peanut butter

Dessert, Chocolate


She’ll be 87 next month. She was an only child of parents from the Great Depression so she has an impressive collection of every take-out tupperware, yogurt and soup containers she uses and hides cash in envelopes in secret drawers. Or most recently, the freezer. She was also a young mother of three kids very close in age so she has opinions and perspective on mothering that she doesn’t waver from. She is both private and loquacious in a way I can’t quite describe but she makes friends wherever she goes and is so, so beautiful. I spent half the day with my grandma last week as she has been going through some unfortunate health stuff with her eye and needed company. She didn’t ask, it was by my moms suggestion actually, and I regret it’d taken me so long to just be with her. Not a holiday, or quick passing through, but to just sit in a big comfy chair in a room full of sewing knick knacks and memories and chat. We stared at Cleo for awhile, I made her scrambled eggs in salted butter and we talked about each member of the family and made sense of what they’re up to and their respective personalities. She may be a bit of a know-it-all but she takes so much in. Perhaps that comes with years of watching. It had been so long since I didn’t feel like I should being doing something or completing a task but being there, I really couldn’t. All she wants is quality time. When I left, she hugged and kissed me three of four times and thanked me for cooking for her. Cooking for her!?! Scrambled eggs felt so trite. But the scary thing about watching someone who has cared so much for you, get older, is that the roles shift ever so delicately you hardly notice. It’s like a tide changing or plants growing, you don’t see it all at once but at a point it strikes you that things are different. She still tells me to sing to calm my babies down and hems my little boys shorts, but needs to hold my hand when she comes downstairs or read her the fine print. There is this gradual giving back that feels so natural but stops you. How we all need each other. It’s sort of magical. 

I dropped off a bag of snacks for her and it got me on a kick of other nibbles. I made her some granola bars which led to these - something richer and more chocolatey but not totally junky. The boys and I polished these off before I could get some over to her but there will be more. They are crunchy but still candy like. I note in the recipe but it’s worth saying here that they are delicate. They need to be kept in the fridge to hold shape but that didn’t seem to slow us down. 

Peanut Butter Cereal Balls . Sprouted Kitchen
Peanut Butter Cereal Balls . Sprouted Kitchen

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cereal Bites // Makes 20

I used the new Kashi GOLEAN Vanilla Pepita Clusters for this specific batch.  It has great ingredients like yellow peas and red beans that add protein and fiber. You can find brown rice syrup at health food stores or online. Almond butter or sunflower butter may be used as an alternative nut butter with a slightly less distinctive taste. 

1/2 cup brown rice syrup
1/2 cup salted peanut butter
1 Tbsp. coconut oil
pinch of sea salt
2 Tbsp. cocoa powder
2 1/2 cups Kashi GoLEAN Vanilla Pepita cereal, or something similar
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips

3 ounces dark chocolate
flaky sea salt, for garnish

Peanut Butter Cereal Balls . Sprouted Kitchen

In a small saucepan, heat the brown rice syrup, peanut butter and coconut oil to combine. Once warm, add the salt and cocoa powder and stir to mix. 

In a large mixing bowl, combine the peanut butter mixture with the cereal and stir to mix. Add the chocolate chips and mix again. 

Line a small tray with parchment paper. Rub your hands with a bit of coconut oil and form balls with about 2 Tbsp. of the cereal mixture until it is all gone. They are delicate, be patient. Line them up on the tray and chill the balls for 45 minutes to firm up. They are best stored chilled to hold shape. 

Melt the dark chocolate in a bowl over a pot of simmering water. When the balls are firm, drizzle the chocolate over the balls and sprinkle them with flaky sea salt. Chill again for the chocolate to set and enjoy.

This post is created in partnership with Kashi. Recipe and opinions are my own.

PB Cereal Balls . Sprouted Kitchen
PB Cereal Balls . Sprouted Kitchen

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Snack, Breakfast, Beverage, Gluten Free


his & hers smoothies . sprouted kitchen
his & hers smoothies . sprouted kitchen

We're keeping things simple today. I have been testing for the book and had a few quick-turnaround freelance jobs. There has been so much food I'm passing out tupperwares to anyone who stops by. There were a few food-heavy weeks, followed by drought. I was burnt out and uninterested in cooking unless it could be easily stuffed in a brown rice tortilla or blended up and considered a meal. I left Hugh in charge where I typically have a plan, so we had a solid handful of breakfast burritos and taco meals. No complaints from either side. When thinking food, and writing food, and making food becomes your work, part of its charm is sometimes lost. But only part and only sometimes. I love what I do, but I am not much for excess. I keep a fairly minimal home and prefer to have around the items we actually use as opposed to cling to clutter. So when it's all food all the time, I have to step back for a few days to avoid going completely nuts. 

When needing hardly a meal, more of an in-between, tide-you-over, on the run mini-meal in a cup sort of deal, we make smoothies. Hugh makes his off a memory from his childhood. They'd shop at a health food store and the kids would get a shake at the juice bar on the way out. To his memory, it was a creamy combination of milk, peanut butter, banana, date and a little chocolate. It's delicious, but on the shake side of smoothie. Actually no, it's just a straight up shake. I am ever the fan of frozen mangos because they're creamy themselves and then stuck with the tropical theme. Hugh assured me everyone would like his better. My love, I even like yours better, but someone had to go the slightly lighter route here.  

Sometimes I find smoothie recipes insulting - isn't it all just thrown in a blender? Yes, yes it is. But this is what we're eating 'round here so take your combination however you wish. This looks tasty if you're on the pumpkin train right now, and this looks Fall-ish as well, or something completely unique with sesame milk, and while the fresh are gone, this blueberry basil one could be made with frozen blueberries. Browse through Sarah's tips on smoothie boosters too!

MONKEY FLIP // Makes 1

As told by Hugh Forte

  • 1/2 banana
  • 2 Tbsp. natural peanut butter
  • 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 date, pitted
  • 1 scoop chocolate ice cream or frozen yogurt
  • 1 cup milk

Add all ingredients to a blender. Blend until completely smooth, adding more milk or ice for desired consistency.


  • handful of crushed ice
  • 1/2 cup frozen mango chunks
  • 1/2 cup coconut yogurt or plain yogurt (or coconut sorbet)
  • flesh of half a seeded and peeled papaya
  • 1 cup coconut water
  • squeeze of honey
  • squeeze of fresh lime juice

Add all ingredients to a blender. Blend until completely smooth, adding more milk or ice for desired consistency.

his & hers smoothies . sprouted kitchen
his & hers smoothies . sprouted kitchen
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Snack, Breakfast, Dessert, Gluten Free, Chocolate


peanut butter granola bars . sprouted kitchen
peanut butter granola bars . sprouted kitchen

Besides that I adore it staying light much later, I regret it hasn't felt incredibly summery over here. We have done a few picnics by the beach, my shoulders are tanned and I'm eating my weight in fruit, but I can't say I have felt this season. I think it's easier to see summer with kids or a school schedule, as these three months are marked by a break in routine. Now it's nearly Labor Day, the holiday that reminds us summer is fading, I just now feel called to be more present in this time. Maybe I'm not in school and my work demands carry on just as they did in the spring and winter past, but I want to be here. It's likely not just summer I'm needing to witness, I think it's the curse of the (primarily) self-employed that there is always something to do, which takes away from rest and presence. There is so much wonderfulness to take in if we'll stop and pay attention. I wish I'd stop and pay attention. Luckily September and October are my favorite months around here. Time to suit up and jump in. 

I keep tinkering with granola bar recipes to find just the right texture. Typically, I use brown rice syrup in granola-type bars, but wanted to try the maple route this round. I will say that the rice syrup creates a stickier bar, making everything hold together more easily. The maple is great, but expect the bars to be more loose and fragile. I added a few more dates and peanut butter in the written recipe than the photos reflect so they stay together a bit better. I toast the oats for a little extra favor, but otherwise these guys are no-bake, so they yield a chewier bar, not the crispy shattering sort. You can play around with the nut or seed butter, maybe a different dried fruit besides dates, but it's nice to have a tasty snack for your beach bag or lunch box. 

peanut butter granola bars . sprouted kitchen
peanut butter granola bars . sprouted kitchen

PEANUT BUTTER GRANOLA BARS // Makes 12 in an 11x7 pan

An adaptation from Minimalist Baker

I used a 7x11inch dish. Try to use something close, they will be thinner bars in a 9x13 or super thick in an 8x8. 

  • 1 cup old fashioned oats
  • 2 cups crisp rice cereal
  • 1/2 cup almonds
  • 2 Tbsp. chia, buckwheat, flax seeds or a mix of these (I used this blend)
  • 2 cups pitted dates (about 14 large Medjool dates)
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup or brown rice syrup
  • 1 cup natural peanut butter (or nut or seed butter of choice)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 4 oz. dark chocolate
peanut butter granola bars . sprouted kitchen
peanut butter granola bars . sprouted kitchen
peanut butter granola bars . sprouted kitchen
peanut butter granola bars . sprouted kitchen

Preheat the oven to 350'. Toast the oats on a baking sheet for 10 minutes. Set aside to cool completely.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the crisp rice, almonds, seeds, cooled oats and stir to mix. Chop up the dates well to make a chunky paste (this could be done in the food processor but I hate cleaning it for one small task). If your dates seem dry, add a splash of warm water to get them tacky. Think toothpaste sort of texture.

Warm the maple, peanut butter, cinnamon, salt and stir to mix. Pour the PB mix and dates over the dry ingredients and mix everything together, breaking up the date clumps with your hands to disperse. Just get your hands dirty, you need a big sticky heap.

Line a 7x11inch pan with parchment paper. Press the mixture down in an even layer, using the bottom of something flat to push the mixture down tightly as possible.

In a double boiler or a glass bowl over a pot of simmering water, melt the chocolate until smooth. Drizzle the chocolate (or spread it evenly) on top of the bars. Chill in the fridge for one hour before cutting. Keep covered in the fridge for optimum freshness or wrap them individually and store in the freezer.

The bars will keep for about 5 days in the fridge.

peanut butter granola bars . sprouted kitchen
peanut butter granola bars . sprouted kitchen
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