An unexpected package came last week from Navitas Naturals….in it was the simply stunning cookbook Superfood Kitchen: Cooking with Nature’s Most Amazing Foods, by Julie Morris, that came out this winter. Tucked in with it was a package of Sweetened Cacao Nibs, a boozy tasting chocolate treat. I have a huge love affair going on with their products, of which if you have a local Whole Foods, you can find a vast assortment of their products. Julie’s book uses a range of the ‘super foods’ that Navitas carries, although there are of course other sources, I happen to like Navitas due to the freshness and quality.
I snuck away and sank into the book, my mind dreaming of trying the recipes, inspired by the lush photography. The book is simply gorgeous. Plant-based diet, superfood heaven. Julie walks one through what a ‘super-food’ is, how to use them and why you should even care about them. If you love this way of eating, you must read this cookbook! There is a range of recipes, from to cooked, breakfast to dessert.
I tried out two recipes, one from the breakfast section, the other from desserts. The Raw Brownies I knew I would love, the Lemon Coconut Breakfast Bars I wasn’t sure about, but I decided to take a chance. They were simply amazing. Somewhere between oatmeal heaven and a portable bar. The lemon is so intense and fresh. Gluten-free, vegan and did I mention delicious? And oh yeah, they are great warm, but the next morning for breakfast, cold? Oh wow. These will be a staple in the ‘frig.
Lemon Coconut Breakfast Bars
- 1½ Tbsp Chia Seeds
- 3 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 1 cup oat flour (see notes)
- ½ tsp baking powder
- Pinch of fine sea salt
- ¾ cup + 2 Tbsp shredded natural coconut
- 2 Tbsp fresh lemon zest
- 2 Tbsp organic coconut oil, melted
- 2 Tbsp unsweetened applesauce, preferably organic
- ¼ cup liquid sweetener (used Lil’ Shuga), pure maple syrup or agave nectar
- ½ cup Medjool dates, pitted and packed (about 5 to 7)
Preheat oven to 300°, lightly grease an 8×8″ glass baking pan with extra coconut oil.
In a small bowl, mix chia seeds and lemon juice together. Set aside for 20 minutes to allow chia seeds to become saturated and bulk, stirring once halfway through.
Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, mix together the oat flour, baking powder, salt and ¾ cup coconut flakes. Sprinkle in the lemon zest and nix again until distributed. In a separate bowl, combine the coconut oil, applesauce and sweetener. Mix in the soaked chia seeds. Chop the pitted Medjool dates very finely, and mix in with the other et ingredients. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry, and stir until blended. Spread the mixture into the prepared baking pan, using a spatula to flatten out the surface. Sprinkle the remaining 2 Tablespoons of coconut on top, patting it down lightly into the mixture.
Bake for 25 to 33 minutes, until the edges begin to turn golden brown.
While warm, cut into 16 squares. Let cool a bit before removing. Store covered in the refrigerator. Eat warm or cold, both are delicious.
Makes 16 squares.
I used the whole chia seeds called for, they bake up nicely. However, if you are not used to them or don’t like how they can be crunchy/sticky, feel free to grind them in a spice mill before soaking.
Oat flour? Simply grind oats you have on hand and enjoy. Old-fashioned or 1-minute oats can be ground with a mini food chopper, oat groats grind up in a grain mill or Vitamix dry container. For gluten-free, buy oats certified, Bob’s Red Mill is a good choice.
The recipe called for maple syrup or agave nectar, I used Lil’ Shuga, a blend of organic cane and stevia. I found it wonderful for baking!
No-Bake Brownies (adapted from page 187)
- 1 cup raw walnut pieces
- 1 cup Medjool dates, pitted and packed
- ½ cup Raw Cacao Powder or cocoa powder
- Pinch sea salt
- ¼ to ½ cup Cacao Nibs Sweetened or small chocolate chips
Line a 8×8″ pan with plastic wrap or parchment paper.
Place walnuts in a food processor and grind to form a course flour. With the machine running, add pitted dates, cacao powder and salt, processing until a moist, crumb-like dough has formed. If your dates were on the drier side, you may need to add a little water. Start with a teaspoon and process in, so that the crumbs of the dough stick together when pinched.
Spread crumbs in prepared pan, pack down firmly to compact. Sprinkle with cacao nibs, press down. Decorate with walnut halves, if desired.
Chill, then remove from pan by pulling up wrap, and cut into squares. Store in refrigerator, in an airtight container.
A certain small toddler helping himself…..
FTC Disclaimer: We received a review copy and products used in these recipes.