Well, it's back to school time again! Ugh. Not fun for me. But, along with the dreaded daily imprisonment I am subjected to, comes delicious snacks!
I am a picky eater. It's a fact. If you look at my recipes, I think you already know that. Well, I don't eat cafeteria food and I don't take my own lunch. The latter would seem probable, right? Well, I have an affinity toward hot food and I despise waste. All of those little plastic baggies and brown sacks that are thrown away every day make me cringe. So, a year ago, I decided to get a Laptop Lunchbox. I love it to no end, but unfortunately it's a bit of a hassle to lug to school... plus I look like a definite dork whipping out my multicolored plastic containers and cloth napkin. On top of that (Oh yes, I am a complicated girl), I am often not hungry enough during school to wolf down a whole meal. So the solution? Snacks.
I don't think it's necessary to further expound on my fastidious eating habits*, so I will sum it up by saying that most storebought snacks are either too fatty, too sugary, or too insignificant to attract my eye (The exception, of course, being the saliva-inducing Larabar). Thus, I make my own! Full of nut butter, oats, dried fruit, flax, soy protein, etc., etc. And the best thing about bars? Sooo adaptable! This time I made a slightly tropical version which is insanely delicious. Reusable packing tip for small quantities of snacks: take an empty Altoids container, round or rectangular, wash it out, and fill it with goodies. It holds the food in while protecting it with a compact, rigid shape.
*So my economics teacher today thought that it would be a fun little experiment to start off the school year with one of those little true/false questionnaires which are obviously rigged. Anyway, all of the answers were supposedly false (skeptic as I am) but I don't know about one. It stated that it is importantly to research/study a product before you buy it. Well, of course I said true. After all, I am a bit of a perfectionist. To explain her reasoning, the teacher said, "Well, think about if you were in a grocery store. Are you going to thoroughly inspect every single thing you buy? No." Um, beg to differ! She obviously hasn't gone shopping with me. Honestly, I don't know why anyone in my family does. I can pore over nutrition facts and ingredients for hours, trying to find the best one. Even the lady at the health food store agreed with me! When I spent ten minutes trying to discern the differences between different brands of Vitamin D, my mother laughingly told a passing sales lady what I was up to. As the lady so logically explained in my defense, "It is good that she cares about what goes into her body." Right? I mean, I didn't want some fish oil from farmed, saturated-fat nastiness "nourishing" my body. (I settled for plant-based). So anyway, yeah. That's my little rant about fixed true/false questions. Things like that are entirely subjective and I place no stock in them. Although we did draw a pig that identified our personality type, which was pretty cool. (Yeah, I know that I sound like I am in kindergarten, but whatever.)
Macadamia Butter Bars with Cranberries and Toasted Coconut
- 6 tablespoons macadamia butter (much of excess oil drained before stirring)
- 1 tablespoon agave nectar
- 8 dried, pitted dates
- 2 tablespoons flax meal
- 6 tablespoons rolled oats, divided
- 1 tablespoon texturized soy protein
- 2 tablespoons unsweetened coconut
- 6 tablespoons puffed brown rice cereal
- 1 heaping handful dried cranberries
- 1 egg white
- 1 tablepoon toasted coconut
- Heat oven to 350F.
- Blend nut butter, agave nectar, and dates in a food processor until well combined. Add flax meal, 4 tablespoons rolled oats, TSP, and coconut. Whiz until blended but chunky.
- Remove mixture to a separate bowl and stir in 2 tablespoons rolled oats, brown rice cereal, and cranberries. Taste at this point to determine whether it is sweet enough.
- Mix in one egg white and press mixture into a greased 8x8 pan.
- Sprinkle toasted coconut on top and gently press in.
- Bake in oven for 20-25 minutes until the edges are crispy brown and the center is no longer moist.
- Cool, cut into pieces, and reserve for snacks.