Building a Better Bar, Mother’s Day, and Other Musings.

I’ve been a bit remiss and have let more time pass then I would have preferred in-between posts. However, in the midst of a sea of change, I allowed myself to be swept into the currents and just experience life for a bit. Needless to say, two weeks flew by and frankly, with the Sun flirting with us North-westerners the way it has been lately, I much prefer being outdoors to propping myself up behind a computer.
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I spent this past weekend on Camano Island, getting immersing myself in family and in nature. It’s incredible how clear everything sounds when one gets away from city noise. I become so acclimated that the horns, sirens, cars, and conversion become a din in the background; urban white noise.
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After just one day, my senses were heightened, I could make out woodpecker, owl, crow, starling and finch song. The wind carried the scent of lilacs, among other things. I had the faintest perception of smoke, with no visible sign to accompany it. Rays of sunshine reflecting off rippled wate, like little gold medallions. My heart was full, and I was content.
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My mother and I both enjoy spending time in the kitchen, so a decent portion of the weekend was spent preparing, and enjoying food.
My beautiful mother, back in the 60's.

My beautiful mother, back in the 60’s.

Mom's Green Smoothie

Mom’s Green Smoothie

 

Ricotta Cake with Mango Sorbet

Ricotta Cake with Mango Sorbet

Sugared Petals

Sugared Petals

I’m am amazed at the vast array of energy bars available these days. I’m not generally a fan, as they always seems bit heavy and I’d rather eat a meal than a meal substitute. Occasionally however, I’ll pick one up out of curiosity, or just plain hunger.  Sometimes they’re surprisingly good, however more often they are purchased as a requisite to remedy one of my hypoglycemic meltdowns. It is with careful tongue I say I have never been enthusiastic about them, either in the moment or otherwise.
Cherry Chocolate Energy Bars (AKA: The Mega)

Cherry Chocolate Energy Bars (AKA: The Mega)

If I do decide to grab a bar, I always read the ingredients to ensure they are ingredients I recognize. The one that appealed to me most recently promised the satisfactory equivalent of a “full bowl of hearty oatmeal”. I was pleased to read the list of ingredients and find no added sugar. I love sugar, clearly, however I’d much rather eat it deliberately, in a decadent dessert, rather than try to pass it off as breakfast.
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My mother and I decided to make our own equivalent, and the results were not too shabby. I’ve been taking one to work with me daily as a rescue for when I am super swamped and liable of melting before lunchtime, or as a quick source of fuel prior to a run. The nice thing about home-made energy bars is that they are highly adaptable and can be modified based on what is available in the pantry. Our pantry was fairly well stocked, however it would be relatively straightforward to swap one ingredient for another, or to use one seed/nut variety, rather than several to simplify things a bit. I used whey protein, however it would be reasonable to substitute a plant-based protein, if desired. This bar is jam-packed with good healthy fats and protein, and delivers a sustainable energy. Add to that, it tastes good as well.
Oh! And don’t worry; I’ve always got something sweet in the works.
Caramel Milk Jam

Caramel Milk Jam

Enjoy, and much love,
J
Cherry Chocolate Energy Bars (AKA: The Mega)
Ingredients:
1 c oats

3/4 c seeds (chia, hemp, sesame)
1/2 cup dried fruit (I used a combination of cherries and raisins)
1/2 c cashews
1/4 c cacao (cocoa powder)
1/4 c protein powder
2 tbsp honey
2 tsp coconut oil
1 tsp vanilla
Pinch of salt
2 oz dark chocolate, chopped
3-4 tablespoons water, as needed
Method:
  1. Combine all ingredients except chopped chocolate and water in a food processor.
  2. Add water, one tablespoon at a time, until mixture is just starting to come together. Stir in chopped chocolate.
  3. Press into a 9×9 pan, or other mould and chill.
  4. Cut into bars. Refrigerate for up 2-3 weeks, or freeze for several months.

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