I hatched our first baby 3 months ago, and have been lucky enough to be able to breastfeed our baby this entire time.
But the side effect of this for me has been hunger. Big hunger. An appetite that rarely seems to says 'OK - I'm done now!'
Finding a healthful way to support my body, and thus support my growing baby, while also plugging the gap in my appetite has been a big challenge.
Healthy snacks are so hard to find here in Hong Kong, and so many 'healthy' snacks aren't actually when you read the label.
Sofie and Cristina had some wonderful suggestions and ideas on how best to nourish our post-baby bodies (as well as a heap of other helpful tips!).
This recipe was inspired by them.
Almond, Peanut Butter, Seed & Chocolate Bars
This recipe is refined sugar free and gluten free. You could also make it dairy free depending on your chocolate choice.
1.5 cups almond meal
1.5 cups dates (roughly 15 dates)
2/3 cup nut butter (we used peanut butter from the fantastic team at The Nutter Company)
1/4 cup maple syrup (or molasses was another great tip from Cristina if you have it)
1/2 cup flour of your choice (we used quinoa flour)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
pinch of salt
2 tablespoons seeds of your choice (we used chia, flax seeds would also be fantastic)
150gm dark chocolate
Put the dates into a food processor and blitz till pulpy. Add the peanut butter and pulse until combined into a thick kind of paste.
Tip the date/peanut butter combo into a bowl, and mix through with the almond meal & flour. I used my hands - it is so therapeutic:
Next add the maple syrup, vanilla extract and salt, stirring to bring together.
Line a tray with grease proof paper. It doesn't matter too much what size the tray is as the mix won't move around, even if the mix is smaller than the tray :
You want to end up with a base that is roughly square, and around 1cm deep:
Next sprinkle the seeds over the base:
And finally the really good stuff : chocolate!
(Use whichever method you prefer to melt your chocolate. I've always found the 'bowl over boiling water' thing a bit of a phaff. So instead I like to zap it in the microwave for 30 second intervals until it is quite soft, stirring as necessary to aid the process, being very careful not to over cook it!)
Pour the melted chocolate over the base and spread it evenly. The seeds will mix through the chocolate a little, making a lovely crunchy chocolate top layer:
Refrigerate for at least one hour, until firmly set. When ready slice into bars. If stored in in an airtight container in the fridge these will keep 1 week . . . . if they last that long!