We hope you all had happy holidays and are off to a healthy new year! Laurel, Melissa, and I are excited to start our blog's fourth year and have lots in the works for 2016. To start off, we'll be posting a new recipe a day this first official week of January. Throughout the year, we'll continue to debut new and nutritious recipes and make some upgrades to our favorite classics (see the crispy squares recipe below). In February, Laurel wants you to join her in a food and fitness challenge. In March, Melissa will start teaching cooking classes in Nashville. In April, I'll start racing again...and you'll just have to follow along to see how we plan on making the most out of this new year.
Thanks again to our readers and followers for making this project such an enjoyable one.
Coconut Crispy Squares
4 cups brown rice crisps cereal
1 tablespoon coconut oil
½ cup coconut nectar
½ cup natural peanut butter (we used Nuttzo Original Peanut)
1 tablespoon honey
pinch of maldon sea salt flakes
1-2 tablespoons coconut chips, toasted
1 tablespoon semi-sweet chocolate chips, melted
In a large microwaveable bowl, melt the coconut oil. Add coconut nectar, peanut butter and honey to the bowl with the coconut oil and stir to combine. Put bowl back in the microwave and cook on high for 45 seconds. Stir mixture again, making sure the ingredients are well combined. Add cereal one cup at a time, stirring between additions to make sure all of the crispies are coated with syrup mixture.
Transfer mixture to a glass baking dish and firmly press into place. You may have to muscle it, but you want the mixture compact so it dosn't fall apart when you cut them. Sprinkle sea salt and coconut flakes evenly on top and press it into the bars.
Place melted chocolate into a small ziplock bag. Cut a small piece off the corner of the bag and use it like a pastry bag to "decorate" the top of the bars.
Chill the bars in the refrigerator for at least 15 minutes and then cut into squares using a serrated (or even a steak knife or pizza cutter) knife.
The size of the baking dish can vary - the smaller the dimensions, the thicker your squares will be. Lately I've been using a square pan, roughly 8x8".