One of the things I love most about my job is finding new products and services which help to make my life healthy and then sharing them with others!
This week I’m showcasing Quinoa Crack a cereal I’ve been helping to promote.
For me breakfast has always been the most difficult meal of the day. At the height of my CFS I was so nauseous in the morning that I couldn’t stomach anything. But now I start my day with hot water and lemon and within 30 minutes my digestion is ready for food!
I often opt for a bowl or porridge or eggs and avocado or if I’m heading out make a smoothie to take with me. But cereal was never an option as most are made with gluten and/or packed with added sugar and additives and pumped with synthetic vitamins and minerals to make up for what is lost in the processing process!
But not Quinoa Crack. Created by Jason Abbott and his family following his daughter’s diagnosis of Coeliac Disease this cereal is made from 100% whole grain quinoa and NOTHING ELSE! The family were eating so much quinoa they decided to start growing it on their farm in France. Then decided to take on the cereal giants of the world to prove that cereals didn’t have to be packed with added sugar to be addictive (which I guess is where the name Crack came from!!)
As I’ve said, Jason and his family grow the quinoa on their small farm in France (so no worries about pushing up the price of quinoa for the Peruvian people). The cereal is created using an extrusion cooker which uses steam (and nothing else) to create the finished cereal from whole grain quinoa. They add nothing to it, no sugar, no salt, additives or preservatives. It doesn’t need added synthetic vitamins and minerals because it’s naturally high in magnesium, iron, zinc, manganese and protein with nearly 6g per 40g serving.
My first taste of crack When my Quinoa Crack arrived, I was amused by the name and packaging – it’s bright, colourful and most importantly fun – why should something healthy be boring?
The cereal itself doesn’t look like much – if anything it looked more like something I would feed my cat – but when I tasted it I realised what I’d been missing – delicious simple crunchy cereal with cold milk. It has a subtle nutty flavour but is otherwise just a crunchy cereal which can form a base for all kinds of toppings. I’ve tried it topped with yoghurt, nuts, seeds, banana, berries – all sorts!
More than just a cereal
But as I’ve come to realise Quinoa Crack is not just a cereal. Because it has no added salt or sugar it can be used in so many ways – on top of soup or salad for some added crunch and protein or in baking – which gave me an idea…
As a child I remember making (and eating) numerous ‘rice crispy cakes’. For those of you who aren’t familiar these are puffed rice cereal covered in melted chocolate and cooled to make them set. I always thought these were better for you than other cakes as there was no added sugar, butter, flour…Ha! I now know that rice crispies (like so many cereals) have lots of added sugar. The most popular brand contains 3g of sugar in one 30g serving!
But with Quinoa Crack (which contains 0.8g of naturally occurring sugars in a 40g serving) there is not such hidden nasties so I thought I would have a go at recreating a healthier version of these childhood treats with raw chocolate and Quinoa Crack.
Chocolate Crack Cakes
Vegan | Refined sugar free | Gluten free | Nut free
Time: 10 minutes + chill time
Makes: 12 squares or 10 cupcakes
- 120g Coconut oil
- 120ml Maple syrup
- 40g Cacao powder
- 80g Quinoa Crack
- 40g Raisins*
*If you don’t like raisins or don’t have any in the house you can leave them out and add extra crack or swap for nuts/seeds/other dried fruits.
- Line a baking tray (I used a 25cm square tray) with greaseproof paper or put paper cake cases into a cake tin depending on which shape cakes you want to make!
- Put the coconut oil into a pan and heat gently until melted, add the maple syrup and cacao powder and mix until combined into a smooth chocolate sauce
- Add the Quinoa Crack and raisins into chocolate sauce and mix until crack is well coated with chocolate
- Pour into baking tray or spoon into paper cakes cases and transfer to fridge to set. It should take 1-2 hours to set or if you’re in a rush for your crack fix put into the freezer. If you’ve used a baking tray once set slice the cake into individual portions.
Store: Keep in fridge until you want to eat them as the natural nature of the chocolate ingredients mean it melts easily! Crack cakes will keep for up to 1 week in the fridge or up to 1 month in the freezer. I suggest cutting into individual pieces and wrapping them in greaseproof paper before freezing to make it easier to eat.
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