Puffed Rice Date Squares: no-bake, 5 ingredient treats, that are a healthy and delicious snack. Chewy, light, and naturally sweet, they are packed with nutrients and are able to satisfy your sweet craving.
Sometimes words on a page just don’t come easily. Sometimes breaking the whiteness of a page or screen and filling it with thoughts and feelings appears like an effort. That’s when taking a step back is the right answer, and for me, in the specific, is to shut down the computer and go to yoga.
Amazing what a yoga class can do. Clear your mind, stretch your muscles, all your muscles, even the brain ones, engage you in the present and let you be. So, my word for today is “surrender”. Surrender to the feeling of “clumsiness” (or inadequacy?) when I start writing in a language that is not mine and words don’t seem to come easily. Surrender to the crazy winter out there, to the minus double digit temperatures that stuck me in the house most of the time. Surrender to life throwing you a couple curve balls and you have to see people you love suffer in times where it should be all joy and cheerfulness for the upcoming Christmas holidays. But that’s the moment I get to live, there’s no changing the past or worrying about the future. Acceptance is the way to go.
So today I’m surrendering to making a sweet treat that is so simple and delicious in its simplicity, and it is also no bake (really? but I’m all about baking!?!) and packed with nutritious ingredients. A sweet treat that reminds me so much of the Kinder Cereali chocolate bar I used to love and eat when in Italy but haven’t found here yet. And actually it all began with a bag of puffed rice I bought at Eataly in Rome on our last trip, that I wanted to use to make some kind of “healthier” and less sweet Kinder Cereali bar. Loreto says that I turn into an excited kid when I see a Kinder chocolate, and that is true, I am ashamed to say, and also weird because for the rest I am a dark chocolate kind of “gal”.
Puffed Rice Date Squares, that happen to be vegan, gluten-free, dairy and sugar free, are made with just 5 ingredients:
- puffed rice
- almond butter
- maple syrup
- dark chocolate chips
And you have a scrumptious, delicious, grab and go snack, perfect treat after my yoga class, or whenever you feel like a sweet craving is hitting but you want to keep calories under control. It is also a wonderful, caring, addition to any sweet tray you’re planning for the festivities, since it can be enjoyed by all the people with special dietary needs.
The making of these Puffed Rice Date Squares is pretty easy: soak the dates in hot boiling water for about 10 minutes, drain them, take the pit out and blend in a food processor with almond butter and maple syrup. Transfer the sticky smooth mixture in a bowl and add the puffed rice and with the help of a spatula or your hands incorporate it in the mixture. Line a small pan or tin (mine was 10 x 6 inches) with parchment paper and spread the mixture evenly at the bottom (I used my hands), then place in the freezer while you melt the dark chocolate over a bain-marie (double boiler). Once the chocolate is melted, take the pan out of the freezer and spread the chocolate on top smoothing the surface with a spatula, then place it back in the freezer until the chocolate hardens. You can now cut it into squares and dive into a Puffed Rice Date Square. So delicious!
You can customize the size of your squares according to your liking; using a smaller pan/tin will produce thicker squares with a thicker layer of chocolate on top. The bigger the pan the thinner the squares. I like mine, perfect size for me, with a balanced chewy/crunch and sweetness. For presentation I cut the squares leaving the irregular edges aside. They were the first I ate while taking pictures.
The dates blended with almond butter and maple syrup give a lovely chewiness and natural sweetness, the puffed rice and dark chocolate melted on top that bit of “crunch”. The overall texture of the treat is so pleasing for your taste buds and just one square won’t be enough. But they’re small, and thin, and somewhat healthy, so surrender to your longing and enjoy!
Song of the day: “Living In The Moment”, by Jason Mraz.
Recipe adapted from The Little Green Spoon.