Hey guys!, So tell me, how was your weekend?
Did you do anything fun and exciting for daddy day? Oh, and can you even believe that it’s already summer/winter?!?!? I feel like someone is skipping calendar pages or something. I’m not gonna lie though, I’m really excited to be entering a new season, even if winter is my least favorite one from down here where I live.
Things have slowed down a lot for me these last few weeks and my days have been feeling kind of squished and strung together in monotonous tedium. It’s only because there isn’t much going on this time of year but the repetitive routine is starting to remind me of Bill Murray in Punxsutawney, oh, or maybe more like Tom Cruise in that movie where he keeps dying and waking up again on the same day. Have you seen that one? It was actually pretty good as far as Cruise films go. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve still been pretty busy, it’s just that the usual amount of family drama and craziness that keeps things interesting has been at a minimum.
I spent Saturday doing some catch-up blog stuff and then Sophie and I made some bagels. Or should I say, Sophie played in a mess of flour and dough for an hour and then I turned it into bagels. Yeah, that’s more accurate. You see, our local grocery stores had never carried bagels until a few weeks ago when Mom discovered them. She’s been buying tons of them and they’ve been all the hype around here ever since.
Bagels are one of those things that I love to make, but I always forget to do it. I’ve been inspired by this new fad of them though. At first when I decided to make some on Saturday, I said it was because I just wanted to try some new recipes and amp up my bagel-ing skills, but after I making them I think I’m coming to terms with the fact that I have bagel jealousy issues.
Especially since I was extra self-critical about them and this last batch seemed way underwhelming to me. I’ve kind of been obsessively planning my next try and thinking up all kinds of unique new flavors that I want to try too. What I’m saying here is that you’ll be the first ones to get the memo when I find the perfect recipes so you should be expecting at least one new bagel on the blog soon. You game?
Okay, but more on point, you’re probably wondering what a tiki bar even is. So Liv and I are always dreaming up new food ideas together and the other day I was telling her about this thing I want to try and she thought I said “tiki bars”. I don’t even remember what I was actually saying but because she thought I said that it caused us both to think of pineapples, dolphins, surf boards, beaches, tropical paradise……….you get the picture. It was settled immediately that tiki bars had to happen. I’ve been planning to share them ever since and I finally got it together and made them.
I was also thinking that since I made those pop-tarts on Friday you might all appreciate something with a little more redeeming qualities like these energy bars. They are really healthy and great for on-the-go. As you can see I also added lots of good-for-you anti-oxidants with dark chocolate too (hehe, can you feel the sarcasm?)! Fine, so chocolate is a debatable ingredient to some and it’s optional, but other than that they are pretty much guilt-free, or at least they’re gluten free, egg free, dairy free, vegetarian, vegan……
One more thing, I also used an ingredient that some of you may not be familiar with; dried YOUNG coconut. It’s not at all the same thing and the shreds you buy for baking. Actually, it’s similar to any other dried fruit, like natural candy, except it’s coconut so that makes it even better in my coconut-fanatic opinion. Also, these are really simple to throw together so that you have them ready whenever you want a quick and healthy snack. All righty, so grab you’re hula skirts and umbrella drinks, queue the luau music, and go whip up some of these yummy snacks to go with the mood!
Tiki Bars! Nutty Tropical Fruit Granola Bars (Vegan + GF)
Tired of plain old granola bars? Spice things up with these flavor explosions. They're perfect for making snack time more interesting!
- 3 cups old fashioned rolled oats
- 1 cup puffed brown rice unsweetened
- 1/3 cup dried coconut shreds unsweetened
- 2/3 cup dried tropical fruit pieces mine was a combination of pineapple, raisins, and papaya
- 2/3 cup young dried coconut or more tropical fruit
- pistacios roughly chopped
- cashews roughly chopped
- 1 medium banana mashed
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
- 1 tablespoon orange zest
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/3 cup agave or maple
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup coconut oil melted
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon cloves
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 cup semi-sweet dark chocolate make sure it's vegan if necessary
- 1 teaspoon coconut oil
Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees F (160 C) and line a 13x9 inch rectangular pan with wax paper or greased parchment. Combine all of the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl and toss to combine. In a separate medium bowl, stir together the wet ingredients and spices and pour over dry mixture. Mix well until everything is well coated, then use a rubber spatula to scrape the mixture into prepared pan.
Press the mixture down tightly and evenly using greased palms or a flat object until it's as tight as possible. Place the pan in the oven and bake for 18 - 22 minutes or until the bars are just starting to brown on the edges. Turn off the oven but leave the pan inside and allow the bars to cool down with the oven for about 1 hour. After they have mostly cooled, remove pan from oven and lift slab out of pan using the paper and allow it to finish cooling completely.
Once hardened, cut into desired size bars. If using chocolate, melt it in a double boiler or microwave safe bowl with the oil and drizzle over cooled bars then allow it to harden before serving.