Hello, friends! Is anyone else in shock that it’s already July? I can’t believe it. June sort of flew by in a blur of midterms (I had TEN already, and one more to go before final exams start in the last week of July. I wish I were kidding). There was also plenty of great food consumed during the month of June – check out this great arugula salad with grilled halloumi, pesto pasta, and sautéed veggies.
One afternoon, I had a horrible headache and thought my head was going to explode! It was terrible; I’m normally not someone who gets headaches at all and feel so sorry for people who have regular migraines 😥
One afternoon, I went to Aroma Cafe. I’ve been there a few times before, and their soup and sandwich combination is always such a treat. This time, their soup was creamy cauliflower, and was definitely one of the Top 5 soups I’ve ever enjoyed. Creamy, rich, mushroom-y, with a touch of sweetness, this perfectly velvet-textured soup was unforgettable. My sandwich was turkey and harvarti with roasted red peppers and avocado on homemade sourdough.
For dessert, the owner of the cafe, a lovely woman called Kiki, made taiyaki, a sweet fish-shaped waffle filled with red bean. It’s a traditional Korean street food. I’ve never been to Korea, but I think Kiki nailed this recipe! It was such an enjoyable dessert. Next time, I want to buy some to take home and enjoy with ice cream!
Speaking of desserts, say hello to my new favourite. I made this recipe twice in a week, and enjoyed every single square myself. As you can see, I am pretty selfish when it comes to good food, especially desserts 😉
These taste the best straight out of the fridge, with a scoop of yogurt or some fruit. They are chewy, just-sweet enough, with a touch of saltiness, and great crunch from the nuts and richness from the nut butter binder.
Make these as soon as possible. I promise you won’t regret it! Oh, and don’t leave out the chocolate dip.
Crunchy Chocolate-Dipped Granola Bars
Makes 1 8×8 pan
- 1 cup (90 g) quick oats
- 1/3 cup (30 g) pecans
- 1/4 cup (28 g) flax
- 2/3 cup (49 g) shredded unsweetened coconut
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/3 cup (about 5) chopped prunes
- 2 Tbsp (32 g) nut butter
- 2 heaping Tbsp (45 g) melted coconut oil
- 1/4 heaping cup (60 ml) maple syrup
- 1/2 heaping cup (60 g) chocolate chips
- 1 heaping Tbsp (15 g) coconut oil
1.Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (176 C) and arrange oats and pecans on a bare baking sheet. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until slightly toasted. They shouldn’t be browned, just slightly toasted for more flavor. Reduce oven heat to 325 degrees F (162 C). The second time I made this recipe, I skipped this step, and it turned out fantastic as well.
2.In the meantime, add flaxseed, coconut, and salt to a large mixing bowl and stir. Set aside.
3.Once oats and pecans are toasted, add to the mixing bowl along with chopped prunes. Loosely stir to combine and set aside.
4.Add nut butter, coconut oil, and maple syrup to a small saucepan and bring to a low boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Then remove from heat and immediately add to the oats.
5.Mix thoroughly, ensuring that the prunes and the sunflower butter mixture are evenly dispersed and coating all of the dry ingredients.
6.Add the mixture to a parchment-lined 8×8-inch baking pan and spread into an even layer. Then top with another layer of parchment paper and press down with something flat – such as a measuring cup – to press into an even, uniform layer.
7.Bake at 325 degrees F (162 C) for 20-25 minutes or until the edges are golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool in the pan. Transfer to the freezer to speed cooling time.
8.Once cooled, lift out of the pan and slice into desired number of bars. I cut them into 16 squares, but I ended up eating two squares each time anyways. Maybe try 8 or 9 instead?
9.Melt chocolate and coconut oil in a small mixing bowl over a double boiler on the stovetop. Dip squares in chocolate and set on parchment paper to harden. Place in freezer. Once bars have dried/cooled, store in the fridge.