Monday, February 22, 2010

peanut butter crispies

I've just discovered my new favorite desert. It's easy to make. And while healthy may be too strong of a word (given that two of the main ingredients are peanut butter and maple syrup), it markedly does not contain processed sugar or butter - two of the things that typically make desserts so good (and so bad in large quantities).

The basic recipe is from Super Natural Cooking. This time, I kept it simple and my only changes were the addition of vanilla and peanuts. But I'm very excited to try additional variations and definitely plan to experiment with different nut butters and add ins (I'm already dreaming about a version involving almond butter, unsweetened coconut, and carob chips...).

JR is training for an iron man and it's becoming nearly impossible to keep food in the house. He's also been running into challenges trying to figure out what to eat during and between runs and bike rides to keep his energy level up. Between his ride and run today, he devoured a couple of these crispy squares: the sweet snack is a good balance of protein, carbs, and natural sugars to help maintain energy.

Peanut Butter Crispies
Makes 20 snack sized squares

3/4 c. natural peanut butter*
3/4 c. maple syrup
2 Tbsp. agar flakes**
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1/2 tsp. pure vanilla
3 1/2 c. unsweetened crisp brown rice cereal
1/2 c. unsalted peanuts
*By natural, I mean that the only ingredient should be peanuts.
**Agar flakes are a vegetarian gelatin, derived from seaweed.

Combine peanut butter, maple syrup, agar, salt, and vanilla in a large pot over medium-low heat. Stir constantly until melted and beginning to bubble.

Add cereal and peanuts. Stir until well mixed. Transfer to a parchment-lined 8x8 baking dish, pressing firmly into place with wax paper.

Refrigerate until cool, then cut into small squares with a sharp knife.

One year ago: split pea soup

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