My days are long. I often leave the house early and come home after 9 PM. Long live academia and the pursuit of excellence! And because I have a strong opposition to paying for food when I could make it for the half the price and better at home, I have to pack a selection of treats to get me through the day. I don't always bring two meals, lunch and dinner, but one for sure. However, I worry more about the in between moments. It's a bad situation to find yourself slumping and drooping among the stacks on the fifth floor at the library into the I'm so hungry I can't function and my eyes are crossing and I wish I had a granola bar or something! mode.
I've been bringing little jars filled with raisins, almonds and chocolate chips. That really does the trick, but then while perusing the Smitten Kitchen's website, I found these tasty little buggers, among other enthusiastically concocted recipes for all occasions.
adapted from "the Smitten Kitchen"
In order to get a really firm, substantial bar, you need to pack the mixture into the pan so they stick together. Even then, mine were a little on the tender side. These need to cool for 3-4 hours before you cut them. That way they have enough chance to harden. I left mine over night and cut them in the morning. Deb recommends keeping them in the freezer, and I followed her advice, but I left some on the counter in a plastic container and they can hold their ground. So put a couple in your lunch, take your break outside, watch this spectacularly fascinating world go by and enjoy the last few warm days before the leaves begin to really fall.
This recipe makes 12 big bars. It is a SNACK after all.
2 C rolled oats
1 C chopped nuts
1 C shredded coconut (unsweetened)
1/2 C sesame seeds
2/3 C honey
2/3 C peanut butter
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 C chopped dried fruit (I used cranberries and apricots, small luxury items I know)
- preheat the oven to 350
- put oats, nuts, coconut and sesame seeds on a large baking sheet with sides and roast until golden and fragrant
- pour this mixture into a bowl, add honey, peanut butter, vanilla, salt and fruit. It's important to add the honey and peanut butter on top of the warm oats so that it melts a little and will mix together well.
- PRESS into a WELL GREASED 9X12 pan (or whatever you have around) and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown on top.
* These are the first bars I've ever made and they held together pretty well. One pan was crumblier than the other, so I ate the crumbly bits with yogurt for breakfast. But I'd claim them a success.
* I've also heard that using condensed milk is a great way to help them stick together. For another day I suppose!