On a roll

Sometimes when I can’t do what I am used to doing (like right now) I become stagnated feeling sorry for myself. Until I snap out of it. And when I do good things happen in the kitchen 🙂 

In fact, if I keep going at this speed I might have to get a new pantry to store my hiking snacks because there is probably enough to fuel every hike until the next season. This time I have taken to making my own Larabars because at $2 a pop they are a pretty expensive snack – for that price I can get 500g of dates (the main ingredient for Larabars) and make a pretty decent batch of them myself.   

Don’t get me wrong – I have nothing bad to say about Larabars. For those whose main fuel is carbohydrates, Larabar is about the only snack food that I would fully endorse- there is literally nothing bad in them. The reasons why I choose to make my own are:

  1. It’s way cheaper.
    From my calculations making Larabars at home runs me between $0.30-0.40 per bar and this is a very rough estimation. The price will vary depending on what type of ingredients you use – if you use a lot of nuts it could be more expensive. Also, do your math before you dish out the big bucks – I found that dates tend to be the cheapest when you buy in bulk at $0.39 per 100g, but if you buy them pre-packaged you can expect to pay as much as $1 per 100g. 
  2. It’s way fresher.
    That’s a no-brainer – you have just made it yourself, so it has not been sitting on a shelf getting old. 
  3. You can choose your won ingredients.
    I like this part the most – Larabar only comes in so many flavors but when you make the bar yourself the sky is the limit. For example, if you want to make it nut free you certainly can; if you want to add any dry fruit to yours you sure can. You can literally make it any flavor you desire. Be creative!
  4.  You get a certain satisfaction that cannot be achieved by simply buying the bar.
    I used to think of cooking as a chore in the past, but these days I feel I’ve done something good for myself and my loved ones when I make something from scratch instead of buying a ready to eat product. 

These bars were so easy to make that I made 2 different flavor batches: Apple Cinnamon and Banana Almond.

Apple Cinnamon Bar
 
Author: 
Nutrition Information
  • Serves: 6
  • Serving size: 50g
  • Calories: 123
  • Fat: 2
  • Saturated fat: 0.9
  • Carbohydrates: 25
  • Sugar: 20
  • Sodium: 40
  • Fiber: 3
  • Protein: 4
Recipe type: Snack
Cuisine: Vegan
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Better, Tastier and More Satisfying than the original
Ingredients
  • 200g Dates ($1)
  • 100g Figs ($1.50)
  • 20g Pumpkin Seeds ($0.10)
  • 1 scoop of Clean Protein by Vega ($1.30)
  • 12g Unsweetened Coconut Flakes ($0.16)
  • 1 dehydrated Green Apple ($0.50)
Instructions
  1. Chop your dates and figs to help with the processing.
  2. Put pumpkin seeds and apple into the food processor and run on high to chop into small pieces. I reserved a handful of apples and chopped them to add at the end for a bit of texture.
  3. Add the rest of the ingredients and pulse for a while until smaller pieces form. This is important because the dates and figs are quite hard on the food processor - you don't want to ruin it.
  4. Add a bit of water to help the mixture bind.
  5. When the mass is pretty uniform transfer onto a cutting board and form a flat surface with your hand, you can use a large knife to help with this.
  6. Once one big flat mass is formed cut into individual bars.
  7. Transfer onto a piece of parchment paper and put in the freezer to solidify.

Banana Almond Bar
 
Author: 
Nutrition Information
  • Serves: 10
  • Serving size: 50g
  • Calories: 180
  • Fat: 7.5
  • Saturated fat: 1.5
  • Carbohydrates: 28
  • Sugar: 21
  • Fiber: 3.6
  • Protein: 3.8
Recipe type: Snack
Cuisine: Vegan
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Ingredients
  • 300g Dates ($1.50)
  • 100g Almonds ($1.00)
  • 100g dehydrated Banana ($0.19)
  • 15g Sunflower Seed Butter ($0.18)
  • 20g Pumpkin Seeds ($0.10)
  • 12g Unsweetened Coconut Flakes (($0.16)
Instructions
  1. Put Almonds and Pumpkin Seeds in the food processor and process on high until you get very small pieces.
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients and incorporate well making sure to go easy on the machine at first.
  3. Transfer the mass onto a cutting board and form your bars with the help of your hands and a large knife.
  4. Transfer to the freezer to solidify.

And then I decided to cut both of them up in tiny little bite-size pieces and throw them in a bowl for random enjoyment 🙂

 

In addition to getting creative in the kitchen, I have finally completed my first bike ride. I’ve been itching to go out there and start at it again. I would love to bring back the year bike rides were a weekly ocurrence. I have been getting pretty jealous of whoever owns the 3 bikes always parked at work until I found out one of them doesn’t live very far from me and I got an idea that maybe I could be biking daily to work…

So yesterday I set out to bike as far as my work just to get a feel of what it would be like. Mind you I have done the distance before (even longer distances were the norm at the height of my biking), but I haven’t been biking outside yet this season and we’re taking biking before work and right after work – a total of 50km which would pretty much mean I’d get up go bike to work, bike back home and go to sleep to do it all over again the next day.  

My try-out bike ride to work did not go as far as work, but pretty close and on the ride back I run out of steam, so I had to be rescued. But I was glad I did it.  

Here is a snapshot of the trail for your enjoyment. Forgive the portrait mode, I’ve been told to never do it again 😉

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