So many cookbooks, so little time… I’m a self-admitted cookbook enthusiast with an insatiable appetite for both the classics and avant-garde. I collect volume upon volume and liken each book to a piece of art: the author, the artist; the book, a masterpiece composed of different photos and recipes. Each of them: inspiring.
This holiday season, I was fortunate enough to add three new books to my collection and I look especially forward to sharing some of the recipes on KarmaCucina in coming months. Today’s post was inspired by a recipe in one of these books, Mark Bittman’s The Food Matters Cookbook: 500 Revolutionary Recipes for Better Living. I find myself genuinely identifying with Bittman, in that he, too, had a food enlightenment. His diet is extraordinarily practical, honing in on fruits, veggies, and whole grains. He even includes animal products. However, meat is never the main event in his creations. As a result, the book includes many vegetarian recipes, but also plenty for the omnivore. While the latter is a nice perk for a reader like myself, we could all benefit from Bittman’s nutritious and innovative plant-based recipes even if we have little interest in forgoing the meat on our plate. Another plus to this book is most of the recipes have reasonably accessible ingredients, if not pantry staples. And, many of the recipes offer a snippet at the end with variation suggestions from the author, which I think is a wonderful added bonus.
My Om Nom Bombs were inspired by Bittman’s recipe, Crispy Rice Treats. I was assigned dessert for my monthly girls night dinner, but wanted to steer away from refined sugar and anything too decadent. After manipulating his mostly savory recipe into a sweet one, I ended up with my little balls of goodness and I must admit, they were a pretty big hit. This recipe is extraordinarily easy and takes no more than 30 minutes from start to finish. Give it a shot, pop one in your mouth, and let me know what you think…
Om Nom Bombs
Yields 3 dozen balls
2 cups brown rice puff cereal
1 cup all natural peanut butter
1/4 cup honey
1/2 cup coarsely chopped almonds
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
4 Tbsp. ground flax seed
1/2 cup dried cherries
Pinch of salt
3/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place almonds on a foil-lined baking sheet and toast in oven until light brown and fragrant, approximately 10 minutes. Remove sheet from oven, transfer almonds to a small bowl, and set aside. Keep the foil on the baking sheet and scatter the shredded coconut evenly on top. Return the tray to the oven until coconut is lightly toasted, about 2-3 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl and set aside.
Combine cereal, peanut butter, honey, almonds, pumpkin seeds, flax, cherries, and salt in a large bowl. Mix until well-combined with a spoon or your hands, if necessary. Wet your hands and roll walnut-sized balls of mixture between them. Toss around in the shredded coconut until coated evenly. Serve immediately or store at room temperature for several days.
A few notes:
- The majority of these ingredients can be purchased loose in the bulk section at your local supermarket. I do most of my grocery shopping at Wegmans and they have a fantastically fresh and varied bulk organic section.
- I made half of these without toasting the coconut and rolled a dozen that way. Conclusion: The coconut’s not the star of this recipe and the toasting makes little flavor impact. This step is a matter of personal preference and can be skipped.
- The ground flaxseed is not integral, but gives this treat a little more nutritional bang for your buck. I always try to sneak it in wherever I can. Chia seeds might be another interesting option…
- I served these in paper mini muffin liners. Perfect fit.
- I have a feeling adults and little ones alike will enjoy this one. Little do the kiddies know, everything in there is good for them! Can we say after school treat?