In honour of fathers dayThis recipe was created in honour Fathers Day, my own dad, and all of the other remarkable fathers of the world. Of all of the things I’ve picked up from my dad; how to change a tire, build a fire, and create something out of nothing from 2x4’s, the ultimate thing I’ve taken on as my fathers daughter, is a mad sweet tooth.
You could definitely say the manifestation of my wildly health conscious mom, combined with my sweets loving dad, created a hybrid me - who’s mission in life, among many, is to recreate sweets (and food) in a way as to promote living healthfully, vibrantly, lessening our footprint, whilst enjoying the heck out of life and all of the sweetness it has to offer.
So here’s to all the dads with a special place in their heart for sweets, the ones who’ve taught us so much, the important life skills, the ones with the awful yet awfully funny dad jokes, and all of the words of wisdom to life by, we wouldn’t be the humans we are today without you.
About the recipeOne of my dad's most loved treats are puffed wheat cakes - my adapted attempt at replacing this old favourite utilizes amaranth instead of puffed wheat. This gluten free grain, if you have yet to hear of it, is actually quite amazing. Sustainably speaking, amaranth can be grown in very dry conditions, and can be grown in almost any kind of soil - making it a excellent candidate to help combat food scarcity. To increase amaranth's nutritional appeal it contains 9g of protein per cup. This healthy take on "puffed wheat cake" travels well, contains no processed sugar or oil, and is rich in healthy carbohydrate sourced energy - making them a lovely companion on road trips, hiking expeditions, and casual lake side coffee dates.
Puffed Amaranth Squares
- ¾ cup dry (unpopped) amaranth
- ½ cup cashew butter
- 1 cup dates soaked in boiling water for 10 minutes
- ½ cup cocoa or cacao powder
- ¼ cup of almond mylk
- 1 tsp vanilla
- Heat a large pot to medium heat. Once you think its hot enough, sprinkle a few amaranth seeds in the pot, cover, and see if they pop. Once they're popping relatively quickly - this should take 15-30 seconds approximately - begin to pop the rest of your ¾ cup, 1-2 tablespoons at a time, covering off kilter with the lid as to let steam out so your amaranth is light and fluffy. You DO NOT want to put too much in at a time or some will not pop and the rest will burn. This process takes patience! - but is a really enjoyable in my opinion 🙂
- Meanwhile, have your dates soaking in hot water to soften. Once they're complete, in your high speed blender or food processor add your cashew butter, soaked dates, cocoa/cacao powder, almond mylk and vanilla. Process until quite smooth - occasionally scraping down the sides incorporate everything.
- Add your puffed amaranth into a very large mixing bowl, and add your sweet chocolate mixture. Using a spatula or wooden spoon, mix until all the amaranth is coated and you have a sticky ball. Put this ball into a parchment lined loaf pan and pack down quite firmly - the firmer, the more the squares will stay together! (I put a small piece of parchment in the pan width wise as to easily pull the "loaf" out - they don't stick very much at all so you don't need much and this paper can be reused afterwards!)
- Place your loaf pan in the fridge for a half hour or so to set. Once set and solid, you can take out and cut into squares of desired size!