My simple rule of thumb is this: If I can make it in my kitchen, using whole ingredients; it’s unprocessed. I can cook lentils and add carrots and onions and spinach to make a soup, so that’s unprocessed. I can blend fruits together to make a smoothie, so that’s unprocessed. I can bake a potato or cook corn, so that’s unprocessed. But I can’t make a Fruit Loop.
– from Unprocessed, by Chef AJ
Okay, so by Chef AJ’s definition, the recipe below has no place in an “unprocessed” kitchen. It’s a safe bet to say that I can’t make vegan marshmallow creme in my own home. So why am I including it here? When that little 10 ounce tub of the stuff whispered sweet nothings in my ear during a recent Whole Foods run, I couldn’t resist. I once really liked Rice Krispie treats, see. I don’t crave salt. What’s oil done for me lately? Nothing. No. It’s the sweet stuff that calls to me like a stranger lurking in the inky shadows of an alley saying, “Pssst….I’ve got what you need.” So, chocolate crispies seemed like a good send-off as I embark on a week of making and eating Chef AJ’s sugar-free, gluten-free, salt-free and oil-free creations.
Here’s the backstory. Recently I was contacted by Chef AJ who asked if I’d be interested in reviewing her book, Unprocessed: How to Achieve Vibrant Health and Your Ideal Weight. Interested?? Can you make dark chocolate pudding out of avocados?!! I was over-the-moon flattered and excited. Not only did she want me to review her book, she asked if I’d like to give away a copy of it to one of you lucky readers. That’s what I call a win-win situation. So the plan for the next week is: all of our meals will be from Chef AJ’s book. I’ll be sharing my thoughts and photos – and a couple of recipes – just to give you a taste of what you can expect from her simple, healthy way of eating. And stay-tuned for the giveaway (my first ever)…
Shameless plug: Incidentally, my girl Somer is the one who first turned me on to Chef AJ. If you haven’t already found Somer’s new blog, Vedged Out, please check it out and show her your support. I’m so proud of her!
Cocoa Puffed Rice & Kamut Crispies
Makes more than enough bars
2 tbsp. chia seeds
6 tbsp. fresh-brewed coffee or water
10 oz vegan marshmallow creme
1/4 cup cocoa
1/2 cup vegan chocolate chips
4 tbsp. hemp seeds
4 cups puffed rice cereal
4 cups puffed kamut cereal
Combine the chia seeds and coffee or water in a small bowl, stir and set aside until thickened. In a large bowl, combine the hemp seeds, puffed rice and puffed kamut cereals. Set aside. Prepare a 9″ x 13″ pan by lining it with parchment paper.
In a large saucepan, gently warm the marshmallow creme, cocoa and chocolate chips, stirring to thoroughly melt the chocolate chips. When the mixture is melted and combined, pour it into the cereal mixture and stir until all of the cereal is coated with the chocolate mixture.
Pour the cereal/chocolate mixture into the pan and place in the refrigerator until set. Cut into squares.
(These aren’t as solid as “normal” Rice Krispies – the ricemallow creme is a lot softer than marshmallows and there’s no butter to firm things up. Some excellent additions to these treats would be dried, tart cherries, raw cacao nibs, crystallized ginger or chopped nuts.)