Cranberry flaxseed bars! I love these guys.
From my aunt Dena.
Cranberry Flaxseed Snack Bars
2 cups dried cranberries
1/2 cup frozen apple juice concentrate
1 1/4 cups flaxseed, ground (or 1 2/3 cup pre-ground flax meal)
Combine cranberries and apple juice concentrate and simmer 5 minutes.
Put into a food processor with the flax and process until it resembles dough.
Press into a 9x9 inch pan. Chill.
I love this recipe. Let me count the ways.
1. 3 ingredients. Hard to beat for ease.
2. No baking!
3. Healthy fat woo!
4. No added sugar
6. Gluten free
7. Dairy free
8. Uses up the Craisins that’ve been luring me with their snackability
I think it’s funny how the big new trend in food blogs is “make your own Larabars” or energy bars or whatever people keep calling them- food processing dried fruit/fats/etc. My aunt has been making this for years!
Another example of a “new trend” that really isn’t:
Banana freeze. Freezing bananas and blending them in a food processor. Sound familiar?
But it’s not from some hot blogger. Rather, it’s from a Lent cookbook. My church spends much of the year not eating meat and, for the more hardcore Orthodox than I, dairy. So there are bazillions of meatless Orthodox cookbooks, my favorite being:
Is that a great name or what?! Anyway, this was published in the early 90s. Frozen banana soft serve is, in fact, a classic!
Another example of something new that isn’t:
Caramelizing your bananas before adding your oats.
I’ve seen people blogging about this “new idea”, and it’s actually how I’ve always done oats. I’m stoked that everyone’s coming aboard the caramelization train! It was something I did without even thinking about it!
It’s awesome. Food is like fashion. What’s old is new again. A good idea is a good idea, and people keep reinventing and repackaging things, but what it comes down to is yummy recipes!
Last night’s dinner was a classic. There are also a zillion versions of chickpea and tomato stew out there, but I always come back to my love Madhur Jaffrey’s recipe because it is JUST SO GOOD. From Madhur Jaffrey's World-of-the-East Vegetarian Cooking, which is probably my favorite cookbook of all time.
You saute onions and garlic in olive oil, then add chopped peeled tomatoes (I used canned) and let them cook down, then add chickpeas (again, I used canned), tons of fresh parsley, dried thyme, and water (I use a blend of water and the tomato juice from the can). Let it all coalesce for half an hour or so, et voila.
Some thoughts on ingredients: yes, this recipe of COURSE would be better if I used fresh tomatoes and had reconstituted dried chickpeas.
However, the cans were great for convenience. I think there are a few tips for buying canned goods that have helped me. Number one, I used Goya beans. I have almost NO brand loyalty, but I buy Goya beans whenever I can, because their beans are good-sized, of consistent quality, and firm (and are incidentally often the cheapest!). They also now offer several low sodium varieties, which is what I got. My second tip is using organic canned tomatoes. At my Safeway, organic and conventional canned tomatoes now cost exactly the same, and the organic, along with the environmental benefits, TASTE a lot better! So those are my tips.
Also, adding a tonnnnnn of fresh parsley to anything is going to make it taste good. Even with canned ingredients, fresh herbs go a long way.
Served with (if I do say so myself) rather perfectly fluffy brown basmati!
Hope everyone gets out there and enjoys (at least in the DC area) the lovely weather we’re having! I’m planning dinner with friends (one of whom is lactose intolerant, thus some of the motivation to make the cranberry bars) and I’m also planning lots of romping in the sunshine!