Saturday, May 27, 2017

Miracle Max's Wonder Pills: Dark Chocolate Coated Peanut Butter Energy Bites for Food 'n Flix May: The Princess Bride

It's Food 'n Flix time again and I had the pleasure of hosting this month's film, one of my all-time favorite movies, The Princess Bride. You can see my announcement post here--it has a brief summary of the movie in case for some reason you have never seen it. Although admittedly not the foodiest of films, there is plenty of inspiration to be found in this fun, classic film that celebrates its 30th anniversary this year. (Doesn't that make you feel old!?!) My Food 'n Flix fellow participants have been sending in their delicious dishes and as usual, I am impressed with their creativity and can't wait to post the roundup next week. 

For me, the film inspired some simple, healthy and miraculous Miracle Max's Wonder Pills: Dark Chocolate Coated Peanut Butter Energy Bites.

I adore and have seen The Princess Bride about a bazillion times, but this time I got to watch it with my foodie hat on and here is what I saw: Cheetos behind the bed of the grandson and his lunch of a sandwich and juice, bread and tomatoes on the table in Buttercup's house, "anybody want a peanut?"--Fezzik, eels in the waters, a picnic of cheese, apples, bread, and wine set up for the battle of wits between Vizzini and the man in black (not Johnny Cash!), mention of Vizzini's Sicilian heritage, wine and what looked like some kind of sandwich or bread in The Pit of Despair, the stew Fezzik feeds Inigo, that nice MLT (mutton, lettuce and tomato sandwich) "where the mutton is nice and lean and the tomatoes are ripe... They're so perky, I love that," and the tables of food for the wedding feast.

If I ate meat I might have attempted a mutton sandwich especially after seeing canned mutton on the shelves of my Indian grocery store. (OK, not really! Eww!

I actually had my dish in my head from the beginning, mainly due to my love for Miracle Max (Billy Crystal) and his wife Valerie (Carol Kane) {I'm not a witch. I'm your wife!"} and from a pamphlet in my Buttercup Edition of the DVD entitled "Fezzik's Guide to Florin." There was an ad for Miracle Max's 'Wonder Pill' that proclaims "Death is no excuse!" I knew I wanted to make an energy ball with healthy ingredients and coated in dark chocolate because, "the chocolate coating makes it go down easier."

The ad says, "Those who are mostly dead for more than a few hours should consult a physician before using and you should not swim until an hour after taking. You should not take Miracle Max's Wonder Pill if you are pregnant, nursing, or totally dead. If you have recently lost a bet , were bluffing, or are not immune to iocaine powder, you may or may not want to take the pill. Side effects include itchy or dry eyes, paranoia, finger twitches, head jiggles, and cough. Effect similar to sugar pill. Not a low calorie food due to chocolate coating."

Since Miracle Max's pill was made to bring Westley back to life, energy balls or bites seemed like a great representation. At any given time you can find some sort of healthy energy bite or bar in my fridge, ready for a quick snack. I love making them at home as you can easily control your ingredients to make them just how you like. I have a stock of seeds, dried fruit, nut butters, and other 'goodies' to add, so it was just a point of mixing them together to create my own wonder pill.

In honor of Fezzik and his peanut rhyme, I used natural peanut butter for my base, along with dates for quick energy and sweetness, and a bevy of seeds high in Omega 3s and protein (chia seeds, flax seeds, hemp hearts, and black sesame seeds), plus a dash of cinnamon, salt and cacao nibs. I added puffed millet for a crispy bite and of course I had to coat them in dark chocolate--although I think they go down just fine and are more portable without the chocolate. I sprinkled the tops of some of them with a little flaky sea salt because I like a good sweet and salty combination.   

Miracle Max's Wonder Pills: Dark Chocolate Coated Peanut Butter Energy Bites
By Deb, Kahakai Kitchen
(Makes About 28-30 Small Energy Bites)

8 medjool dates (or other dates-if very dry, soak in warm water for 15 min & drain well), pitted and chopped
about 1/2 cup natural peanut butter or nut butter of choice
1 Tbsp each: chia seeds, hemp hearts, flax seeds, sesame seeds 
1/2 Tbsp cacao nibs
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
large pinch sea salt
1/3 cup puffed millet or brown rice cereal or other crispy cereal
honey or maple syrup, optional if you want it sweeter
about 4 oz dark chocolate chopped or 3/4 cup dark chocolate chips
1 Tbsp coconut oil 
flaky sea salt to garnish, optional

In a food processor, pulse the dates and peanut butter together until they combined and start to form a ball. Add the chia seeds, hemp hearts, flax seeds, sesame seeds, cacao nibs, cinnamon and sea salt and pulse a few more times to combine.

Remove mixture from food processor and place in mixing bowl. Add puffed millet and mix together well. (Hands work best!) Evaluate your taste and texture. For texture, mixture should be 'moldable' into small balls without crumbling and things like the texture/moistness of your nut butter and dates will effect this. If mixture is crumbly, you can stir in more nut butter or add some honey or maple syrup. You can also add honey or maple syrup if you want a sweeter mixture. I think the dates (and that chocolate coating!) make it sweet enough but you can adjust the mixture to your own tastes. 

When your mixture is the way you want it, carefully roll it into small balls. I do about a 1 1/2-inch size. You can slightly dampen your hands for easier rolling. The mixture should yield about 28 to 30 small balls. Place balls on a parchment-lined pan or tray and place in the fridge to chill for 15-20 minutes.

When ready to dip, melt your dark chocolate together with the coconut oil in the microwave or in a double-boiler on the stove, stirring until completely melted and smooth. Using a spoon, dip each ball into the chocolate--rolling it around to cover evenly. Use a fork to pull each ball out of the chocolate, allowing the excess chocolate to drip off and placing each ball back on the parchment lined pan. Once energy bites are coated, place the pan back into the fridge and allow to set for at least 15 minutes, or until the chocolate has set. 

Once chocolate has set. transfer energy bites to an airtight container. You can store them in the fridge for a week or so, if they last that long. ;-)

Notes/Results: I really loved these little energy bites--they are not too sweet and have a fun texture with the smooth peanut butter contrasting with the crackle of the seeds, puffed millet and chocolate shell. You can of course adjust them to your favorite ingredients or what you have on hand. Dried fruit would be nice, you could use oats in place of the puffed cereal, add espresso powder for caffeine, etc. Since I was coating them in the dark chocolate, I deliberately kept them less sweet so I might add a touch of honey or the dried fruit if I wasn't coating them. A couple of these are a great little snack and are sure to bring you back to life. I would happily make them again.

If you love The Princess Bride movie, I can highly recommend both the book it came from by William Golden (who wrote the screenplay from his book) and Cary Elwes's (Westley) wonderful memoir As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales From the Making of the Princess Bride (I have both the book and the audio book) which is loads of fun and includes the memories (and voices on the audio book) of the other actors and people involved in the filming of this special movie.

If you want to join in the Food 'n Flix fun, there are still a few days left. Deadline for submission is Tuesday, May 30th (by the end of the day wherever you are.) Or if you missed this month but want to join in the food and film fun, join us for June when Evelyne of CulturEatz is hosting the Spanish film, Volver.

Happy watching and cooking and have fun storming the castle!  


  1. The audio book sounds hilarious! Great Miracle Pills. (What will they do for sagging necks, I wonder?? LOL). This has been the most fun FnF round EVAH and that's saying a lot because there have been some great flix!

  2. Great recipe Deb and great movie choice. Thanks again for hosting.

  3. Now this is my kind of medicine! I'm glad you made something inspired by this scene, I was hoping that somebody would choose it. Thanks so much for the fun pick this (last) month, Deb!

  4. OMG canned mutton, never seen that. Your Miracle Max's Wonder Pills look WAY BETTER than the ones int he movie :-D


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