A friend relayed a great analogy from Facebook yesterday – it’s as if Canada is in a snow globe and someone keeps shaking it. We’re hiding out on the westernmost side of Vancouver Island, keeping tabs on the continuous dumping from what sounds like the only place in the country where green and colourful things are growing OUT OF THE GROUND.
With no TV, W had essentially no choice but to watch Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 on iPad approximately elevenhundred times, and yesterday wanted to go into the kitchen and make food bars (as per the movie). He decided that here on in he would exclusively eat food bars for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and we would no longer have to worry about feeding him. More fish tacos for us.
His plan was to pulverize soup ingredients and shape them into bar form, producing a Willy Wonka-esque mash-up that replicated breakfast, lunch and dinner all in one. But I convinced him that we should instead make something that we’d actually eat – peanut butter bars with oats, nuts, seeds, dried fruit and chocolate. Pilfering the cupboards we came up with pumpkin and sesame seeds, raisins and chocolate chips, so that’s what went in. You can use what you like, or what you’ve got.
We made ours in the ceramic bowl with the slug on the rim that’s usually reserved for popcorn.
(Apologies for the photos – my camera and laptop are being temperamental, and have possibly reverted to island time, which makes me want to unplug them both and go get me some fish tacos to eat in the forest. Think I will.)
Peanut Butter Food Bars
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup maple syrup
2 Tbsp. canola or olive oil
1 tsp. vanilla
3/4 cup all-purpose or whole wheat flour
3/4 cup oats
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. cinnamon (optional)
1/2 cup raisins, dried cranberries or chopped dried apricots
1/2 cup chopped walnuts or sliced almonds
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
1/2 cup chocolate chips or chopped dark chocolate
1/4 cup shredded coconut (optional)
Preheat oven to 350°F.
In a large bowl, stir together the brown sugar, peanut butter, milk, maple syrup, oil and vanilla. Add the flour, oats, baking soda and salt and stir until almost combined; add all the additions you want to add and stir just until blended.
Spread the batter into a 9×13-inch pan that has been sprayed with non-stick spray. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until golden. Cool in the pan on a wire rack.
Makes 12-18 bars.