Two Hikers on Horseback - Chocolate Amaranth Bars (vegan & paleo)

What are they like?

-deliciously chewy

-packed with cocoa, cinnamon, and pecans

This photo is a picture of traditional Alegria. The recipe below includes cocoa and pecans.

This photo is a picture of traditional Alegria. The recipe below includes cocoa and pecans.

 

Recipe

These bars are are 5-ingredient, vegan, paleo, dairy free, and of course gluten free. They are a variation on the Mexican candy Alegria which calls for popped amaranth. It can be made with different spices, nuts or seeds. It is also generally made with honey and sugar, but the coconut nectar pairs nicely with the chocolate.

Make ahead, 5-ingredient, Paleo, Vegan, Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Nut free, Stove-top, No-bake

2/3 cup amaranth (see note)
1/3 cup chopped pecans (or substitute 1/4 cup sesame seeds for nut free)
1/2 tsp cinnamon (optional)
1/8 tsp salt
1/4 cup coconut nectar or honey*
1 1/2 tbsp cocoa powder

Directions:

  1. Heat a large, deep pot over medium heat until it is quite hot, for about one and a half minutes. Sprinkle one tablespoon of amaranth into the pan and place the lid on the pan. Remove the pan from the heat and swirl every few seconds to keep the amaranth from burning. You will hear the amaranth popping. Once the popping slows down, pour the amaranth into a medium bowl and repeat the process until you have 1 cup of amaranth. Not all of the amaranth will pop and that is okay.

  2. Stir the cinnamon into the amaranth.

  3. Add the coconut nectar (or honey) to a microwavable measuring cup. Heat for about twenty seconds until it is warm. Whisk in the cocoa powder and salt.

  4. Pour the mixture over the amaranth and stir to combine. Stir in the pecans.

  5. Spoon the mixture onto a 12x12 piece of parchment paper or reusable wax cloth. Using your hands and the parchment paper, press the mixture into a square shape about 1/2-inch thick. Allow it to rest two hour to one day. The longer you let the bars rest the better they will hold together. The bars can be stored in a sealed container for about three days.

Notes:
If you’ve never popped amaranth, you may want to have two bowls. The first time I made it, I burned a tablespoon or two and you can pour the burned batch into a separate bowl. You will most likely end up using about 1/2 cup of the amaranth to make 1 cup of popped amaranth.

If you serve these bars an hour after they are made they won’t hold their shape. If you need them to be ready to serve within an hour substitute 1/4 cup sugar for 1/4 cup of the honey. Heat the honey and the sugar in a small sauce pan to 250F/120C before adding the cocoa and pouring over the amaranth.

*Honey is not vegan

Lavender Oat Cookies (Vegan)

What are they like?

-delicate lavender aroma (optional)

-crunchy

-packed with whole grains

Depositphotos_83409202_l-2015.jpg
 

Recipe

These are deliciously crunchy and can be flavored with your favorite extract. They are also not too sweet and packed with whole grains.

Makes about 14 cookies, prep 10 min, cook time ~12 min with two trays

1 1/2 cups whole oats or oat flour, 167g
3/4 cup teff flour, 140g
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup sugar, 92g
1/3 cup rice milk, 82g
1/2 cup olive oil, 95g
1/2 tsp lavender extract, or to taste (optional)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375F/190C.  

  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flours, salt, baking powder, and sugar. Stir in the oil. Then add the rice milk and extract and stir until incorporated. The dough will be fairly wet. 

  3. Roll into 1 1/2 tablespoon sized rounds. Place two inches apart on a cookie sheet. Flatten the cookies with your fingers or a spatula to desired thickness (about 1/3 inch or 1/2 cm).

  4. Bake for about 10-12 minutes, until the cookies start to brown on the outside and bottom. (Oven temperatures vary so watch them closely.) 

  5. Allow the cookies to cool completely and then store in an airtight container. These cookies are also excellent dipped in chocolate. 

Notes:

If you like, you can substitute another flavor of extract. 

The Best Molasses Cookies

What are they like?

-crispy on the outside, chewy on the inside

-warm molasses-spice flavor

the best dairy free gluten free molasses cookies
 

Recipe

These cookies are an adapted version of the molasses cookies from The New Portuguese Table by David Leite. I could say more, but I think I will sum it up this way: they are awesome. They are crips on the outside and chewy on the inside.

dry
2 cup flour mix, 260g
2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp cloves
1/8 tsp fennel
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp fine sea salt

wet
3/4 cup plus 2 tbsp oil, such as olive or canola, 165g
1 cup sugar, 200g
1/4 cup molasses, 70g
1 large egg, 52g

2/3 cup walnut pieces  

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F/175°C. In a large bowl whisk together the dry ingredients. 

  2. In another large bowl whisk together the oil, molasses and sugar. Then whisk in the egg. 

  3. Pour the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and mix together just until most of the flour is incorporated. Then stir in the walnut piece. Do not over-stir. 

  4. Form balls that are about two tablespoons of dough and place on a cookie sheet three inches apart so they have room to spread. Bake for about 12 minutes, or just until the cookies begin to brown on the edges. This dough is dark so look carefully! 

    Enjoy!