Sunday, September 21, 2014
Nuts and Cherries
I have tried, somewhat unsuccessfully, to master the art of the granola bar. Either they are too soft and they fall apart, or they are so hard that the dental health of all who sample said bars is compromised. Needless to say, a lesser food professional would give up and opt for the store bought variety.
But I am no such person. I'm not sure how much a food professional I am, but I refuse to be daunted by something so seemingly simple as a granola bar. I hope.
The other day I was perusing through my email and came upon a missive from Food 52. Now, I love Food 52, although I'm never really sure exactly what Food 52 is. Yes, there are recipes, but I don't know who actually contributes them. And yes, there are nice food-ish things to buy, but I'm never sure what the connection to Food 52 is. Well, it doesn't matter anyway.
Back to the email. There was a nice little recipe for Bulk Bin Snack Bars. I liked the sound of that, although I don't usually partake of the bulk food section of my grocery store. Nonetheless, I knew that lurking in my pantry, I must have had pretty much everything called for in the recipe. And if I didn't well, so be it. I could always substitute.
The resulting snack bars, while not exactly granola bars, were perhaps my best ever foray into the snack bar realm. I mean, these were absolutely delicious.
Of course, I substituted. I didn't have any flaxseed (because I recently dropped an entire opened bag of said flaxseed on the floor. I am still hearing the crunch crunch of flaxseed beneath my feet, despite sweeping 10,000 times). I used toasted wheatgerm instead. The recipe also called for 1/4 cup of applesauce, which I also left out simply because I forgot to add it. (This happens when you (1) don't get everything out in advance, and (2) think you know everything and add ingredients out of order.) Not to worry, the bars were plenty sweet without the applesauce. And the best thing about these bars is that they are chilled, not cooked! Yay!
These bars were so good that I've eaten one every day since I made them. You may not think this remarkable, but usually I try a little nibble of whatever I've made and then dutifully pack the rest up and send it off to the office with Ted. Not these. I don't want to share. And you won't either. (That is, unless you are inherently a much more giving person than I am, which is entirely possible.)
Recipe: Bulk Bin Snack Bars
Adapted from Food52.com
1 1/2 cup oats
3/4 cups sliced almonds
1/2 cup dried cherries
1/3 cup chopped walnuts
1/3 cup pepitas
1/2 cup shredded coconut, unsweetened
1/4 cup shelled sunflower seeds
1/3 cup toasted wheat germ
1/3 cup honey
1 cup almond butter
Line a baking tin or dish (9x13 or 8x8 -- whichever you prefer for thinner or thicker bars) with wax paper so that it extends over the edge.
Mix all dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Add honey, almond butter, and combine. (This will seem very gloppy, but just keep mixing. It'll all come together.)
Pour the mixture into the baking dish, and flatten and spread with an offset spatula. Wrap in plastic wrap and place in freezer overnight.
Remove from freezer and cut into bars. These are best stored in the fridge in a tupperware, with layers separated by wax paper.