I used to work at Starbucks. I love (L.O.V.E.) coffee and thought it would be a great place to work. And quite honestly, it was (for the short time I was there). But I had absolutely no idea how tiring it is to make lattes all day and to smile in the faces of customers, even when you don’t feel like it or when they don’t deserve it.
One of my coworkers (and one of the most adorable people I’ve ever met) would be so exhausted that she would take a nap on the floor of the break room, snuggled under a green apron – a nap during her 10-minute break. Now keep in mind that this is at Starbucks, with a floor covered in coffee grounds and flavored syrups. Also keep in mind that she so desperately wanted a nap that she would sleep on that floor for less than 10 minutes. What a picture… (love her determination!).
We’ve all been there – maybe not on a Starbucks break room floor – exhausted and willing to do anything to get a little bit of energy. And that’s why I developed these Gluten-free Toasted Coc-Oat-Nut Energy Squares. Full of energy-boosting carbs and made with all-natural ingredients, these little squares will give you a burst of energy when you need it most. Plus, they’re gluten free and pack a punch of antioxidants. Go get ‘em, tiger!
4 cups gluten-free rolled oats
1 ½ cups shredded coconut
2/3 cup dried cherries
½ cup honey
½ teaspoon cinnamon
1 bag 60% cacao dark chocolate chips, melted
Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Toast the oats and coconut (together) and be sure to watch them – they will burn easily!
Once the oats and coconut have reached a golden brown, remove them from the oven and sprinkle the cinnamon and cherries on top of the oat mixture. Allow the mixture to cool slightly.
In a food processor, combine the oat mixture with the honey and blend until well mixed. Spread out the mixture in an 8×8 baking dish, cover the dish with foil and refrigerate for about one hour.
In the meantime, melt the dark chocolate in the microwave, heating then stirring every 30 seconds until melted (or you could heat the chocolate in a double boiler).
When the oat mixture is chilled, cut into 1- to 2-inch squares and then dip the bottom of each square in the melted chocolate (and drizzle some chocolate over the tops for decoration, if you’d like). Place chocolate covered squares on a lined baking sheet to cool and harden. (When you’re ready to eat them, I suggest taking the chill off for a few minutes before biting into them.)
*If you are a chocoholic, dip each square, in its entirety, into the pool of chocolate, covering every last millimeter. If you want to use less chocolate (why would anyone want to do that?!), you could toss 1/3-1/2 of the bag of chocolate into the food processor with the other ingredients.