By Jonathan Doyle
We all have our favourite food we like to take out on adventures, but more often than not it probably isn’t the healthiest of options. They’re often full of processed sugar and fat, and while this is good for short term energy, it perhaps isn’t the best for you in the long run, no matter how tasty they are!
So what options do we have when it comes to high energy food which is relatively compact, but also better for you than your traditional sugary mountain snacks? One of our favourite sweet treats is our special salted caramel peanut butter slice. And yes, it really does taste as good as it sounds! It is a non-traditional caramel, using dates rather than condensed milk to considerably reduce the amount of processed sugar in the recipe as well as making it suitable for our vegan friends.
Preparation time: 25-40 minutes
Cooking time: 1 hour (setting time)
- 135g rolled oats or oat flour (1 & ¼ cups)
- 125g ground almonds (1 & ¼ cups)
- 75ml maple syrup (¼ cup & 1 tbsp)
- 20g coconut oil (2 tbsp)
- 1 ½ tbsp vanilla powder
- 350g pitted Medjool dates (roughly 19 dates)
- 150g smooth peanut butter (1 cup)
- 15g coconut oil (2 tbsp)
- ½ tbsp vanilla powder
- Pinch of salt
- 40g peanuts (½ cup [best toasted!])
- 30ml water (2 tbsp if needed)
- 180g dark chocolate
- 10g peanuts
Alternative raw chocolate topping:
- 115g coconut oil (½ cup)
- 50ml maple syrup (¼ cup)
- 60ml maple syrup (1/4 cup)
- 50g cacao powder (1/2 cup)
- 2 tsp vanilla powder
- A pinch of salt
What you will need
- Deep baking or brownie tray
- Food processor or blender
- Large bowl
Line your tin with baking parchment.
- If using oats, place them in a food processor and grind to a flour like consistency. If using oat flour, just add it to the blender.
- Add the rest of the ingredients and pulse until it binds together when you pinch it in your hand. If it is still too crumbly to hold together, add a small amount of water. If your blender is not very good (like mine), you can combine the ingredients by hand.
- Press into the tin and place it in the freezer to set while you make the peanut caramel filling.
Peanut Caramel Filling:
If you only have a basic blender, it may well struggle with the dates and peanut butter due to their thick sticky consistency. If this is the case for you, then you should chop the dates into smaller pieces with a pair of scissors and then squash them with a strong fork. When blending the ingredients together, just get right in there with your hands.
- Blend the pitted dates until they form a paste.
- Add the other ingredients, except for the whole peanuts, blending until a smooth caramel forms. If needed, add 20ml of water in splashes, the aim is to make it thick but spreadable.
- Toast the peanuts in a dry frying pan then add them into the blender and pulse a few times to combined with the caramel mixture. Don’t do this for too long if you still want there to be peanut chunks present for that extra crunch.
- Spread the caramel evenly across the base, and then return it to the freezer.
There are two options described for this recipe, the first is the quickest and easiest, however it does contain a good deal more refined sugar. The second option is a bit pricier but avoids that pesky sugar and therefore is somewhat healthier for you.
- Option 1 – Simple Chocolate topping:
- Melt some dark chocolate (place the chocolate into a glass bowl and place into a pan of boiling water to avoid burning it) and spread it evening across the other two layers.
- Blend the remaining 10g of peanuts and sprinkle them onto the warm chocolate for decoration.
- Finally return the slab to the freezer and leave it to set for at least an hour.
- Remove from the freezer 10-15 minutes before slicing to prevent it from cracking.
- Option 2 – Raw Chocolate Topping:
- Melt the Coconut oil in a small saucepan on a low heat.
- Once melted, whisk in the maple syrup and then add all the other ingredients. Whisk until you have a smooth and shiny chocolate.
- Pour the chocolate onto the other two layers and leave to set in the freezer for at least an hour.
- Remove from the freezer 10-15 minutes before slicing to reduce the amount of it cracking, in addition, cut the slices before removing it from the tin to help preserve their shape and to keep the filling in between the base and topping.
|Option 1 (per cube*)
|Option 2 (per cube**)
* when slicing the batch into 16 cubes.
** Values may vary depending on cube size and when looking at different nutrition source information.
As with our previous recipes, our salted peanut butter caramel slice is completely adjustable, so you can change it to include your favourite flavours or dietary requirements. For example, it works really well with a little cinnamon or you could use your favourite dried fruits or nuts both within the caramel and for decoration. Don’t be afraid to get creative!