Here’s a Thanksgiving treat for you…Chocolate-Cherry Cranberry Squares!
-Require no baking;
-come together easily and quickly;
-promote melatonin production for a sound sleep later;
-are nutritious, and packed with protein, fiber, and greens;
-are vegan and gluten-free*.
This recipe looks like a dessert square but requires no baking. Additionally, they are sweet, fudgy, and nutrient-dense. Also, they come together quickly with simple equipment, such as the kind of mini chopper found in even the most poorly appointed kitchen, and without shortcuts like packaged mix or GMO candy. If eating clean has left your cupboards without white flour or sugar—fear not!
The chocolate top layer provides lots of sweetness, balanced by a soft and earthy base layer full of subdued chocolate, spicy cinnamon, and salty pumpkin seeds, and pops of sweet-tart flavor from the cranberry sauce and cherries throughout. Furthermore, the protein and fiber reduces the sugar rush, and of course with the greens powder in them, even the pickiest of health nuts, like myself, feel content serving them.
I added these great Montmorency sour cherries that help to promote a sound sleep, great if you tend to feel wired and tired over the holidays! However, you can use other dried fruit found in your home, such as cranberries, to make a double-cranberry Thanksgiving square. As a bonus, the zinc in the pumpkin seeds helps to fend off infections, and the sweetness of these squares is balanced with protein and a serving of (undetectable) greens, in case you end up eating them all. Enjoy!
- 3 scoops Beyond Greens/Green Blend powder
- 100g chocolate protein powder*
- ½ tablespoon cinnamon
- 3/4 cup your favorite nut or seed butter
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup nut milk (we used vanilla, but chocolate would work well)
- 150g dried tart Montmorency cherries (cranberries are a festive alternative)
- 1 cup toasted salted pumpkin seeds
- 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips*
- ¼ - 1/2 cup cranberry sauce
- Line pan with parchment. Ours was a square 9x9 pan but a larger rectangular pan works too.
- Add first 3 dry ingredients to a large bowl. Whisk to mix.
- In a smaller bowl, mix next 3 moist ingredients with a spoon.
- Pulse pumpkin seeds in a food processor until fine. Add to dry bowl.
- Put 100g of cherries in the dusty processor bowl and pulse a few times to chop the cherries.
- Add to the dry mixture and mix all the dry ingredients.
- Combine the moist ingredients with the dry and use your hands to get them uniformly mixed.
- Take half and press and flatten it into the pan.
- Spread cranberry sauce over top, and cover with the other half of the mixture. Level it out.
- Microwave chocolate chips in a glass dish for 30 seconds, remove, stir, melt 30 seconds more.
- Spread melted chocolate across the top of the squares.
- Top the squares with remaining cherries while the chocolate is still soft.
- Optionally, sprinkle with salt flakes.
- Chill in refrigerator, and cut into 18 squares.
Keeps very well for 4-5 days in fridge. For optimum presentation, keep in an airtight container.
*When made with vegan/dairy-free and gluten-free protein powder and chocolate chips.
Dana Green Remedios RHN, RNCP