This is no hippie café, nay, although if I ever open one I lay claim to that name as of now. Rather, as the photos would suggest, I have been adventuring in the kitchen to finally try my hand at homemade muesli bars.
I wanted something simple & straightforward, so I google-ized muesli bars & found this dandy recipe on several links. I am now going to share with you my version, so get ready, 'cause it's crunch time!
(. . . Pardon the awesome pun, I couldn't help myself.)
What ye shall need:
1 cup pitted dates, packed nice & cosy
1/4 cup syrupy sweetener (I opted for maple)
1/4 peanut butter (any nut butter would probably work wonders)
Couple pinches of salt
1 cup roughly chopped nuts of your choosing, raw or roasted
1 1/2 cup rolled oats
Any additional ingredients that you fancy: dried fruit, extra nuts, seeds, spices, etc.
First off, have your oven set at about 190 degrees C if you fancy toasting the oats and/or nuts. You can leave them in there anywhere from 5 to 15 minutes. I would keep an eye & a nose on alert so as to keep track of their progress. Bitter almonds or burnt oats will lower the tone of the whole affair & who wants a muesli bar faux pas? (Last one, promise ;)
On the stove, melt together your peanut butter, salt, & syrup in a small saucepan. When they form a paste-like consistency, turn off the stove & allow to cool.
Pop the dates into a blender or food processor & whiz them up until they too transform to a paste-like texture.
Toss all the dry ingredients in large bowl until you have yourself a confetti of bits & bobs . . .
When you have these components prepped, mix all the ingredients together in a bowl. My additions consisted of goji berries, some orange chocolate shavings, raisins, & chopped dried figs.
Once well combined, have a baking tray at the ready, lined with parchment, into which you can pour or scoop your mixture.
With the mixture pressed into a flat slab within the baking tray's walls, you can pop it into the fridge or freezer for at least 15-20 minutes.
When you're ready, remove the slab to slice into the portion size of your preference. Some like squares, some like rectangles, some may go for triangles or have the patience to carve out circles! A favourite mantra of mine, "hip to be square" had me on team square.
And that, folks, is my version of a more or less raw, vegan, muesli bar. Hip to be square, amiright?!