I have to admit, I was never someone who was going to start the carob fan club until I discovered a little snack called “spirulina energy chunks” (at least I think that’s what they are called) in my bulk section at Whole Foods. I think I had been scarred over the years from all of the misleading “chocolate replacement” talk surrounding carob. Ordering something with carob, expecting chocolate, is shocking and disappointing. As you may know.
The only chocolate similarity is carob’s color and melt-ability. Carob has a raisin flavor, which I really like in certain instances, and this is one of them—it’s a breakthrough recipe, really.
I have always wanted to take a stab at making my own version of the “energy chunks.” These guys are similar, but I enjoy them more for their chewy texture and stronger salty sweet flavor. This recipe has made me really love carob. It’s a miracle.
Makes: approx 24, depends on size you cut them
Preparation Time: 15mins
Silicone spatula (ideal) or spoon
Glass casserole dish
Unbleached parchment paper
1 10oz pack vegan carob chips
1/2 cup wild-harvested honey
1/2 tsp Celtic or pink Himalayan sea salt
1/2 tsp organic vanilla extract or seeds from 1 vanilla bean (look for gluten- or alcohol-free if you have a sensitivity)
1 1/2 cups of organic, crisp (not puffed) brown rice cereal (look for gluten-free if you have a sensitivity)
1/2 cup raw, sunflower seeds (soaked and dehydrated are ideal)
1/2 cup sesame seeds (toast lightly for extra flavor)
1 cup raw, organic pumpkin seeds (soaked and dehydrated are ideal)
1 cup raw, organic cashews (soaked and dehydrated are ideal)
2 tbsp spirulina crystal flakes (Nutrex is my fave brand)
1 tsp coconut oil (any oil will do)
Let’s Get Started:
Lightly grease the casserole dish with oil and line with parchment—the oil helps it stick to the glass. Make sure that you have parchment going a bit above and beyond the edge of the dish. I usually have to use two long pieces of parchment, making sure that they overlap in the middle of the pan about 2 inches. You are going to use the parchment to lift out the mixture once it cools. It’s a trick that make the removal and cutting of the treats easier. Once lined, set aside.
In a saucepan over low heat, melt together carob chips, honey, salt and vanilla.
The mixture will be very thick and sticky.
While it melts together…
…chop up the sunflower seeds, cashews and pumpkin seeds and place in a large glass bowl.
Add spirulina, brown rice cereal, sesame seeds and toss until mixed well.
Now pour your carob mixture into the dry mixture and fold well. You may get a workout with this one.
Using the silicone spatula, press mixture into casserole pan and allow to cool to room temperature, or place in the fridge to expedite the cooling process.
Once mixture is cooled, lift your parchment paper out of the dish, set on a cutting surface and chop the chews into little squares or rectangles.
You can store in the pantry in an airtight glass jar, or in the fridge. Just allow to reach room temp before you eat them, they are called chews for a reason. It’s a delicious texture, you’ll see!