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Unless otherwise noted, all recipes on this blog are free of gluten, peanuts, soy, corn, tomatoes, potatoes, shellfish, cane sugar, oranges, and yeast. Most recipes are also free of egg, dairy, and tree nuts (if used, reliable substitutions will be provided for these when possible). Check out my recipe index for a full list of recipes by category. 

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Sunday
Mar282010

Carob Crunchies (gluten free, vegan, ACD)

I can't stop making these little things! Carob makes it chocolaty without chocolate, cashew butter makes it rich without dairy, and a little flax oil adds a tasty nutty flavor and lots of good omega fatty acids.  If it these little gems have omegas, then I can consider it a healthy treat and not just dessert!  Finished off with some crunchy rice cereal and a little stevia, these are tasty, crunchy, sweet treats that are sure to satisfy!

Carob Crunchies are the perfect thing to whip up if you need a quick treat to take along to parties and potlucks.  They are also super kid-friendly and easy enough that your kids could make them on their own!  Make a batch for book club, make a batch for girls' night in, make a batch for your kids' sleepover party.  Hell, make a batch for yourself and eat them shamelessly while watching Law & Order SVU reruns on Netflix (my usual M.O.).  Late night chocolate cravings, meet your match.

Hey, these would also be great as part of an Easter basket!  I am not sure that I will be able to get around to the whole Cadbury egg recipe that I had mentioned in my previous Easter Candy post. As much as I'd like to make them, the shell is giving me a bit of trouble, and I  can only spend so much money on ingredients that keep not working out!  Plus, my egg candy mold pan I got on eBay for $5 is getting shipped to the incorrect address, so I won't even be able to try that out!  Boo!  My Cadbury dreams for Easter are fading away, I am sorry to say. Sometime I'll figure it out, and when I do, I'll post it, even if it is in the middle of July or something.

I'll try to post some other kind of sugar-free, allergy-friendly Easter treat later this week, I'll see what I can do!

As for these tasty treats, you can vary this basic recipe a million ways.  If you don't do crispy rice cereal, you could substitute chopped nuts or seeds, or shredded coconut.  You could use flavored stevia liquid to sweeten (I particularly like this with English Toffee flavored stevia).  You could swap out nut or seed butters - or even use coconut butter - if you don't tolerate cashews.  The flax oil help thin out  the cashew butter enough to mix everything together; without it the mixture is pretty solid, hard to stir, and you crush all the crispy rice.  A thinner nut butter - like tahini - might not require flax oil.  If you don't want to use flax, try melted coconut oil, hemp oil, or even a little high quality olive oil.  

Okay, I'm off to eat an entire batch of these now while indulging my TV star girl crush on Agent Olivia Benson.  Not really, just kidding; my last batch was gone a couple of days ago...but rest assured, these will be made again soon, and indulged in ravenously!

Carob Crunchies

Yield: 8 "crunchies" | Active time: 10 minutes | Total time: 10 minutes

Sweet, crunchy, and oh so good, these are guilt-free, sugar free, and totally delicious!  If you prefer to eat grain-free, you could substitute finely chopped nuts or seeds or shredded coconut for the brown rice cereal.  These can be kept at room temperature, but they soften, so store in the refrigerator for a firmer truffle.  

2-3 Tbsp carob powder (or cocoa powder)

1/4 cup cashew butter (or other seed/nut butter)

6 Tbsp crispy brown rice cereal + 1/4 cup for rolling

2 tsp flax oil (or melted coconut oil or hemp oil)

10-15 drops stevia liquid (unflavored, or choose a flavor of your choice - I like it with English Toffee!), or a tiny pinch of stevia extract powder, to taste

Place cashew butter in a bowl with carob, stevia, and flax oil and stir to combine, until mixture is smooth and well mixed.  Add 6 Tbsp crispy rice cereal and stir gently until mixed.

Sprinkle about 1/4 cup of rice cereal into a bowl or small plate.  Scoop out heaping teaspoonfuls (about 1-inch diameter) and roll into a little ball, then roll in crispy rice cereal to cover.  If you don't want the crispy rice coating, you could also roll in carob powder, shredded coconut, powdered goji berries, or finely chopped nuts.

SErve immediately, or chill in the refrigerator until more firm.  Enjoy!

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Reader Comments (13)

I've been craving rice crispie treats, and I think these are going to be the healthiest replacement I'll find, though they're nothing like them (better! because chocolate or carob + nut butter = YUM) but the crunch will satisfy the craving.

Oh, and I may or may not have spent my Friday night watching Law & Order: SVU reruns on Netflix.

March 28, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterHeather

These sound fantastic! What kind of rice cereal did you use? All the kinds I have seen list cane sugar as an ingredient.

March 28, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSavanna

These look yummy. I'm guessing the time will be a lot longer if a three year old is "helping"

March 28, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterglutenfibrofree

Heather - glad to know that you may - or may not - have the same evening plans that I do. :)

Savanna - i like Erewhon brand Gluten Free Crispy Brown Rice Cereal - it is very lightly sweetened with brown rice syrup, and is totally GF. While I normally stay away from using sweeteners most of the time, there is less than 1 gram of sugar per 1 cup serving of the cereal - so I'm not too worried about sugar content. Use your own judgement! Here is the link tot he Erewhon product page: http://tinyurl.com/yhzh3hz

March 28, 2010 | Registered CommenterKim @ Affairs of Living

Ooh, yummy! I've got all these things at home RIGHT NOW. May have to whip some up tomorrow on my day off ;-)

March 28, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterA-K

Hi Kim,

Just wanted to let you know I tagged your blog in my post "10 things that make me happy". I absolutely love your blog and wanted to thank you for being such an inspiration! You are so great!

Sarah

March 30, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSarah

You are amazing, my wonderful sister! =)

Love you and keep up the great work =D

March 31, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKyle

Perfect treat to make this weekend! I think perhaps chocolate really HAS met its match! ;)

April 1, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterRicki

Hey, I'm really glad I found this blog! Thanks so much for posting these recipes, especially sugar-free and ACD recipes. It's a lifesaver.

The carob crunchies are fantastic! I made them with tahini, plus I added powdered xylitol and eased up on the stevia. They really do taste close to dark chocolate!

Keep up the great work!

Christina

April 30, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterChristina

hey! do you know if cocoa powder is dairy free? all the ingredients say is "cocoa powder" so I was not sure since I know chocolate has dairy. Thanks! I hope I can make these :) It is hard to find any treats that do not contain dairy, yeast, milk, or gluten so I am crossing my fingers.
thanks for your help and thanks for the great site :)

May 15, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLymie2

hey again..ok so i just read that cocoa powder has caffiene. So i am thinking since that is bad for lymies i should go look for some carob powder...hopefully it will be gluten, dairy, and yeast free. Oh, and I recently got that English toffee stevia and i am in LOVE with it. I put a little on my steel cut oatmeal in the morning with some cinnamon and it taste like "molasses"--or as close i can get these days!

thanks!
Julie

May 15, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLymie2

Both cocoa and carob are free of yeast, gluten, dairy, eggs, etc etc etc. Cocoa does have some caffeine and it is acid-forming, so yes, it can be inflammatory for many people. You'll have to test how you react. It is generally something that is not advised for people on many anti-inflammatory diets and by many Lyme practitioners - it is the one thing that I allow myself to break the rule on from time to time. :) Carob powder/flour is great though and I use it more often. It is also naturally sweet, so you don't need as much sweetener. No caffeine and more alkaline than cocoa. Carob is also naturally strengthening to the digestive tract, which most of us Lymies need, right? I hope you like the crunchies!

hey again. I finally found carob powder. but it said "roasted" carob so I did not know if that was ok. I had read before that when nuts are roasted for example it might not be gluten free. any thoughts? what do your ingredients say on the carob powder package?
thank you for your help! I love this site :)

Oh, also a while back when you went on a trip to NY you blogged about the food you ate. There was something you made to eat at the airport that was chilled. But I cannot find it on here now. LOL Now that it is super hot down here in the south I need some travel foods that are cold. In the winter I always did soups. If you have any thoughts of recipes you have done that would be so helpful.

again, thanks ahead of time! Also that Lyme book looks very interesting, I will have to see how long it is becuase my brain can't handle a big read these days.

THANK YOU :)

June 12, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLymie2
Sorry, no comments/questions allowed right now.
Hi reader! My schedule as full-time grad student with two part-time jobs doesn't allow me the time to manage comments. I hope you enjoy what you find and can figure out answers to any questions you may have. xo