I’m going to just come out and say it: these are bladdy tasty. As in, nommmm – you know that feeling when you put something in your mouth and suddenly time slows down and it just rolls over your tongue and your eyes roll back? Yeah. I’m not very objective, obviously, since this was made purely to satisfy a range of cravings I’ve been having, but there you go.
The real reason I made these was to carry on with my mission of using up all the ingredients that have been taunting me by bedtime (for a number of reasons, which we’ll get into below). Peanut butter is actually the star of the show and my torment, but I’ve decided to embrace it in small bite-sized bits, because as lovely as it is to eat it by the tablespoon, it’s not completely satisfying. This treat? Satisfying, delightful, indulgent, and not entirely bad for you either (in fact, with natural products, I’d go so far as to say not at all!)
Does that look dangerous to you? A completely innocent snack! My mind, however, isn’t innocent, and I had very sassy thoughts about how much I am crushing on this mixture of divine ingredients.
Ingredients (makes 12 small bites):
- 1/2 cup buckwheat flour
- 1/2 cup dried apricots, soaked
- 1/2 cup peanut butter (no salt or sugar added)
- 3 TBSP macadamia nut butter
- 1/4 cup agave
- 2 TBSP blackstrap molasses
- 60g dark chocolate (approximately 3/4 cup baking discs)
- 1/4 cup salted peanuts, crushed
- 3 TBSP prune puree
Note: I made this in a loaf pan because I was scared it would be too flat in an 8″ square pan, but you can actually use the sqaure pan – then you don’t have to cut the blocks so small for modesty’s sake (though I promise you’ll eat more than one block anyway)!
- In a food processor, blitz your soaked dried apricots until they are broken down and slightly mushy (no big pieces, some little pieces are ok).
- In a large microwave-friendly bowl, mix together your peanut butter, agave, and blackstrap molasses. Heat for 30 seconds or so until warm/softened and stir to combine.
- Add the apricots and prune puree, mix, then add the buckwheat flour and mix thoroughly (OR if you’re less lazy you can add the liquid ingredients to a separate bowl with the flour, which is supposed to be the proper way to add ingredients).
- Add your macadamia nut butter and stir til combined, or til “swirled” in with the darker buckwheat mixture.
- Spoon into a lined loaf or 8″ square pan and smooth out with the back of a water-wet spoon.
- Sprinkle your peanuts across the surface and press them into the top.
- Place in the freezer for 30 minutes to harden.
- Melt your chocolate and then spread it across the surface evenly with a spatula.
- Place back in the freezer for another 20 minutes.
- Cut and enjoy! Keep these in the freezer for ultimate freshness and long-lasting happiness. It will get rather soft if kept in the fridge (not bad either!), but I prefer a nice solid bite to my treats. You can add 1/4 cup cocoa powder or even another 1/4 or so cup buckwheat if you want a firmer fridge treat.
Revelation: When I put these in the fridge to harden after pouring the chocolate it cracked when I tried to cut it, but when it came out of the freezer it cut like a dream without breaking into bits – lesson learnt!
Yum yum! The apricots are not too overwhelming but just add that nice bit of squish and squash to round off the delicious buckwheat sturdiness counterbalancing the silky, heady taste of the PB caramel. I’m on a major (but moderate) blackstrap kick right now – it just spikes up the intensity and leaves one with an earthy, rich flavour. Usually freezer treats are very “light” but these are deeply satisfying. One small block is a happiness booster for sure!
Anyway, my topic for today is hunger, because I was beyond famished this morning, to the point where I couldn’t focus on anything but the thought of my next meal. The body, I’ve discovered, can be very inconsistent. My breakfast of a sliced pear, 1/2 cup of all bran, and 1 soy yoghurt did absolutely nothing to waylay the intense rumbling and lack of concentration that signal hunger to my brain, which is ridiculous because on other days that would be more than enough to keep me sane for a few hours. What’s up, buttercup?
With the dozens of food blogs that I read each day, I suspect I get over-saturated with wildly varying opinions and food philosophies. Some say nay to carbs, others display crazy yum snaps of big pasta bowls. Some require cups of sugar for “healthy” cakes and others bare their teeth and add dates. There is no winning, but it certainly makes for entertaining and thought-provoking reading. So, with that as one’s uneven platform, I’ve come to realize it’s not always about what one eats but why, how, and when. And not for diet reasons, or for restriction, but for pure living, fuelling the body, and, of course, enjoyment (because seriously, we’re a species that can actually appreciate its food and even build shrines/blogs in its honour).
Which brings me back to hunger. Anyone struggling with an ED, or overcoming one, knows it’s sometimes difficult to distinguish between hunger and desire, boredom, or some other attribute of being. Sometimes I eat because I’m sitting in front of my two computer screens, multitasking and not actually getting anything done, and I feel I need to keep my hands busy whilst my eyes gorge themselves on some West Wing re-runs or documentaries on youtube. Nibble, nibble.
Sometimes I’m tired – people have been harassing me the whole day and testing my social anxiety, and I just want something to understand and be quiet. Food is very understanding and quiet. Nibble, nibble.
Am I actually hungry at any point? Doubtful, and yet I’m starting to doubt my doubt, as it were. I’ve been thinking about it for the past week or so, and my first instinct was to go on a confessional stance about binging, but a few intriguing articles lately about what hunger is and binging versus hunger have made me reconsider that stance, because I was certainly not just bored or delirious this morning. I was hungry despite having consumed food.
Lately (ok, the last two months or so) I’ve been eating nut butter like a crazy person at night, and it is a sign of supreme self-control that I haven’t polished an entire tub at a time (because I 100% would or could). Again, I thought I was being ridiculous, and looked over all my reasons for doing so – was I bored? Sure. Was I cranky? Not always. Usually I’m ok with munching on carrots or cucumber sticks, soy milk and some oat bran, so what was happening? I suspect I haven’t been eating enough during the day, is what. I usually get my carbs in the morning with cereal (smoothies are great but it can’t replace a meal for me!), but then it’s salads, crustless quiches or no-sugar pumpkin pies, smoothies and soup and salad for the rest of the day. Sure, there are beans galore, but it doesn’t seem to be enough. I get my nutrients, double my daily ration of veggies, but calories (if one goes for that sort of thing) are not equal – a bowl of soup and a salad may in some ways equal a sandwich, but they react differently, fuel differently, and not necessarily in a better way.
Not that I’m giving up on salads and soup, but I think I need to starting adding some bulk like brown rice, or start making delightful chickpea quiches again. Snacking mindlessly and binging before bed out of desperate hunger is hardly conducive to fuelling the mind and body for the day. Now that I’ve paid the iron price to join a gym (first session today was rather horrifying!) I definitely can’t afford to fool around and get light-headed during circuit training or when bouncing around in bootcamp. I can’t wait to test out my muscles in a different way to our power walks, but I know that one can’t just jump from one form of exercise to another without considering more than a change of outfit. I need to chow down so that I can power up!
Does anyone else also get body-confused?