Lazy Granola Bars

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Playtime with Ciaran now includes spontaneous reading which I am absolutely thrilled about. He randomly picks a book, gestures me to come over and laughs out loud when I start reading. His favourite is “Where’s Spot” which is a no-brainer as it has flaps to uncover the missing Spot. It won’t be long before he can join me in the kitchen to whip up treats for the family.

For now, it’s just me and my sturdy spatula. Quick easy recipes are what I look for these days. Our family loves oats and when I chanced upon this 5 ingredient no-bake granola bar recipe, I knew they had to be in our regular rotation.

Having made them twice since, these bars have proven to be a hit.

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Even Ciaran can’t stay away from them. Sticky, slightly salty and with a nutty crunch, these are perfect for when you have the munchies.

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So idiot-proof and so delicious. I will definitely try more variations soon.
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5-ingredient No-bake Granola Bars 

Ingredients

  • 1 heaping cup packed (~220 g) dates, pitted (deglet noor or medjool)*
  • 1/4 cup (84 g) maple syrup or agave nectar (or honey if not vegan)
  • 1/4 cup (64 g) creamy salted natural peanut butter or almond butter
  • 1 cup (112 g) roasted unsalted almonds, loosely chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups (135 g) rolled oats
  • optional additions: chocolate chips, dried fruit, nuts, banana chips, vanilla, etc.

Instructions

  • Process dates in a food processor until small bits remain (about 1 minute). It should form a “dough” like consistency. (Mine rolled into a ball.)
  • Place oats, almonds and dates in a large mixing bowl – set aside.
  • Warm honey and peanut butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Stir and pour over oat mixture and then mix, breaking up the dates to disperse throughout.
  • Once thoroughly mixed, transfer to an 8×8-inch baking dish or other small pan lined with plastic wrap or parchment paper so they lift out easily. (A loaf pan might work, but will yield thicker bars.)
  • Press down firmly until uniformly flattened.
  • Cover with parchment or plastic wrap, and let firm up in fridge or freezer for 15-20 minutes.
  • Remove bars from pan and chop into 10 even bars (or 9 squares). Store in an airtight container for up to a few days or keep in the freezer to keep them extra fresh.

Recipe from Minimalist Baker.

Posted on 17th Apr 2018 in granola, nutritious, nuts, oat, Uncategorized  |  Post a comment

Hello Tokyo!

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Japan was never really in the top of my ‘must-travel’ list. Europe and the US were the two places I wanted to conquer first.

But sometimes, when the opportunity arises, a wanderer should just go with whatever awesome plans made by closest friends.

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It was February last year when a super spontaneous text in our dead whatsapp group chat sparked a random catch-up sessison with Jan, Cenydd, and Sarah. We found out that Jan was going to Japan for WWOOF (World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms). He was going to be a ‘WOOFer’ he said. He was to live on a farm, doing work for the farmer while she gave him food and lodging. “Come to Japan and I will take you all around,” he said. 

After a few weeks of deliberation, Sarah and I sealed the deal and bought cheap tickets on Delta. And so the journey began… well much later in March. 

 

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So we picked Tokyo and off we went on an adventure. Since it was Japan, one of the food meccas in the world, we went in search of the best food. In Japan, good food is easy to come by. We never had a bad meal! In fact, one of our best is the first thing we filled our stomachs with on the day we landed. 

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Charcoal grilled pork over rice. The char, the juiciness, the slick dark sauce they tenderly brushed on before grilling. Serious oishii- goodness. 

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Next up was dessert. We were tired, and not feeling adventurous so when I saw a Mister Donut I said ‘Yes!’. My last Mister Donut was in Taiwan and that was too long ago.  

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Hospitality is in the DNA of all Japanese. Seriously. Everyone (from store owner, waitress to the sweeper) was terribly genial. The pursuit of perfection. That’s what sets them apart. 

Even our AirBnB host was as sweet as honey. On our first day and our last, she cooked for us. 

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She greeted us with maguro sashimi on our first day. 

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Most days, our breakfasts were morsels we picked up from the supermarkets. One day, I had natto. Love those.

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Another day, it was a sweet start.Pudding with gelatinous fixings. Red bean stuffed ‘tang-yuan’-like balls.

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Dinner on our last day was lavish. Pork chops.

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Salad.

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White strawberries we had bought for our host (but she insisted we shared it). 

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Oden! So simple lighto good. It amazes me how the simplest ingredients can be elevated when combined with the lightest seasoning. Our host had cooked this in kombu and bonito. 

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We slept on tatami mats and comfy padding-things. I was worried they were uncomfortable but surprisingly I slept like a log. 

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The view from our apartment.

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Golden cloud? Golden shit? This is the Asahi beer building that’s just right in front of our apartment block.

More Japan pictures coming up.

Posted on 9th Jan 2016 in Uncategorized  |  3 comments

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