I was reading up on healthy snacks the other day, and had a brainwave about creating a high protein, gluten-free, dairy-free snack for the kids. It would have been lovely if it were also mess-free, but since it involves chocolate, I guess I’m out of luck there.
This isn’t exactly a recipe, since I didn’t measure anything. It’s more of a guide.
I melted one bar of Pound-Plus 72% chocolate from Trader Joe’s. (It’s dairy-free).
To this, I added a one-pound jar of peanut butter, 1 t. vanilla, and roughly 1/3 c. coconut oil
Then I stirred in various amounts of the following:
~quick oats – somewhere between 3 and 5 cups
~sesame seeds – about 1/4 c.
~chia seeds – about 2 T.
~crispy rice (the variety I used has a little bit of gluten in it, but it doesn’t seem to bother the Moose; you could leave it out) – about a cup
~cashews – about a cup
~peanuts – about 1/2 c.
~sliced almonds – about a cup
… and about a half cup of dried bananas
… and about a half cup of the crumbly bits left over from some snacky cashew bites from Costco, which no one wants to eat because they’re not stuck together anymore, but I hate to toss because it’s bits of nuts, and nuts are expensive. I thought this would be a good way to use up the dregs of cereal from the bottom of the box, too.
Basically, I was aiming to add stuff until the chocolate was so thinly coated over everything in the bowl that it wouldn’t stretch to coat anything else. It looked like this:
… and then I pressed it into a glass casserole dish:
… and put it in the fridge to get the chocolate to harden up. I set it out on the counter after that, because if it stays in the fridge, it will be too hard to cut.
The only sugar in there is what’s in the chocolate bar to start with – which isn’t much, as it’s mainly chocolate – and what’s in the cashew bit stuff. Lots of protein and fiber, and the kids love it.
The original idea came from a recipe called “Mudballs” over at Heavenly Homemakers. Her recipe contains honey – which my kids don’t seem to miss – and wheat bran, which isn’t so great for the Moose. Once I got my brain wrapped around the basic concept – melt together a bunch of gooey ingredients, stir in some filler, shape and set – I went off from there.
I didn’t like the idea of taking the time to shape each one, so I pressed them into a dish and cut them up instead. The kids said I couldn’t call them ‘mudballs’, since they weren’t balls, so we went with ‘mudslide’ since, when it’s warm, the mixture sort of oozes around like mud.
I have boys, and they like that sort of thing.