Vegan MoFo : Apricot Oat (Granola) Bars

Who wants some apricot oat bars? I do!  You’ll have some of everything you need in these babies : fibre, vitamins, even iron from the pepitas! (Libby, I said pepitas!).  I like to wrap these individually in waxed paper and keep the wrapped bars in a sealed container.  Keeps them fresh and ready to go, perfect fuel for a hike or a long bike ride.

Chop your nuts!  This time it’s almonds…

Apricot Oat Bars

110 g Steel-Cut oats/2 cups

100 g dried apricots/1 cup (diced)

50g nuts chopped/1 1/2 tbsp

25g pepitas/scant 1/2 cup

2 tbsp/20g sesame seeds

2 tbsp chia seeds

1 tbsp/15g molasses

2 tbsp/30ml oil

3 tbsp/45ml agave

3 tbsp/45g peanut butter

Put all the ingredients from oats to chia seeds in a medium sized bowl and stir to combine.

Seedy Goodness…

Heat the peanut butter, agave, oil and molasses in a sauce pan over medium heat until it gets bubbly, then pour over the dry ingredients and stir until combined.  Resist the temptation to taste, you’ll burn yourself.

Pour mixture into a prepared pan (20 x 25 cm) – you can grease it, but I find clean up and detachment easier when I use parchment paper.  Let this cool about 15 minutes, then cut into desired size/shape (if you wait until it’s completely cooled, it’ll be harder to cut).  Let cool completely before enjoying!

These are a little crumbly, if you don’t like that just add more oil (maybe 2 tbsp more) and a little more agave (same) it’ll help hold it together better.

I’ll test your recipe, baby… Peanut Butter Crackers & Peanut Butter and Jam Granola

cutting-out-crackers

making-eyes

with-jam-please

We had a lovely time making, and then eating, these Peanut Butter Crackers. Oh yes, that is indeed jam sandwiched between two crackers. I’ve said it before : I’m punk rock like that. These are the most amazing PB Crackers I’ve ever had. Ever. So easy to make, and even easier to eat. Do you recognize Celine’s genius here, kids? You should, because this is indeed a test recipe for 500 Vegan Recipes. Yup.

The only difficult thing about this adventure? Deciding if these were pigs or bears. We went with pigs, but I did explain to Guppy that they are genetic cousins. It’s true. I don’t suggest you eat either, unless they are crackers in disguise. Obviously.

granola

This is Peanut Butter and Jam Granola. Can granola be a food group? I think it was the easiest granola I’ve ever made. Ever. Oh good grief, it was amazing. Just can’t get enough of it. You will want to marry Celine after you make this. Just warning you. There is much more delicious-looking food p*rn at the 500 Vegan Recipes Flickr Group if you just can’t get enough of the goodness here!

What you’re seeing here are some previously-prepared yummies. While I’m not Catholic, I actually gave up baking for Lent. Yep, no cupcakes here kids. I’ve also celebrated Ramadan and other such religious observances. I’m an equal-opportunity tester-outer. I think it’s important to remember what it’s like to say no to our inner three year olds from time to time, and to live mindfully of those who want for food and other necessities. Helps to keep it real. I’ll grant you it sounds a bit bourgeoise to say giving up baked goods will help me connect with those in need, but I’d like to think that it’s an important symbol : letting of of the unnecessary. For me anyway.

I was thinking about the yummies my Grams used to make for us when we were little, and how difficult it probably was for her because she wasn’t allowed to have any of the goodies, much to the chagrin of her well-developed sweet-tooth. She was diabetic, and had other health problems, but she didn’t ever complain about anything. Ever. I admire her so much, because despite going through some seriously tough times, she was one of the most cheerful, most hopeful people I’ve ever known.

She’s gone now, and I really miss her. She was indeed Catholic, and I wanted to dedicate this Lenten celebration to her memory. She was funny, too. She actually died of a massive stroke – on stage, telling a joke while introducing her band members – what a classy way to go, dressed to the nines and with an audience. She used to joke that she hoped she would know when she was “going” because she wanted to eat one pound of fudge. I hope she got her wish, though I’m not sure it was the case.

So, there you go. There will still be some baked goodies showing up here because I’ve got some yummies stocked up for just such an occasion. Don’t worry. :)