I’m a Vegetarian from Virginia

Well, that’s not true at all. I’m from North Carolina. Last night I ate chicken. I eat meat almost every day. Regardless of that at my last job everyone was under the impression that I was a vegetarian. Even though I brought in smoked salmon to share. Even though I made turkey sandwiches for the Thanksgiving potluck. I rode my bike to work and I don’t wear a lot of makeup. Therefore I am a vegetarian. This is how these ideas begin, at least in Texas.

Now I’m making my reputation worse (I don’t think worse is the right word) by making my own laundry detergent and granola bars. I’m even hoping to make my own soap, shampoo and deodorant. Those DIY adventures to come!

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This week I made granola bars via ohsheglows.com.  Here is her awesome recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 cups mashed ripe banana (about 3 medium/large bananas)
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups rolled oats (use certified gluten-free if necessary)
  • 1/2-3/4 cup dried cherries, chopped (I used 3/4 cup)
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
  • 1/2 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 cup pepita seeds (shelled pumpkin seeds)
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds
  • 1/4 cup hulled hemp seeds
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon (I could not find any cinnamon in my cabinets, but it didn’t stop me)
  • 1/4 teaspoon pink Himalayan salt or fine grain sea salt, or to taste

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Lightly grease a large rectangular baking dish (approx. 8.5″ x 12.5″) and line with a piece of parchment paper so the bars are easier to lift out. (Used foil instead and an incorrect sized dish- no big deal)
  2. In a large bowl, mash the banana until smooth. Stir in the vanilla.
  3. Place the rolled oats into a food processor (or blender on the lowest speed) and pulse until the oats are coarsely chopped (but still with lots of texture). Stir oats into the banana mixture.
  4. Chop the walnuts and cherries and stir these and the rest of the ingredients into the banana-oat mixture until thoroughly combined.
  5. Spoon mixture into prepared dish. Press down until compacted and smooth out with hands until even. Use a pastry roller to smooth out if desired.
  6. Bake for 23-27 minutes (I baked for 27 mins.) until firm and lightly golden along the edge. Place dish on a cooling rack for 10 minutes then carefully slide a knife to loosen the ends and lift out. Place granola slab on a cooling rack for 10 minutes and then into the freezer for another 10 mins.
  7. Slice into bars once they are cool.

I used her suggestion of wrapping the bars individually in parchment and taping them with Scotch tape, placing them in a Ziploc and freezing them. Taping is not a great idea. Parchment is made so that nothing will stick to it. She wrapped hers in twine and I would probably do that next time.

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The bars aren’t sweet but it didn’t stop me from eating 3 as soon as they came out of the oven. I might put a little honey in next time though. In the meantime, delish!

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