“Life is uncertain eat dessert first”- Ernestine Ulmer
This saying has a lot of truth behind it. Life is short, it’s the little joys that make it more vibrant and colorful. When you turn back the pages of your life, you’ll find lovely memories were centered on sweet little treats. Isn’t?
Do you know that sweet snack could be the best medicine for stress? Researchers have found that eating or drinking sweets may decrease the production of stress-related hormone glucocorticoid. So healthy little sweet treats could keep stress at bay.
Food memories can help with weight loss. How can it be possible you might wonder? Georgia State University scientists have found that eating sweet foods cause the brain to form the memory of the food.
The study shows that neurons in the dorsal hippocampus, the part of the brain that is important for episodic memory are activated by consuming sweets.
“Episodic memory is the memory of autobiographical events experienced at a particular time and place”- Science Daily
The scientists believe that episodic memory can be used to control eating behavior.
Forming memories of the meal are essential for a healthy diet. You can say “I ate a cookie in the morning, so I am going to eat something healthy.” Memories can help you to make healthy decisions.
Scientists say that being distracted when eating leads to greater consumption. So always relish every bite and eat in a relaxed manner. This holds especially true for sweet treats.
Sweet treats, especially the cacao puff treats, who can resist it? To help you make nutritious choices, here are some good variations to the traditional cacao puff treats.
But before venturing into these lip-smackingrecipes here is a homemade version of healthycocoa puffs.
Homemade Chocolate Cereal Puffs Recipe
Gina shares with you this healthy recipe that won’t put you in a sugar coma. She writes,
“Say Sayonara to the sugary store-bought cereals, and make your own at home. These chocolate puffs are a fun food to make with the kids before devouring them in some time”.
- 1 cup flour (all purpose or gluten free baking blend)
- 1 egg
- 1/3 cup cocoa powder
- Pinch of salt
- 1 ½ teaspoon vanilla extract.
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 2-3 tablespoons maple syrup.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Add flour, cocoa powder, coconut oil, salt, egg, and vanilla extract to a food processor.
- Pulse until well combined.
- While pulsing, add the maple syrup until the mixture forms a tacky dough like texture.
- Roll the dough into small balls about the size of blueberries.
- Place them on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
- Bake them for 15 minutes.
- You can toss them halfway through.
- Remove from oven and allow the puffs to cool completely before eating them or storing them.
Here Are 5 Healthy Variations To The Traditional Cacao Puff Treats.
Try It, These Are Absolutely Delicious!
Healthy Cocoa Rice Crispy Squares
Recipe: Nutritionist and Holistic Health Coach Christal.
Christal has created a healthier version of the cocoa puff treats keeping away the refined and poo-poo ingredients out.
She writes, “Into a pan my rice crispy square mixture went along with its ample amount of fiber, energy-boosting complex carbohydrates, natural sweetness, vitamins, minerals, and healthy fats”! Awesome!
- 3 cups brown rice cereal. (Christal recommends The One Degree rice cereal)
- 3 tablespoons raw honey
- ¼ cup natural almond butter
- 3 heaped tablespoons organic butter
- ¼ cup shredded unsweetened coconut
- 2 tablespoons raw cocoa powder.
- Under alowflame, melt the almond butter, vegan butter, and honey.
- Stir it until the ingredients get combined well.
- Take a large bowl and add rice crisps cereal, cocoa powder and coconut.
- Pour the melted butter and honey combo over the cereal mixture and give it a nice stir.
- Press the mixture into a 9x 13 lined with parchment paper. Christal points out that the use of smaller pans results in thicker crispy squares.
- Place another parchment paper over the pan and press very firmly.
- Place the pan in the freezer for one hour.
- Then shift it to the fridge and leave it overnight.
- Take it out in the morning and cut it into neat squares.
- Store the rest of the squares in the fridge.
Chocolate Crunch Vegan Bars
Recipe: Served from scratch
These luscious and l’eaua’laBouche chocolate crunch vegan bars are not only delicious, but they are also healthy. The author, an English girl, writes, “There’s something really refreshing about using natural sweeteners like maple syrup and coconut oil instead of butter.”
Halloween brought some great memories of her father taking the author and her brother out to trick-or –treating around their neighborhood. Her father’s favorite candy was the crunch bar,to celebrate his life, she concocted this tongue-sprucing recipe.
- 1 cup rice cereal
- A pinch of salt
- ½ cup cocoa powder
- 5 tablespoons of pure maple syrup
- ½ cup coconut oil
- 1 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract.
- Melt the cacao powder and coconut oil on low flame. Add vanilla, maple syrup and a pinch of salt. Stir well.
- Take a large bowl and mix the chocolate mixture and rice cereal. Take care to cover the rice cereal completely with the chocolate mixture.
- Use a 9×5 pan and line it with parchment paper. Pour the prepared mixture into it.
- Keep it in the fridge for 15 minutes until it is completely set.
- Lift the parchment paper carefully out of the pan.
- Cut into bars and take in flavors slowly by relishing every bite.
Quinoa and Cacao Crispy Treats
This delightful cacao treats can be made in a jiffy. All you is need is raw cacao, coconut oil, almond butter, puffed or popped quinoa and maple syrup. You can find popped quinoa in the health food shop or order it online on Amazon.
Ella says, “Think of them as a healthy take on tradition rice crispy treats – although don’t worry they don’t taste healthy at all, they taste totally rich, chocolatey and indulgent. Rice crispy treats were my absolute favorite childhood dessert, so this recipe makes me especially happy”!
- 2 cups of puffed or popped quinoa
- 35 g or 1/3 cup of raw cacao powder
- Pure maple syrup – 6 tablespoons
- 5 tablespoons coconut oil
- 2 tablespoons almond butter. Instead, you can use any other nut butter.
- Cupcake cases (size according to your preference).
- Place the almond butter, maple syrup, cacao powder and coconut oil in a saucepan.
- Gently heat it over a low flame until the ingredients are melted and completely smooth.
- Pour the quinoa pops into a mixing bowl while this is being done.
- Pour the melted, mix over the quinoa pops and give a nice stir.
- Repeat the stirring until all the quinoa pops are covered in chocolate.
- Scoop the mixture into the cupcake holders. Place them in a freezer and enjoy.
White Russian Cereal Cocktail Bars
Luscious and tempting these luxurious cereal cocktail bars caught my eye while searching for the healthiest cacao puff treats recipes. But they have sugar and marshmallows in it which are not a healthy option.
With a slight twist by using stevia and sugar-free marshmallows you can savor every bite of this sinfully delicious treat.
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 1 tablespoon instant espresso coffee powder or granules
- 6 cups cocoa puffs cereal
- 3 cups miniature marshmallows. You can go in for asugar-free version of marshmallows and can buy online from Amazon.
- ½ cup dark chocolate chips
- Vanilla Vodka Frosting
- ¾ cups white vanilla, baking chips
- 1 ½ cups powdered sugar (you can use stevia instead)
- Softened butter 1/3 cups.
- Vanilla flavored vodka 2 tablespoons.
- 1/8 teaspoon salt.
- Chocolate shavings or unsweetened cocoa if desired.
- Take a large microwave bowl. Add 3 tablespoons of butter. Microwave it on high without covering the bowl until melted.
- Mix in the espresso powder and coffee liqueur until well combined.
- Now add the marshmallows to the above mixture.
- Microwave it till the butter has melted or for 45 to 60 seconds.
- Add the chocolate chips and stir until chocolate is melted and the marshmallows are smooth.Add the cereal and mix well. Grease a 9-inch square pan with shortening.
- Press the mixture into the pan and refrigerate for about 1 hour.
- Take a 2-quart microwavable bowl. Add the vanilla chips and microwave high for 60 seconds. Add powdered sugar or stevia, vodka, and salt, 1/3 cup softened butter.
- Beat with an electric mixture on medium speed until smooth.
- Spread the frosting over the cereal bar. Sprinkle with chocolate shavings. Store covered in thefridge. Cut into 4 rows by rows.
- Enjoy every bite of it.
Additional Special Cocoa Puff Treats:
Cocoa Puff Peanut Butter Treats
Recipe: Emily Benner
Emily decided upon this super easy and quick recipe for a potluck picnic. She says “I love chocolates and peanuts, they are a great combination, and you can’t get them wrong.”
- 7 cups of cocoa puffs cereal
- 4 cups mini marshmallows (you can go in for sugar-free version of marshmallows)
- 3 tablespoons butter, unsalted
- 1 cup of peanut butter chips.
- Take a medium to large size saucepan.
- Melt the butter in the saucepan.
- Melt it at medium heat. Add all of your marshmallows.Keep stirring the mixture. If you let the marshmallows sit, they might get burnt.
- Keep stirring until all the marshmallows are completely melted.
- Remove from fire and then add the cereal.
- Add the peanut butter chips. Combine the mixture well.
- Transfer it into a 9×13 baking tray.
- Generously coat it with non-stick cooking spray or you can just grease it.
- Pour the cocoa puff mixture into the pan.
- Spread it over evenly using a parchment paper to avoid the mixture getting stuck on your fingers.
- Pop the mixture in the fridge for 20 minutes.
- Remove it from the baking tray. Place the cocoa puff cereal bar over the cutting board.
- Enjoy and store the others in the fridge.
Marshmallows are a basic ingredient for puff cocoa treats. But if you are health conscious and still want to enjoy these sweet treats, then you can try this marshmallow recipe which has a sugar free option.
Homemade Marshmallows With
I’m always making healthier versions of processed foods”, writes Adrienne. Yes! Her stroke of culinary genius is a great inspiration to all of us.
- 2 tablespoons gelatin (she recommends Great Lakes)
- ½ cup cold water
- 12 scoops of stevia or 1 ½ cups granulated sweetener.
- ½ cup hot water
- ½ cup liquid sweetener (you can use vegetable glycerine)
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract.
- Sprinkle the gelatin over the cold water and allow it to sit for at least five minutes.
- In a heavy bottom saucepan, stir the sweeteners and the remaining hot water.
- Heat the sweeteners and water over high heat until it reaches soft ball stage or 240-245 degrees.
- Add the hot mixture to the water and gelatin mixture stirring constantly.
- Slowly add the vanilla to the mixture while beating.
- Beat on high speed until the mixture forms stiff peaks.
- Pour into slightly greased 8×8 pan. You can use whatever size you have.
- Allow the marshmallows to set and cut into desired sizes.
- If desiredcoat with cocoa, ground nuts or raw or toasted coconut.
- Store in airtight container.
Top Tips To Make Cocoa Puff Treats
Soak the pot immediately after cooking, because the marshmallows are tough to clean up once it has hardened on the surface.
If you cook the treats over low heat, it will turn out beautifully. Otherwise, you risk burning the preparation.
You can decorate or cut crispy treats to any shape you want.
Be adventurous and add some food coloring to the marshmallow mixture. It could be orange for Halloween and red or green for Christmas.
Assemble all the ingredients and have everything set up before heating the marshmallows. If you take too long doing other things your marshmallows may burn.
If you add more marshmallows, you’ll end up having a fluffier more marshmallow treat.
If you are concerned about the sugar levels, you can buy a non-sugar version of marshmallows on Amazon. You can also try the above sugar-free marshmallow recipe.
Since these treats are kid friendly, you should supervise them while they are making it.
These cocoa puff treats are to be eaten carefully with anyone having a loose tooth.
It is alright to indulge yourself in desserts once in a while. However, satisfying your sweet tooth shouldn’t hurt your health in any way. These cocoa puff recipes are only some of the options you have among all other healthy dessert recipes. Just keep in mind this should be consumed in moderation because too much of anything can be bad for you.
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