It is amazing to me how biased people can become. Not just on food, but on anything. You buy something – you love it, and then all of a sudden everything that company makes is amazing. Some people would call that brand loyalty, I would actually call it something different. That can happen just as easily with people. You are impressed by what someone does – and maybe that happens a few times, but is that a reason to let your guard down and think that everything that person does is mind-blowing?
It is hard to describe what I have experienced over the past several days – but in some ways, it has helped me tremendously to focus on what I want to do next. There is no reason to sit back any longer. I thought my plan was pretty clear before last night – but as the evening wore on, things solidified even more. Last night I experienced something truly unique. Something that many people will never have the opportunity to be a part of. I felt honored to be included, and both my husband and I were blown away. It was exactly what I needed – I swear the trees parted ways in my head. I am on a mission, and I can hardly wait to get started.
Now of course there will be bumps in the road, but in any venture, it is all about how you recover. As I have mentioned, I have been on a KIND Bar kick lately – every weekend I make a batch for the week. Surprisingly we have not become sick of them yet – but wouldn’t you know that last month’s Cooking Light had an article about energy bars? They had a bunch of recipes for a similar bar, and of course I decided I had to compare. Now remember – I never look at the ratings of recipes before I make that – that would take all the fun out of everything.
So – I whipped up a batch of these bars (adapting slightly to our tastes) and they looked wonderful. That was until I tried to cut them. They basically just crumbled into a mess. There was no way I was getting nice rectangular shapes out of this batch. So, I did what I could – I cut as many square bars as I could, then the rest of the crumbs I put in a container for on top of yogurt. I gave the bars to my husband to bring to work – even though they were crumbly – I must say, they were delicious. The crunchy quinoa was such a welcome treat, and the nut butter combined with coconut was just perfect. Turns out, the people at his worked LOVED them – they were gone in a matter of hours. So – what I thought was an absolute bust – turned out to be quite the opposite. A lesson that can be applied anywhere…and I am sure one that will get a lot of use over the next year.
- 1 cup uncooked old-fashioned rolled oats
- 3/4 cup uncooked quinoa
- 1/2 cup cashews, coarsely chopped
- 1/4 cup slivered almonds
- 1/2 cup salted, dry-roasted pistachios, chopped
- 1/3 cup flaked unsweetened coconut
- 2 tablespoons flaxseed meal or wheat germ
- 1 ounce bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup unsalted creamy almond butter
- 6 tablespoons agave nectar
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Cooking spray
Preheat oven to 350°.
Spread oats and quinoa on a baking sheet. Bake at 350° for 8 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool. Place oat mixture in a large bowl, and stir in cashews, almonds, pistachios, coconut, flaxseed meal, and chocolate.
Combine almond butter, agave, oil, and salt in a small saucepan over medium heat; bring to a boil. Cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Pour almond butter mixture over oat mixture; toss well to coat. Press mixture into an 8-inch square glass or ceramic baking dish coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 13 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool completely in dish. Cut evenly into (1 x 4-inch) bars – or just crumble and serve on top of yogurt or ice-cream.
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