Chocolate Cardamom Brown Rice Bars
Now these are something else. They have a wonderful balance of being rich, decadent, sweet and crunchy but not so rich that you can’t finish one or two (or three) without feeling slightly ill. They are the perfect solution to those moments where all you want is delicious, decadent and divine without compromising ones’ health and vital energy, when you want the comfort and pleasure of tucking into something that seems “naughty” but really isn’t. These bars provide good, sustainable energy through the beneficial properties of the brown rice and healthy fats but still maintain a lightness which is perfect for when you want something indulgent without eating something “heavy” or dense. These are light, airy, crunchy, and satisfying.
It all started when I went to a dinner party with three friends. We went to my friend Jodi’s house for a bring-and-share dinner evening, which turned into a delectable evening of falafels with tahini sauce, stuffed bell peppers, and my Zingy Summer Salad. It was truly a scrumptious dinner! We followed dinner with a round of fantastic herbal tea (roasted chicory, cardamom, cinnamon and fennel). And then … Marcella brought out the dessert. Cacao and orange brown rice bars. My goodness were they decadent and delicious beyond compare! The orange added a citrus flare that cut through the rich coconut oil and cacao base. The puffed brown rice added some lift and buoyancy to the dense richness of the all engulfing chocolate that surrounded the brown rice (as well as some textural delight, of course). It’s safe to say there were no left overs. I went home feeling inspired to create something similar. Something that was decadent and delightful without being too oil heavy or dense. And so these were created.
· 3 cups puffed brown rice
· 1/8 cup tahini
· 1/8 cup peanut butter
· ¼ cup syrup (maple, honey, bee-free honey, golden syrup)
· ½ teaspoon salt
· ½ tablespoon organic coconut oil
· 2 tablespoons oats
· 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
· 2 tablespoons raisins, chopped
· 4-5 tablespoons cacao (depending on how chocolate-y you like it)
· 1 tablespoon coffee
- In a saucepan bring the coffee, coconut oil, tahini and peanut butter and syrup to a high heat until it’s melted together. Add the salt and stir well.
- In a bowl mix the brown rice, oats, raw cacao, cardamom and chopped raisins together.
- Bring the nut butter mixture from the stove once slightly cooled and pour over the dry ingredients. Mix well.
- Line a small baking dish or baking tray with parchment paper and then pour the contents of the bowl into the parchment paper. Wet/dampen your hand and use that hand to press down, creating a firm, solid block of brown rice chocolatey goodness.
- Place in the freezer for 1 hour. Remove from the freezer and cut into 12 or 16 squares (depending on what size you’d like them to be). Place into a air-tight container and store in the freezer.
- TUCK in. What's great is that they live in the freezer, so you can make a double or triple batch and keep them there fore those sweet-tooth moments.