Simple Flair

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I am all about the simple things.

Don’t get me wrong—I love to plan elaborate menus and create fancy dishes, but when it comes down to food… for myself, I prefer simplicity.

Maybe to some extent we are all like this. One might blame it on laziness, but rather than that, I think simple food is closer to the heart and this is exactly why we opt for it.

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You can give anything simple a dash of flair by adding little bits and pieces. That’s the beauty of garnishing, and of layers, and of colours!

If these squares did not have this delicious date caramel topping, they would look rather plain (still delicious, but plain). You could even add a design on top, or a drizzle of melted carob chips, perhaps.

That is why one finds coloured sprinkles on a simple vanilla cupcake charming—the pop of colour gives it that je ne sais quoi!

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Do you have a favourite simple dish you like to prepare for yourself? I find I keep coming back to mixed greens with avocado and lemon juice. Simple can be so fulfilling!

Carob Millet Crunch Squares with Date Caramel Topping

vegan, gluten-free, nut-free, soy-free, corn-free, refined sugar-free

Base:

3 cups puffed millet cereal
1/2 cup carob powder, sifted
1/3 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup organic coconut oil, melted

Date Caramel:

12 Medjool dates, pitted
about 1/2 cup filtered water
Sea salt, to taste

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For base: melt the coconut oil in a large bowl; stir in maple syrup and sifted carob until you get a smooth syrup. Add millet to the bowl and fold to combine (mix well, but gently!).

Press carob-millet mixture evenly into the bottom of an 8-inch square pan lined with wax or parchment paper. Stick it in the fridge while you prepare the caramel.

For date caramel topping: In the bowl of a food processor, puree the dates on medium-low, gradually add the water, a little at a time, until you get a thick, pale, homogenous paste. This can take  a few minutes, but it’s important to puree properly (unless you would like lumps of dates in your paste).

Smooth the caramel evenly over top of the base. Stick the pan back in the fridge for 30-60 minutes, until chilled and set. Slice and serve. Keep leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge.

Yield: 16 squares

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