It’s difficult to imagine life without our favourite food, or without a ‘common food’ (one that most would consider a “staple” in his or her diet). Although I have my share of allergies and intolerances, I consider myself pretty lucky to have nuts on my safe list.
My oldest and closest friend is allergic to peanuts and tree nuts, and it goes without saying I have always been on my best behaviour around her. I’m a bit of a peanut butter fanatic, and if you are like me you cannot imagine living without it. I don’t see her as often now but I automatically jump into my nut-free zone when I do. Another friend of mine from grade school was allergic to chocolate, and I would do the same thing.
It’s habitual. I believe that is what it ultimately comes down to when you are faced with food allergies, and it’s not at all a bad thing. It teaches us to be more mindful of others, and also to broaden our knowledge of the vast amounts of food out there—using carob instead of chocolate, or seed and coconut butters instead of nut butters. There’s a lot to learn about food!
If you follow me on Instagram, you have probably already seen these photos (by the way, thank you!) I was recently asked for the recipe, so here it is. It’s not nut-free, so I will not be serving these to my friend, but they are otherwise allergy-friendly. If you wanted to make them completely allergy-friendly you could use sunflower seed butter (if seeds are considered safe for you).
The best part about this recipe is that it is quick and easy to prepare (no baking required—woo!). The carob powder can easily be replaced by cocoa powder and you can use whatever sweetener you have on hand (agave, brown rice syrup, coconut syrup, date syrup, maple syrup, and even jam works!).
Peanut Butter-Carob Bites
vegan, gluten-free, soy-free, refined sugar-free
2 cups crispy rice cereal
1/3 cup natural peanut butter
1/3 cup liquid sweetener
5 Tbsp carob powder, sifted
1/4 cup virgin coconut oil, melted
1) Stir together peanut butter and sweetener; fold in rice cereal. It will look like there is not enough wet to cover it all, but it will! Just keep folding… Transfer mixture to a lined 8-inch square pan. Leave in the refrigerator or freezer to set a bit while you prepare the glaze.
2) For Glaze: In a small bowl, melt coconut oil. Sift and stir in the carob powder until you get a glaze (roughly the consistency of maple syrup).
3) Spread glaze evenly over top of the rice layer and put back in the fridge or freezer for a couple hours, until glaze is set and it is firm enough to slice through. Cut into bite-size squares and serve right away, or seal them up and keep in the fridge until you want to eat them.
Yield: 24 Bite-Size Squares