Joyful Almond Superfood Squares (No Bake Recipe!)

Summertime in the Midwest USA feels nearly as hot as the surface of the sun. Or at least that’s how it feels. But sunshine and hot weather don’t eliminate my desire for decadent, sweet treats. The heat does discourage me from turning on my oven, though, so I decided it was time to put my mind to dreaming up a new “no bake” dessert/snack item that would fulfill my personal cravings.

When I first saw these No Bake Peanut Butter Chocolate Crispies on Oh She Glows, I thought they looked pretty darn good. I bookmarked the recipe and then forgot about them entirely until now. When I revisited Angela's recipe, I realized that I'd want to make a few big changes to satisfy my personal cravings. The trio of almonds, dark chocolate and coconut is my absolute favorite flavor combination. In fact, I think there’s something quite magical about the medley. Since I wouldn’t dare wrap my lips around an Almond Joy, I decided to make a sweet treat with a healthy spin.

In an effort to “health up” my summertime treat, I turned to my pantry and sought out a few handy superfoods to help me along. I grabbed two of my favorite staples: raw cocoa powder and chia seeds. (Well, the cocoa powder was in the pantry. I store my chia seeds in the freezer.)

Raw cocoa powder is a powerful antioxidant that promotes cardiovascular health. It also boosts neurotransmitters in the brain, like serotonin and endorphins, which act as a natural anti-depressant and just plain make you feel good.

Chia seeds are a smart choice, especially for treats, because they help you feel fuller, longer. Chia also boosts your energy without jittery side effects and is an abundant source of Omega 3 and fiber. Win, win, win.

Joyful Almond Superfood Squares (inspired by Oh She Glows)
Yield: 16

1/2 cup almond butter
1/2 cup agave syrup
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup unsweetened plain almond milk
1/2 cup sifted raw cocoa powder (like Navitas Naturals)
1/2 tsp salt
3 cups puffed millet (or any puffed grain)
1/4 cup chopped almonds
1 Tbsp chia seeds
1/3 cup chopped vegan dark chocolate (I like 80-85%)
1/2 cup shredded coconut
  1. Line an 8x8 or 9x7 baking dish with two sheets of parchment, one running in each direction and up the sides of the dish.
  2. In a medium saucepan on low heat, melt together the almond butter, agave, vanilla and almond milk. You may need to use a whisk to break up the almond butter.
  3. Stir in sifted cocoa powder and salt until just combined. The mixture will look thick, black and dense.
  4. Remove from heat and fold in puffed millet using a spatula. 
  5. Fold in almonds, chia seeds and chocolate pieces.
  6. Press the mixture into the baking dish as evenly as possible. 
  7. Sprinkle coconut on top and press down slightly with your hands. 
  8. Cover and freeze for about 45 minutes. Cut into squares and store in the fridge or freezer.

My recipe was originally published as a guest blog on The Silver Lining. Thanks, Derek!

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