Kinako White Chocolate Crunch

Necessity often creates the most memorable of recipes. This toasty treat came about while I was living in Japan, studying at a small ceramics studio. One night, after a long day playing with clay, I needed to satisfy my sweet tooth. My first instinct was to make chocolate, but I also wanted a late-night snack that wouldn’t keep me awake.   

Enter kinako powder– or toasted soy flour– which is used commonly in Japanese sweets. After years of avoiding soy, I’ve come to embrace its good sides (both culinarily and nutritionally) when used as part of a well-rounded diet. In this recipe, kinako powder provides the texture and deep flavor that cacao powder would give to chocolate, but without the stimulating effects.

With only one pan, a small induction burner, and a limited pantry, I whipped this recipe up in under 20 minutes and was blissfully snacking away in toffee-colored, refined-sugar-free heaven. So stock your pantry, get in the kitchen, and come join me in battling those late night sugar cravings! Turns out, they can be beat!

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| INGREDIENTS |

¼ cup melted Cacao Butter (or about ½ cup if chopped)

3 tablespoons Kinako Powder*

1½ tablespoons Liquid Sweetener (like Maple Syrup, Coconut Nectar, or Honey)

¼  teaspoon Salt

1 pinch Vanilla Powder

⅓ cup Raisins or Mulberries

⅓ cup chopped Nuts or Seeds

¼ cup sprouted or toasted Buckwheat Groats

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| ASSEMBLY |

1 | Melt cacao butter, either over a double boiler or gently in a saucepan.

2 | Once melted, remove from heat and stir in kinako powder, sweetener, salt, and vanilla powder.

3 | Add in raisins or mulberries, nuts or seeds, and buckwheat, and coat evenly.

4 | Line a dish or small baking tray with parchment paper or other non-stick sheet.

5 | Place in the freezer until hard, then break into bite-sized pieces and enjoy!

*Kinako powder can be found in Asian markets and specialty stores, or can be made at home by toasting organic soy flour in a dry saucepan for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently to prevent burning.

Kaia Harper is the plant-based chef, recipe developer and educator behind Foreign Familiar

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