Sunday, July 21, 2013

Fan-FREAKING-tastic Bars

Oh yes they are!
It was declared on more than one occasion... by more than one person...
I'll try to convey the greatness of these bars with pictures and as many adjectives as possible; but just so you know, pictures and words can only say so much and you should just make them and let them speak for themselves.

They are chewy and crunchy, yet soft because they are no bake; they are fruity, nutty, sweet, a tad salty, and a little chocolaty. 
They are healthy. They have healthy fats, provide plenty of fiber, and only use wholesome ingredients. 
You can customize them to your heart's delight, they are Gluten Free (of course), Vegan, and incredibly easy to put together.
Did I mention they have chocolate? 
And they are FILLING! So worth it.

I had saved the original recipe quite a while ago, but it took a close friend of mine to make them first and get met to dig the recipe out and make them myself! Oh, what I've been missing out on!

The recipe is from 86 Lemons and I haven't changed it too much because quite honestly, they are perfect.
Someone was being sneaky and taking one from my background

Peanut Butter Chocolate Breakfast Bars
1 1/2 cups rolled oats (use gluten-free if desired)
1/2 cup flax seed meal1/4 cup chia seeds1/4 cup sunflower seeds1/3 cup pumpkin seeds1 cup cashews, almonds, walnuts1/2 cup honey/pure maple syrup/agave1 cup natural nut butter
1/2 cup vegan chocolate chips or coco nibs

1/2 cup dried cherries/blueberries/cranberries

Line and 8x8 inch dish with parchment paper. Combine oats, seeds, and nuts in a large bowl. Add in agave, etc. and nut butter of choice, and gently fold until all ingredients are incorporated (you may need a bit more honey/maple/agave depending on humidity and other ingredients used). Finally, fold in chocolaty and fruity add-ins until thoroughly mixed in. Dump the dough into the lined baking dish and spread evenly using a spatula. 
Let the bars chill out and firm up in the fridge for a couple hours or overnight (or in the freezer, for like, an hour; As 86 Lemons suggests, for those of us who just cannot wait until tomorrow). 
Cut into (12/16) squares.
Make more!!

Sunday, July 7, 2013

'Tis the Season for Strawberries!

I have had a blast this summer cruising local farmer's markets! Everyone is so friendly and enthusiastic about the bountiful produce and other specialty goods like honey and soaps! I have really enjoyed learning about new ingredients that are grown locally and how to incorporate them in recipes. The strawberries have been lovely these past couple of weeks, and naturally I have used them in everything from simple oatmeal to a pie that I have a feeling will be made again very soon!
This time I pureed the strawberries with rhubarb and baked up some oatmeal breakfast bars (or rather slices because I used a pie plate), but I'm looking forward to blending different combinations of seasonal fruit, like peaches and blueberries! 
Look at the brilliant pink color!

Strawberry Rhubarb Oatmeal Bars
Yields 1 8x8-inch pan (or 1 pie plate...just in case you run out of 8x8" dishes, like me)
1/3 cup applesauce
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 T flax meal + 3 T warm water
1/4 cup honey/ maple syrup 

1 t Vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups old fashioned oats
1 cup oat flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt 

1 cup strawberry rhubarb puree*

*3/4 cup strawberries + 1/2 cup chopped rhubarb + 1 T honey/maple syrup, pureed in food processor
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C). Lightly grease an 8x8-inch pan.
In a large mixing bowl, mix together applesauce and sugar. Add the flax and water, honey, and vanilla extract. Stir in the oats, flours, baking soda, and salt. Spread 3/4 of the batter into the bottom of the prepared pan. Pour the strawberry rhubarb puree evenly over the top. Crumble the remaining 1/4 of the batter on top.
Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until lightly browned. Allow to cool slightly in pan before serving.

Adapted from here.

What do you like to find at the farmer's market?