Friday, July 13, 2012

New Adventures and Oatmeal Bars

These last three weeks of camp have been absolutely fantastic. I’ve laughed, cried, and learned the beauty of teambuilding, the creative mind, and working with kids. Children are amazing eye openers to the very existence of sentience. They want to do so much in the day, be so much in their lives. 

I’m going to miss it all.

For two weeks I’ll be away from camp, and likely from this blog. I am leaving for the family’s annual camping trip in New York first thing tomorrow, and subsequently another family vacation immediately after in Bedford, Pennsylvania. And then I come back, not as the Art Specialist, but a counselor working with kids with special needs. 

Pareve BBS: Duck egg socca, veggies, and ricotta cheese

It’s going to feel so strange, not walking between classes with the “Art Cart”, communicating over a walkie-talkie, and having Pareve Bento Box Snapshots to share. There will, however, be quite a lot of grill days, hilarity, learning experiences, and maybe foodie adventures (if I ask politely albeit loudly enough) in both vacations. For now, I’m getting ready to pack, post a recipe, and give it my all today for the camp. 

These oatmeal bars were created for hectic mornings when I was rock climbing before camp and the start of Morri-friendly on-the-go sort of food. With camping and staying at a house that is not necessarily gluten-free, I needed to come up with breakfasts, lunches, and snacks that I can have on the assurance my tummy will be happy. As I search all over cyber space for the oatmeal bar I could eat, it was difficult to find any that had all of my requirements (i.e., gluten free, soy free, low sugar content, and refined sugar free). So I decided to come up with my own, and it was the start of a beautiful breakfast. You may want to add salt or sweetener to fit your tastes, but I loved it toasted with some apple butter or left plain. 

Vegan Oatmeal Bars

160 g Rolled oats
15 ml Apple cider vinegar
1 (very ripe) Banana
64 g Almond butter
42 g Cocoa nibs
30 g Unsweetened dried coconut
Salt, to taste
Sweetener, to taste

In a medium-sized bowl, combine the rolled oats and cider vinegar, add enough filtered water to cover at least an inch or two higher, and let it soak for eight hours or overnight.
Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
Drain the water from the oats and rinse thoroughly before returning to the bowl.
In another bowl, mash the banana with a fork and mix it with the almond butter.
Fold it into the oats as well as the cocoa nibs and the shredded coconut.
Pour it onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper (remember: the thinner the crispier and the thicker the softer) and spread it out evenly to the desired thickness.
Bake for 40 minutes or until golden brown.
Remove from the baking sheet (parchment paper = easy lifting) and cut it into the number of square bites or bars to your preference.
Serve warm and toasted.

Makes 4 - 8 bars, or 4 servings.

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