Can’t live without snack bars Thursday

I might be exaggerating a little when I say I can’t live without a snack bar. I can definitely live without them. Now more so than ever since going to a grocery shop requires every drop of determination I store in my quads to take a bus there. If you must know, a more accurate representation of what I can’t live without is quick to-go healthy snack things that I can just stuff in my bag for my bus rides. As if to say I’ll get stuck in traffic and might have to start chewing my shoe. I’m kooky but I’d never do that. What do shoes taste like anyway? Assuming you have a distant uncle who makes edible wearable shoes…you know, the usual.

For a person who takes her snacking so seriously, you’ll always find seeds and dried fruit in the house. Like a squirrel. My friend Claire (who quotes lines from my blog and makes me feel shy) would joke everyday about me eating bird seed when we worked together at the world’s best newspaper. It was the best, right Claire? I feel like she can hear me.

Last last week when we (not Claire and I {I wish}, rather Awesomeshoes and I) went for a hike on the island, I knew we had to have snacks. Even if we didn’t walk 5 hours and instead chose to vegetate in our stretchy pants, I’d still know we had to have snacks. I’m very intuitive that way. The old me would go to Trader Joe’s and pick a selection of granola bars and fruit-roll ups but the new me wanted to be more efficient. In the spirit of making the best of what we already have, I did exactly that.

I found this great guide to making protein/energy bars on this blog and I thought how lucky I was because I knew what all of those ingredients were. Admit it, sometimes you look at a plain and simple recipe and it’s plain and simply WTF. This wasn’t like that at all. Great!

The day before the hike, I put all these ingredients together and thought I’d leave out the flour because the other ingredients seemed sticky enough to bind everything together. They weren’t. No big deal except I had to fill crumbly crumbs into a Ziploc bag and those make for slightly difficult “on the move” snacking. On that day however, I felt blessed to be alive with my favourite person. As long as I had my water bottle, we’d be okay.

The next week, I tired it again and down below lies a successful second attempt and a new “Can’t live without…” recipe. Except I can live without them.

Black bean snack bars

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As I (think I) mentioned, I did a lot of what this recipe entailed from a scratch. Here’s a little prior guidance if you choose to do the same. I soaked 3/4 cup of black beans overnight and then cooked them in plain water until they were soft. This generally takes 30-40 minutes. You can use a pressure cooker but since I don’t own one like a bad Indian, I just boiled them. Once cooked, drain them and leave aside. I also made the almond butter for which I’ll share the recipe in a separate post tomorrow. Can you wait that long? Okay fine, I’ll just do it today.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cup cooked black beans
  • 1/2 cup almond butter
  • 1/4 cup agave nectar
  • 1/4 cup dates, chopped
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract (optional)
  • 1 tsp juice of a blood orange (optional)
  • Sprinkle of cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 cups rolled oats
  • 1 cup buckwheat flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • Chocolate chips, raisins (to stir in at the end)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F, which is 2085 degrees F for my oven. It’s still broken, thanks for asking.

In a food processor, pulse together the beans, almond butter, agave nectar, chopped dates, vanilla extract, blood orange juice, cinnamon and salt until combined into a paste. To this, add the buckwheat flour and process a little at a time until it’s all mixed well. Pour this out into a big bowl and mix in the rolled oats with your hands. You can also do this in the food processor but if you do, pulse it only until it mixes together. You don’t want the oats to get too crumbly and dry out the mix. Add the chocolate chips and raisins at the end and mix them manually. ROAR like a lion/ess.

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Grease a deep baking pan and then spread and flatten the mixture into it. You want the the snack bars to be at least an inch thick.

Bake for 15-17 minutes on the middle rack. Let it cool before dividing it into individual bars. I always have the hardest time with the whole “letting it cool” part.

The heart wants what it wants.

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3 thoughts on “Can’t live without snack bars Thursday

  1. Pingback: Almond butter + Made with love and a food processor. |

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