Yesterday, after a few days of fighting the flu, it was time for a jailbreak. We escaped the confines of our apartment for the afternoon, craving some sunshine and early spring air. We strolled around the neighborhood, spent a few hours at the Museum of Fine Art, and as we turned towards home, my stomach rumbled loudly. I suddenly looked at him and nearly shouted, "ARE YOU HUNGRY, OR IS IT JUST ME?"
And his reply was, "Oh, no. This is how you sound when you're hangry."
I'm a pretty lucky girl. I live in a great city, I feel engaged with life on a daily basis, and I'm marrying a man who is just as passionate about food and health as I am. But hanger is a real life problem, my friends, and I firmly believe that one in the throes of hangriness should not be taken lightly. So when we got home, he suggested that we whip up something that's both extremely tasty and can stop hunger in a flash. The result? What he's calling Dark Chocolate Lightning Bars.
These bars are really, really delicious. In fact, they're so good that you may never buy another sugar-laden, soy or whey protein isolate-filled bar again (and I have a feeling that your body will thank you for that too.) They're protein-packed with roasted almonds, walnuts, and peanuts, and held together with local honey, vanilla, and brown rice syrup. And the sweet touch on top? An antioxidant-rich dark chocolate drizzle and a sprinkle of sea salt.
They are also extremely simple to make. All you need to do is heat the liquid ingredients over the stove until they reach candy temperatures, roast and mix all of your nuts together with a puffed grain cereal of your choice, and combine, spreading the whole mixture together over a greased pan to cool. To me, that sounds easy enough - and perfectly satiating so that we never have to fight the hanger again.
Dark Chocolate Lightning Bars
(Adapted from "The Yummy Life")
1.5 cups of almonds
2 cups peanuts
3/4 cup walnuts
3/4 cup puffed cereal (we chose kamut)
1 tablespoon ground flaxseed
1/2 cup local honey
1/3 cup brown rice syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup dark chocolate chips
Several pinches of sea salt
2 tablespoons butter
1. Grease a 9 x 13 inch pan with 1 tablespoon of butter.
2. Roast all nuts in the oven until just toasted. Remove and let cool, before combining with puffed rice cereal.
3. Mix honey, brown rice syrup, vanilla, and a pinch of sea salt in a saucepan. Place over medium heat, and mix to combine. Using a candy thermometer, heat until about 260 degrees, whisking constantly. The mixture should be golden brown.
4. Working quickly, and carefully, pour the liquid over the mixed nuts and cereal, mixing until combined. Pour combined mixture over greased pan and flatten. Grease a rolling pin or mug and press the mixture down to remove any air and create a firm bar. Let cool completely.
5. Mix chocolate and remaining butter together, and put in the microwave for 30-45 seconds, checking and stirring so that the chocolate melts evenly. Drizzle over the bars, sprinkle with sea salt, and place in the refrigerator for another 20 minutes.
6. Remove pan, and using a good knife, slice the bars. To store, wrap in parchment paper and keep in an airtight container.