September 06, 2017

Brian Bars

It actually blows my mind it’s been 4 years since I used this blog. It was previously a tech blog, but then I started putting all my tech-related posts on the cryptic blog. As of now this is a lifestyle/travel blog. The me of 4 years ago would be horrified.

Now I just have to come up with a lifestyle and do some traveling.

Brian Bars

This isn’t a real recipe because I’m not going to preface it with my entire fucking life story. Let’s talk about the food.

Brian bars:

  • Are like Clif Bars, but with the simplicity of ingredients that Larabars have.
  • Are easy to make, only needing a food processor (I use a magic bullet) and a stovetop oven.
  • Keep for a long time and don’t really need refrigerating (but don’t mind it neither)
  • Are paleo, vegan, gluten-free, free-range, grass-fed, whatever…
  • Are really really filling.
  • Are named after me, deal with it.

I’ve worked on this recipe for a bit, trying to make it workable, and will probably keep adjusting it (and this post) as time goes on.

Ingredients

Nuts and seeds. Most of this recipe is nuts and seeds. Here’s the ones I used:

  • 1 cup almonds
  • 1 cup peanuts
  • 1 cup walnuts
  • 1/2 cup flax seeds
  • 1/2 cup sesame seeds

For all of those above it doesn’t really matter what nuts/seeds you use, it’s all gonna get ground up anyway. So whatever’s cheap works fine. Also, avoid salt-added ones if you can.

The other ingredients are:

  • 1 cup raisins/currants
  • 1.5 lbs of pitted dates (no added sugar! you don’t need it!)
  • 2 cups oats

Grind up the nuts

Throw the nuts into the food processor and grind them into a powder. Then throw that powder into a bowl along with the seeds, raisins, and oats, and mix em good.

I don’t completely grind up the nuts, instead leaving some chunks in it here and there, but you do you.

Prepare the dates

This is the harder part, and is what took me a couple tries to get right. The best strategy I’ve found is to steam the dates a bit over a stove to soften them. Then, about a cup at a time, you can throw them in the food processor and turn them into a paste. You may have to add a little water if your processor is having trouble.

Once processed you can add the dates to the mix from before and stir it all up. It’ll end up looking something like cookie dough. Except unlike cookie dough it’s completely safe to eat and maybe sorta healthy.

Bake it, Finish it

Put the dough stuff in a pan of some sort, flatten it out, and stick it in the oven at like 250 or 300 for a few hours. You’re trying to cook out the water you added earlier when you steamed the dates, as well as whatever little moisture the dates had in the first place.

Once thoroughly baked you can stick the pan in the fridge to cool and keep, and/or cut it up into individual bars. Keep in mind that the bars are super filling and allow for pretty small portions. Wrap em in foil or plastic wrap and take them to-go, or keep them around for a snack. Or both. Or whatever you want to do, it’s your food.

Cleanup

Dates are simultaneously magical and the most annoying thing to work with, so there’s cleanup problems you may run into with them:

Protip #1: When cleaning your processed date slime off of your cooking utensils I’d recommend just letting them soak in water for a while. Dry-ish date slime will stick to everything, while soaked date slime will come right off.

Protip #2: Apparently if you want ants, dates are a great way to get ants. My apartment has never had an ant problem until 3 hours after I made a batch of these and didn’t wipe down my counter enough. I’m still dealing with the ants. Apparently there’s enviromentally friendly ant poisons where the ants happily carry the poison back into the nest and the whole nest eats it and dies. Which feels kinda mean in some way, but is also pretty clever and they’re just ants anyway so fuck it.