Rainy skies for food photographers are the holy grail of natural lighting, and I couldn’t wait to shoot today because it looked like it would be pouring all day. I ran home from class in my shorts and t-shirt, just in case it was temporary, and at the precise moment I reached to pull these triple chocolate almond butter bars out of the freezer… sunlight! Soaking wet and sulking, I decided to shoot nonetheless. I’m decently happy with the pictures, and seeing as I can’t control the weather, here you go! I just couldn’t wait for another rainy day to shoot these because you NEED these triple chocolate almond butter bars in your life!
The last few nights I’ve been snacking on chocolate almond butter filled medjool dates, and this recipe was inspired by that! I almost just posted the medjool date boats (I would’ve covered them in chocolate too) but I decided to make these bars instead for a more filling snack. If you haven’t used raw buckwheat groats before, you’re in for a treat. Buckwheat flour is my go-to for gluten-free baking, and buckwheat groats are an awesome breakfast food. I like to soak them in water overnight, then drain and blend them with dates, vanilla and cinnamon the next morning. I first tried it after seeing this raw buckwheat porridge recipe on Oh She Glows!
Protein-rich and full of healthy fats, these gluten-free and vegan triple chocolate almond butter bars are sure to satisfy your chocolate cravings. I’m sure I don’t need to tell you guys all about the benefits of eating raw cacao but let’s just say that your body will literally love these ingredients. I like these bars a lot because they are filling and nutritious, one of those things that you can eat for breakfast, as a daytime snack or for dessert. The chocolate almond butter is unsweetened which sets a nice balance, as the crust is sweetened with dates and the raw chocolate is sweetened with unrefined coconut sugar.
- 1.5 cup pitted dates, medjool or soaked for 10 minutes in warm water
- ⅓ cup raw cacao powder
- 1.5 cup raw buckwheat groats
- Chocolate Almond Butter
- ¾ cup almond butter (raw preferable but roasted also fine, creamy or crunchy)
- 2 tbsp virgin coconut oil, melted
- 6 tbsp raw cacao powder
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ⅛ tsp pink himalayan salt
- ½ cup raw cacao butter, grated or finely chopped
- ½ cup raw cacao powder
- 3 tbsp unrefined coconut sugar or pure maple syrup
- 3 tbsp virgin coconut oil
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- Garnish with pink himalayan salt (optional)
- Blend crust ingredients until dates are broken up and sticky. Add more dates if not sticky enough.
- Add crust mixture into your form(s) and press down firmly. Place in freezer to harden.
- Mix chocolate almond butter ingredients in a bowl. Melt the coconut oil on low heat before adding. If using crunchy almond butter, you may also want to heat it up on low to make mixing easier.
- Spread chocolate almond butter evenly over the crust. Place in freezer to set.
- Bring water to a boil in a pot, and place a bowl on top of it. Lower the heat a little so its not boiling (just very hot). Add cacao butter to the bowl, let sit until melted. Once the cacao butter has melted, take the bowl off the pot and add coconut oil, cacao powder and coconut sugar.
- Pour chocolate evenly over the chocolate almond butter. Place in freezer to set.
- Once chocolate is fully set (about 30 minutes later), sprinkle with pink himalayan salt or sea salt. Store in fridge or freezer (will stay good for up to 2 weeks).
I had to stop myself from snacking on the crust mixture because it is insanely good! I always have buckwheat groats in my pantry because they can be used to sub any nut in most recipes. Unless the flavour of a particular nut is essential (like peanuts in peanut butter cups), you can usually use buckwheat groats instead in order to make a recipe less calorific or accommodate allergies. I personally develop a sensitivity to nuts when I eat too many, so I love having that as an option. As I didn’t want the bars to be too nut-heavy and I wanted a crispy crust, buckwheat groats made for the perfect ingredient.
I’m a huge reader and I never leave the house without my kindle, but I can’t emphasise enough how much I prefer to read physical books. Like, I want to have a library one day with all the books that have changed my life, highlighted and annotated and all. With the number of books I read at once and and the weight of the law school books I already carry day to day, it unfortunately just makes sense for me to purchase most books on my kindle. So I was ECSTATIC when I checked the mail yesterday and Robert Cialdini had personally sent me a copy of his book, signed by him and his wife! I had the pleasure of meeting them both during South by Southwest while I was working, and they are just the nicest people. Receiving the book made my day and I am soooo thankful!
I currently am lying in bed with the flu and I’m so glad my creativity kicked in before I was bedridden, since now I conveniently have these in the fridge for healthy snacking! These are seriously so good and I hope you guys decide to make them. Spending 25 minutes in the beginning of your week to make treats that will undoubtedly increase the quality of the rest of your week is toootally worth it 🙂