3-Ingredient Peanut Butter Chocolate Cheerio Bars

Hello! It me. I bring to you another dessert recipe from Wisconsin since my flight to NYC was canceled this morning due to the wind! Blah. I suppose this means even more time to experiment with dessert recipes since I will no longer have the opportunity to stuff myself with Van Leeuwen vegan ice cream this weekend (my absolute fav).easy-vegan-3-ingredient-peanut-butter-chocolate-cheerio-bars

Now I will preface this recipe by acknowledging that I’m aware I did not break any culinary boundaries in creating these. And that’s fine. But these bars are beauties because they’re super duper easy and super duper delicious. They’re also vegan and gluten-free, if you’re into that kinda thing.

They’re also highly addictive. My mom ate like 3/4th of the tray in one sitting. We are definitely related. Chocolate is a food group, according to us. vegan-3-ingredient-peanut-butter-chocolate-cheerio-bars

So a lil history on these bars: they came about because as a constantly-on-a-budget TJs fanatic, I am always looking up ways to create cheap after-dinner sweet snacks. In grad school I starting buying bags of chocolate chips for $1.99 (yup, TJ’s chocolate chips are vegan) and boxes of TJ’s Joe’s O’s (which are the Trader Joe’s equivalent of Cheerios) also for $1.99. I would mix chocolate chips and Joe’s Os in a wee little bowl and nibble on the mixture while studying.

The mix is a bit sweet, a bit carby, chocolatey, and crunchy. It’s highly satisfying, easy-to-prepare, and cheap as can be! It really stretches out a bag of chocolate chips, and has the added bonus that Joe’s O’s are decently not-too-shabby-for-you, making it a snack that’s easy to eat every night without feeling icky.

Then one day last month, I  was making puppy chow for my sister when she was in town, and I ventured to the grocery store to get a box of Chex. And then I got home and saw my Cheerios and I was like…I wonder if….!

And so this month, I tried it. I basically used the puppy chow idea (melted chocolate + pb) with Cheerios in place of Chex, but pressed them into a pan instead of coating them with powdered sugar.vegan-gluten-free-3-ingredient-peanut-butter-chocolate-cheerio-bars

The result is a crunchy, easy peasy snack that satisfies any crunchy chocolate peanut butter craving. They’re just damn good and damn delicious.

Anyways, without further audieu, I present to you…

3-Ingredient Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheerio Bars [Vegan & Gluten-Free]vegan-3-ingredient-peanut-butter-chocolate-cheerio-bars-gf

Prep Time:  10 mins
Cook Time:0 mins, but require at least 20 minutes refrigeration
Total Time: ~30 minutes
Servings: 12 bars

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups plain Cherrios or Joe’s O’s
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • sea salt (optional)

Method:

  1. Grease a 12″x12″ inch pan.
  2. In a large microwave safe bowl, heat chocolate chips in the microwave in 30 second increments until almost melted (roughly 90 seconds – 3minutes). When chips are almost melted, add peanut butter and microwave an additional 30-60 seconds, until chips are fully melted and peanut butter is melty.
  3. Stir chocolate peanut butter mixture. Add cereal. Toss to coat cereal in chocolate mixture.
  4. Press into prepared pan.
  5. Place bars into the refrigerator or freezer until set, at least 20-30 minutes.
  6. Slice and enjoy.

Salted Avocado Toast with Radishes and Sliced Lemon

I’m going to keep this quick because my life is an exploding hot mess of busy these days. More on this in tomorrow’s post. Stay tuned.

Avocado Iron Salt Toast

Now moving on to HAPPY THINGS. Like the fact that my dog is still cute. And the fact that salt exists. I love salt. Salt is arguably the greatest flavor enhancer of all times. It’s like the auto-tune of food.

iron salt avocado toast with lemons and radishes

Let’s also talk about iron, shall we? As a vegan, people always give me that annoying “BUT HOW DO YOU GET ANY PROTEIN?” stuff and I roll my eyes back into my head so far I can see my brain. Besides whole grains, nuts, vegetables (kale has 3 grams protein per cup!), tofu, etc etc, it’s truly not a concern. More concerning for vegans? B Vitamins and iron. At least according to my nutrition professors and to my opinion.

iron salt avocado toast with lemons & radishes

I actually do make an effort to get enough iron and B vitamins from foods. And so when my friend John approached me with this cool Iron Salt he’d created, I thought it was awesome. Each 1/4 teaspoon has 10% DV of salt. And as a bonus it’s pretty and pink and tastes great. COOL. I love it. And no I’m not just saying that. I’m a woman of honesty. And it’s also made in Brooklyn, which instantly makes it trendy and hip. #cool

iron salt avocado toast with lemons and radishes

Anyways, I made some recipes with the stuff and genuinely do love the product! You can order it here.Look out for some of my recipes that will be popping up on the Iron Salt Blog, which I’ll also share here. The first of which is this Salted Avocado Toast with Radishes and Sliced Lemon. It’s satisfying, tangy, creamy smooth, and totally rad (not just rad-ish ;-)). The radishes add a nice sharp flavor, and the lemon makes them sparkle. The Iron Salt brings it all together by highlighting each flavor, tying them all together, adding a nice crunch, and obviously, making it look really pretty.  It’s a nice way to mix up your avocado toast game. Enjoy! HAPPY SALT!

Avocado Iron Salt Toast 3

Salted Avocado Toast with Radishes and Lemon

This toast is refreshing, different, and filling, yet light. The Iron Salt highlights the earthy flavors of avocado, while the radishes and lemon provide an intriguing and fresh flavor contrast. An delightful dish for breakfast or as part of a light lunch, this toast is truly a nutritional powerhouse. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil if desired. If you don’t have radishes or lemon on hand, sub fresh tomatoes and basil, or cilantro with red peppers and lime juice.

Serves one.

Ingredients:

  • 1 slice whole-grain bread or gluten-free bread
  • ⅓ avocado
  • 2 radishes
  • ¼ of a small lemon
  • ½ teaspoon Iron Salt, divided
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil (optional)

Directions:

  1. Toast bread.
  2. In a small bowl, mash avocado and add ¼ teaspoon of Iron Salt. Spread on toast.
  3. Thinly slice radishes and lemon. Layer radishes and lemon on toast. Garnish with remaining iron salt. Drizzle with additional lemon juice and olive oil, if desired.
  4. Enjoy

Papaya Mango Coconut Tropical Cream Pie

The other night I had a crazy wild fun dream that I made a mini pie. As a result of this magical dream, I couldn’t stop thinking about a mini pie for a full 36 hours, which prompted me to go to Crate and Barrel and buy not one, but two mini pie dishes. Hashtag why buy one mini pie dish when you can have two?!

Vegan Papaya Mango Coconut Tropical Cream Pie.

I mean, how could I not? JUST LOOK AT THEM. I even took an iPhone foto to document the cuteness/brag about my purchases.

Screen Shot 2015-06-20 at 10.35.36 PM

This pie trip was actually super appropriate and justifiable because 1) I love pie and mini things and 2) The Recipe Redux challenge for the month of June was “Pie Love.”

I love me a good pie. I mean, really, who doesn’t like pie?Pie is for everyone; it is truly a food for the people. And pie can be oh so many different things – sweet or savory, fluffy or dense, chocolatey or fruity, or even veggie packed and dinner-appropriate. Pie is a food of many hats, you could say.

Papaya Mango Tropical Coconut Cream Pie - Vegan & Gluten Free!

I wanted to make a sweet pie because sweet I’m a dessert queen. At first I was going to make a fruit-filled pie. And then I did. It was peach and blueberry with a crumble topping. It was great. I ate it all in 24 hours. It’s likely that it’s recipe will pop up soon right here on kbaked.com. But then I next had a hankering for a cream pie. A fluffy, wonderful pillowy refreshing pie for summer. One you could hypothetically place your head down to sleep on, should you desire.

Vegan Papaya Mango Coconut Tropical Cream Pie.

Cream pies are a little bit less common for those who are dairy-free to come across. So I also enjoyed the additional challenge of dreaming one up and executing it. I used canned coconut cream as a substitute for heavy whipping cream. This works magically. There are a million recipes for coconut whipped cream on the internet, so I”m not going to pretend like I made it up. If you’ve never had coconut whipped cream, you should give it a whirl. Google “coconut whipped cream” recipe and make some. Side note: it’s delightful with berries.

Papaya Mango Coconut Cream Pie - Vegan & Gluten Free

I bought my coconut cream at (surprise surprise) Trader Joe’s for $1.49. Damn good deal. Also a good deal is the $2.99 papayas we have had in recently. Papayas have been such a nice change of pace for me as far as fruit goes. It’s like this creamy buttery mellow flavored tropical melon. Gimme.

Papaya Mango Tropical Coconut Cream Pie - Vegan & Gluten Free!

Papaya basically has the word “pie” in it, so I figured why not put it in a pie. And then I decided to add some mango for extra sweetness and a tropical flavor punch. The result is a wonderful fluffy and refreshing pie which is light and airy and fluffy and reminiscent of sitting on a beach in Cabo or something. Or sitting on your porch in Suburbia, WI. Basically the same thing right? right.

Papaya Mango Coconut Tropical Cream Pie. Vegan.

If you need something to lighten your spirits, tantalize your taste buds, or just something plain different to mix up the summertime dessert routine, I suggest you make this pie. Pro tip: tastes great with a whole lotta berries and a little extra crushed up graham cracker on top. Enjoy 🙂

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Chill Time: at least 1 hour
Level: easy

makes one pie serving 6-8, easily halved for a mini pie

Ingredients – Crust:

  • 10 graham crackers (about 1 + 1/2 sleeves) –> for gluten-free, use gluten-free graham crackers or other plain crispy cookies
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 6 tablespoons coconut oil, melted

Ingredients – Pie Filling:

  • 1 can coconut cream refrigerated at least 2 hours, preferably overnight. —> (coconut cream is available at Trader Joe’s. If you do not have a Trader Joe’s in your area, simply take a can of full fat coconut milk and place in the fridge overnight. remove solid fat portion from can for pie)
  • 1/2 large papaya (about 1.5-2 cups cubes)
  • 1 cup cubed mango (frozen or fresh)
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 cup shredded coconut for garnish (optional)

Directions:

1. In a food processor, pulse graham crackers into crumbs. If you don’t have a food processor, place in a ziplock bag and smash with a wooden spoon or rolling pin until crumbs form. Pour into a medium bowl and add sugar. Mix.

Vegan Papaya Mango Coconut Tropical Cream Pie

2. Melt coconut oil and add to graham crumbs. Mix well. Pour graham mixture into a pie dish and press into bottom and edges. Place in the refrigerator to set.

Coconut Whipped Cream  - Vegan

3. In a food processor or blender, combine cubed papaya and mango. Puree until smooth. Add sugar and puree again.

Vegan Papaya Mango Coconut Tropical Cream Pie.

4. In a large bowl using an electric beater, whip solid coconut fat from a can until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Gently fold in papaya and mango puree mixture until just combined. Pour into pie dish with graham crust. Garnish with shredded coconut if desired. Place in fridge to chill for at least an hour. Enjoy :-D.

For more Pie Love from fellow Recipe Redux members, click around below: