I always forget how busy the fall months are until they are upon me. It always seems there's a busy energy to the fall. My good friend Adam once reminded me that throughout humanity, the harvest has been a time of hard work, gathering up ones efforts, and preparing for what's ahead. Nobody has ever been at rest throughout the harvest. I think he's on to something, because it's been a ride.
Remco and I are living separately while we await immigration clearance, so between working 40 hours a week, going to school two nights a week (plus homework), and visiting him on weekends, it doesn't leave much breathing space. Mostly I stay focused on the tasks at hand, and spend a lot of time missing him. Ho hum.
Luckily we are entering a bit of a rest. Remco is in Holland visiting his family, and I am joining him there early this week. A whole week together, and a whole week off. Perfect.
Something I'm less excited about is airplane food. Fibreless, sugary, mushy food that smells like a stale cafeteria. I'm not sure how your body is supposed to recover from travel when that's what we have to feed it with.
So I'm doing a bit of preparation to keep me fuelled and full. These seed bars are based on a recipe from "Food and Drink" from a few years back, with some tweaks. They are nut free, so are great for spaces that have nut restrictions, and are packed with protein and fibre filled seeds. I chose to use both dates and prunes for my binding agent. Dates of course offer amazing sweetness and caramel-like flavour, but unfortunately have a very large glycemic load. The higher a food is in glycemic load, the greater and faster it spikes your blood sugar (and therefore the bigger the crash later). Word to the wise - just because dates are a natural source of sugar does not mean free for all. I'm pretty sensitive to blood sugar levels, and I try to avoid those nasty crashes. That's where the prunes come in, which have a much lower glycemic load but still offer great flavour, texture and sweetness (not to mention their well known bowel benefits, which is perfect for travel. No need to go into more detail there). I used vanilla as my main aromatic, but several options could be used - any warm spices or citrus zests would be great.
Makes 1 8x8 pan
- 1 cup rolled oats
- 1 cup pumpkin seeds
- 1 cup sunflower seeds
- 1/4 cup sesame seeds
- 1/4 cup unsweetened flaked coconut
- 1/2 cup dried apricots, chopped
- 1/4 cup coconut flour
- 2/3 cup pitted dates
- 2/3 cup pitted prunes
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 3/4 tsp salt
Preheat oven to 350C. Combine dry ingredients in a bowl and toss.
In a small saucepan, heat water, prunes and dates until water is bubbling. Reduce heat to low, cover, and allow to sit for 10 minutes. Allow to cool slightly.
Place date and prune mixture in a food processor. Add olive oil, maple syrup, vanilla and salt. Blend until a smooth paste.
Add pureed mixture to dry ingredients. Mix until combined. Press into parchment lined 8x8 baking tin. Bake for 25 minutes until the top is slightly browned.
Allow to cool completely before cutting into bars.