September 28, 2023
Diwali is around the corner on Sunday, November 12 and this year I promised myself that I'd be ready. It's our Hindu festival of lights and renewal and a time when we focus on moving our emotional state from darkness into light, when we clean our houses and distribute sweets. In India, Diwali is marked with setting off fireworks and lighting diyas - tea lights.
While I love desserts, I am also very careful about what I eat. A dessert is a dessert after all no matter when you serve it. Why, when I kept seeing random videos of this homemade peanut butter chocolate dessert I had to try it. I don't even know where I saw it, but anything peanut butter and chocolate always catches my attention. I took the original recipe and elevated it with ingredients that you may not be as familiar with, but make all the difference when it comes to nutrition and zero difference on taste. Meaning, you get the benefit of protein from the quinoa flour (also nut and gluten free), vitamins and minerals from the date syrup, and the antioxidants from the dark chocolate. I actually found 100 percent dark chocolate in Belgium! My version tastes as good if not better than the original that used coconut flour and maple syrup (both of which are great ingredients as well).
What I did slightly different to celebrate Diwali? I added a spicy and crunchy Indian potato snack at the end. It's the perfect complement to our Indian table on Diwali. And, the spiciness works really well with the chocolate. If you don't have an Indian snack handy, use ground up potato chips or even cereal. Or leave it out. The sprinkle of sea salt will do the trick to give you that sweet-salty taste profile.
This process is also very similar to how we make certain barfi, a traditional Indian confection that we serve and give as gifts throughout the year but especially on Diwali. I think you and your family are really going to have some fun with this one. I am going to have this on hand on Halloween as well so I'm not tempted by my favorite candy of all time - Reeses Peanut Butter Cups. Once you make this - you'll never go back to anything overly processed and filled with additives. Enjoy!
No-Bake Peanut Butter Chocolate Sweet Spicy Crunch Bar
1 cup peanut butter
2 tablespoons date syrup or maple syrup
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons quinoa flour
3 - 4 ounces unsweetened dark chocolate bar or chips
2 teaspoons coconut oil
sea salt, for garnish
Indian snack mix, for garnish
1. Add the peanut butter, date syrup, and flour to a bowl. Stir until everything pulls together and looks like a ball of pizza dough. The idea is that this ball is soft enough that you can mold it into a tray or cupcake tin but will also hold together and not be overly sticky. If you don't have quinoa flour, use almond or coconut.
2. Line a baking tray with parchment paper. Place the peanut butter mixture on the paper and mold to the bottom of the tray until smooth and flat.
3. Add the chocolate and coconut oil to a glass bowl and melt the chocolate in a double boiler or in the microwave. Once melted, work fast and carefully pour the chocolate over the peanut butter layer. Smooth it out so it covers the top evenly.
4. Sprinkle with pink Himalayan sea salt and any Indian hot mix (spiced potato works best). Place in the refrigerator for 1 hour to set. Cut into pieces and enjoy as a snack or a fun treat. Always keep this in the fridge or in the freezer so the peanut butter does not soften.
Watch me make quinoa flour at home! Never heard of it? Just take quinoa and grind down in a high-powered blender. One quarter cup of quinoa flour will give you 4 grams of protein vs. almond flour which has 7 grams and coconut flour which has 6 grams of protein in 1/4 cup of flour. The key is that quinoa flour is gluten free and nut free. Coconut flour is great as well, but slightly harder to find.
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November 28, 2023