For those of us who spent a good portion of the 70’s growing up, this tv commercial may bring back fond memories:
I watch it now and want to grow one. I wonder if I can find a ceramic animal to spread the seeds on top of. Maybe at a garden store…hmmm…nice window project for next week.
Anyway, this is not a gardening blog, is it? I just got off the phone with my Mom, who I wished a very happy mother’s day. She never bought me a chia pet….although the house was filled with half a dozen other kinds of small animals during my adolescence, so I can’t honestly complain. But this blog is also not a veterinarian-in-training blog either, so getting on with the story.
Mom heard the story of my adventure cooking this morning – including chia seeds – and asked for the recipe for these:
That, my friends, is a tower of granola bars. Rather than eating handfuls of nuts and fruit and such as snacks during the day (weekends), I thought it might be nice to mix up a batch of granola bars – filled with all the things that I like, and ideally leaving out any of the butter and fats or other ingredients I would prefer not to have in there.
Martha Stewart’s recipe for “Fruit and Nut bars” was a guide for what I ended up with.
The key is not to be frightened of just having a go at your own mix. Here’s approximately what I ended up with for a recipe:
1 cup oats
1 cup quinoa (no need to cook)
1/4 cup CHIA seeds (Thanks, Alex, for introducing me to these, I have been using them in all kinds of things)
1/4 cup flax seeds
1/2 cup pecans
1/2 macadamia nuts
1/2 cup unsweetened flaked coconut
1/2 cup almonds
1/2 cup dried apricots
1/2 cup dried cranberries
3/4 cup dried pitted dates
a couple squares of very dark chocolate – chopped into bits – perhaps 30 grams or so
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3 Tbl sugar
3 Tbl honey
1) put the dates and a cup or so of water in a pot and boil them for about 5 minutes until they get soft and plump up. Drain them and puree them briefly in a food processor.
2) take about half of the nuts and the oats and blitz them next in the food processor until they are somewhat fine. Not powder, but chopped.
3) chop the apricots and the chocolate and the rest of the nuts into small pieces – granola bar sized.
4) Mix all the ingredients together now – the puree, the oats and chia, the nuts and fruit and chocolate, the salt, cinnamon, sugar and honey in a big bowl.
5) press everything into a baking pan and bake at 350 degrees for 20 to 30 minutes – until the top gets a bit brown.
6) Remove from the oven and let cool for an hour.
7) Cut into bars and enjoy.
Note: I find these on the crumbly side, so if anyone has any tips on how to get them to stick together a bit better, I’d be happy to hear from you. Ideally solutions do not include butter or eggs.
Happy Mother’s day, Mom.
BTW, to make the chia for breakfast, just combine two tablespoons of the chia with a cup of the milk of your choice (regular, soy, almond), mix and let sit overnight. In the morning, stir in some chopped fruit, a little honey, some slivered almonds, some yogurt if you like. Eat and enjoy. It takes 5 minutes.