchy little squares can be stored in an airtight container for about a week before they start to get hard...but trust me, they'll be gone long before then.