Okay, so chocolate and basil, have you tried that combo yet? It may sound a bit odd to many of you, but I actually happen to love it. It's definitely an acquired taste though. In other words, you definitely have to like basil.
What we got here is a super simple and fast treat that requires no baking or appliance to make them. They are super chocolatey with a nice crispy texture and chew and a hint of earthy flavor from the fresh basil. They are so much better for you, and taste better, than these types of bars you'd purchase at a store too. The fact that they are vegan, gluten-free and oil-free and just 6 ingredients (+ salt) makes them deserve a happy dance!
One person not doing a happy dance about these though, was my daughter. She was not a fan of these. She loves chocolate, but hates basil. I thought the fact that these bars are sweet and chocolatey, that would fool her, but nope. She basically told me she didn't like the yucky green basil in them, haha.
If you aren't a fan of trying this combo, by all means, just use chopped mint instead and that will be amazing as well!
Chocolatey, crispy, chewy, sweet and a perfect on-the-go dessert that takes just minutes to make. I don't know about you, but that puts me in a really good mood.
I would love for you to make these and to hear your feedback below after you make them, it makes my day! I'd also love to see your creation on Instagram with my hashtag #thevegan8, so I'll be sure to see it!
- 2 cups unsweetened brown rice crisp cereal (36 g, I used this one by Nature's Path)
- ½ cup mini dairy-free chocolate chips (95 g, I use Enjoy Life)
- 3 tablespoons plant milk (I used "lite" canned coconut milk, but use any you like or nut-free)
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
- 2 tablespoons protein powder (I used Ka'Chava vanilla, but any vanilla, chocolate or unsweetened will work)
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh basil (or mint if you don't want to use basil)
- Note: I was sent the Ka'Chava brand to try out, so I used it in these bars. The Ka"Chava is very sweet, so if you can't use it, I'd recommend using your favorite protein powder in place of it and even recommend unsweetened. The chocolate chips make these bars plenty sweet.
- Add the brown rice cereal to a medium bowl and set aside.
- Add the chocolate chips to a heat safe glass or ceramic bowl and melt them in a microwave or double boiler and once it's almost melted, stir until smooth. Be careful about overheating chocolate or it will burn and get ruined.
- Add the milk, vanilla, salt and protein powder and stir until completely smooth. Add the chopped basil or mint.
- Pour over the brown rice cereal and stir until well coated.
- Line a 9X5 loaf pan with plastic wrap hanging over the sides for easy removal. Add the bar mixture to the pan and spread out evenly. Press down hard with a small plastic spatula or place a piece of parchment paper over the top and press down flat and hard to even out the top of the bars.
- Place to firm up in the freezer for 1 hour or until firm enough to cut into bars. Then keep them stored in the fridge, not the freezer. They will stay firm in the fridge, but easy to eat right away, whereas the freezer will make them too hard.