third time lucky?
Viper warned me to make room in the freezer this morning; apparently he’s going to fill it with all the fish he is currently out catching. Yeah, I’ll believe it when I see it – too many previous empty promises.
This is Turbo Lover, the other ‘member’ of our family. He (I assume he’s a he, don’t think Viper would go with the idea of a girl boat) just kind of “appeared” one day in our driveway. ‘Oh it was such a bargain Lou, think of all the fun we (Viper) could have with it. I can catch us heaps of fish, and it was such a bargain I couldn’t pass it up. It will save us heaps of money on food – I can go out in it and catch us dinner all the time. Plus the fact it was a bargain, it’ll pay for itself in all the fish.’ Huh. Still waiting on all those fish dude.
This time, I’m just going to keep. it. simple. No crazy ingredients that Viper will question. I’m going with dried cranberries for the touch of fruit, as they will give it that little bit of tartness. The plain old tahini and honey combo (never fails to please). Just oats. We’ll see how it goes:
1/3C sesame seeds
3/4C whole oats, whizzed up in a food processor to meal
1/4C dried cranberries, finely chopped
1/4C shelled pistachios, chopped
1/3C cashews, chopped
1/4t sea salt
1T ground flax seed, 2T water
Dry toast sesame seeds, coconut, oats and cashews. (I do each ingredient separately in a fry pan, but you could do it all in one go on a large baking sheet in the oven, just make sure to stir a few times to get an even toast).
Combine with cranberries, pistachios, salt and mix well in a medium sized bowl.
Mix flaxseed with water and let sit for a few minutes.
Melt honey and tahini together, bring to the boil and reduce to a very low heat. Add in your flax. Simmer for a few minutes – the longer you cook the honey mix, the crisper and crunchier your end product will be. I usually cook my honey to a ‘soft ball’ stage – when a drop of the mix is put in water, it will form a soft ball (toffee making talk).
Combine honey mix with dry mix. Make sure everything has been incorporated, and then push firmly into a lined baking pan of choice. Really pack it down. Chill in fridge until firm, yet still flexible enough to cut into bars.
I love that contrast of cranberries and pistachios, ah it’s like food art. These bars turned out beautifully (in MY opinion). I’m a sucker for a rich, chewy (not crumbly) texture, kind of almost fudgey. I think an extra 1/4C oats wouldn’t go amiss if you like a drier style muesli bar, the tahini+honey mix produced a slightly wetter mix than the previous 2 trials. Actually a 1/4C of whole oats would make for a nice texture with the 3/4C oatmeal.
These bars are pretty nutrient dense with all of the nuts and seeds; oh and rich, deliciously rich. If you need a whack of energy, these guys will totally hook you up. Nowadays, with a crazy 10 month old to chase, sitting down to 3 square meals just doesn’t happen at times. I rely on having some good on-the-go options that I know will both fill me up and be nutritionally beneficial, until I can have a proper meal. Also, I just love things in ‘bar-form,’ it excites me. Weirdo.
Viper arrives home. No fish. Told ya. Good thing Turbo Lover was ‘such a bargain.’
Viper’s Verdict: The best yet! He thinks that they are, if anything, a little too sweet.
Interesting, as I haven’t changed the amount of honey throughout the 3 trials. I may have to have a go with subbing in agave instead of honey (I’m using Australian raw Ironbark honey, which is a pretty sweet honey). Agave would be a good option, as it would make the bars vegan too. Maple syrup? Rice syrup? Barley malt? Many many options to ponder. Until next week…