Prepare ahead / snacks / Thermomix / vegan

Sunflower seed and dried fruit granola bars (vegan, Thermomix)

One of the great things about being a teacher is that occasionally you get a postcard out of the blue from an ex-student who is studying or working somewhere outside Germany and wants to tell me what he or she is up to. It’s amazing in what ways they further their studies, their vocational training or follow their interests. Today I got a postcard from Charleston, USA from Matthias, an ex-student of mechatronics, who completed his vocational A-levels at evening school a couple of years ago.  He has spent the last year driving his university’s solar car around the world and now he’s spending a relaxing holiday in the USA before driving back to Europe. Isn’t that brilliant?! If you’re curious what the students are up to, here’s the link: http://www.solarworld-gt.de.

So, today’s sun-related recipe contains sunflower seeds.

The recipe is from the internet site http://www.goodlifeeats.com/2011/01/molasses-and-ginger-granola-bars.html. Check it out for tips on how to create the granola bar that you’ve always craved using Ms. Goodman’s 5-ingredient-formula. Once you have the formula, you can adapt/change/invent willy nilly.  I just substituted her ingredients for ones that I had in my store  cupboard which enabled me to rid myself of a few “pantry ghosts” that had been lurking there a little too long.

How to make the granola bars:

Add the following ingredients to the Thermomix bowl:

1/3 cup molasses (I used Swedish bread syrup)

1/4 cup maple syrup

3/4 tsp vanilla

1 cup dates (I used lekvár prune puree together  with whole, dried prunes)

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1-2 teaspoons ground ginger (I used two)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon cloves

Puree on speed 10 until you have a smooth paste. If necessary, push down the paste with the spatula and puree again.

Add

2 1/2 cups old fashioned rolled oats (not quick cook, I used rolled oats mixed with the last dregs of a musli with exotic fruits)

2/3 cup of chopped pecans (I used walnuts)

1/3 cup unsalted sunflower seeds

1/2 cup chopped, dried apricots (I used raisins)

1/2 cup dried cranberries (I used goji berries)

Stir on REVERSE/speed 2 until all the ingredients are well mixed. Peek through the lid to keep an eye on things.

Line an 8 in x 8 in baking tray with parchment paper. Wet your hands and press the oat mixture onto the baking tray until the mixture is evenly distributed and tightly packed.

Bake at 325 F (about 160C) for 25 minutes. Remove from oven, leave to cool and then put in the freezer until the bars are firm. Lift the parchment paper out of the pan, remove and cut the granola mixture into 8-12 bars. Store in an airtight container for up to a week or freeze for up to a month and thaw as needed.

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