30 April, 2012

Coffee Orange Nut Bars

I have been food blogging for almost three years. I get invited to review restaurants or test kitchen tools on a regular basis. My email inbox is full of press releases of new cafe and restaurant openings or other food related news. I get asked to publish guest posts on my blog, I get asked for permission to use my recipes/photos somewhere else. Quite a bit to wade through at times. No doubt, a blog develops over the years. And as your blog grows, you might feel obliged to be open to new opportunities.
Yet I still feel awkward to call myself a "food blogger", which I had to at times when I do accept an invite to a food-related event. Is that a hobby, or a job, or what?

If I had to define myself over my hobby or what I do or like to do, I would not be a food blogger. I'd say I am a runner.  I guess I'd prefer a chat with a fellow runner after a race, never ending discussions about training methods, paces and heart rate training zones.  If I had to choose between a food-related event and a race, I'd surely be found at the race. Above all that, I LOVE running. It keeps me sane, happy, fit. I love the social side of running in clubs, I love my competitive edge coming out in races.

The role of food in my life is more to be seen as "eat to live", rather than "live to eat". It goes without saying, I like good-tasting food, flavors and textures. But before all this, it has to be nutritious. Food must give me energy and must make me feel good and healthy.
But then, I am not a nutritionist. My nutritional knowledge is not nearly sufficient enough to tell people, what's good for them and what's not. In the end of the day, food tolerances and intolerances are individual. What works for one, might make someone else sick.

The relation between nutrition, food and health should not be a hobby, but be considered as something, that should be taught and understood as a very basic of life, like reading and writing. I want to eat right so I can move on to all the other exciting things in life. Like running. Or doing photography. Those are hobbies. Or even jobs to a few people.

It's probably no secret that I am nuts about nuts in my diet. These Coffee Orange Nut Bars are my latest to-go snack that I have been making over and over again. I love them as mid-morning and mid-afternoon snack, before or after a run, or even as a little sweet something after dinner. Full of flavor and crunch and deeply satisfying when hunger strikes.
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COFFEE ORANGE NUT BARS


1 cup whole almonds
1/2 cup peanuts
2 tablespoons flax meal
1/4 cup dates, pitted and roughly chopped
1/4 cup dried apricots, roughly chopped
1/2 ripe banana, mashed

1 orange, zest of
1 teaspoon instant coffee
1 teaspoon boiling water

Yields 8-10
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Preheat oven to 165C/325F. Line 20x20cm baking dish with parchment paper.

In a food processor, pulse almonds and peanuts until roughly chopped.
Add chopped dates and apricots and pulse again until finely chopped and well combined.

In a small bowl, mix coffee and boiling water. Set aside.

In a small bowl, combine mashed banana, flax meal, orange zest, and coffee mixture. Add to the nut and fruit mixture and blend until well combined. Transfer mixture to baking dish. Spread and press evenly into the bottom of the dish. Bake for 25 minutes or until edges are golden brown.

Let cool completely before cutting into squares or bars. Keep in airtight container in refrigerator for up to one week.

5 comments:

  1. I just posted my bars ( http://www.cuochettainpuntadipiedi.com/2012/04/barrette-per-tutti-ma-proprio-tutti.html ) inspired by another your recipe...and now I find these...I must try them!! :D

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  2. In your post today this line really spoke to me - "I want to eat right so I can move on to all the other exciting things in life.". I completely agree and it's something I aim for in food preparation. Fuel for the fire I suppose.
    Gorgeous and simple recipe, this might inspire me to be more nuts about nuts too!

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  3. That must be an awesome food journey. And definitely you have a blog that you can feel so so proud about. Going through some of your recipes - easy reading, beautiful pictures. Am also loving the fact that you are so conscious. Am now understanding the significance of the title of your blog. Happy Journey and wishing you more success as you share your thoughts:)

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  4. I just made these and they are fantastic! Thanks so much for sharing this recipe!

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  5. hi
    are these crunchy? or soft?

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