This past summer, my family decided that we were going to attempt to climb Mount Temple, the highest peak in Banff National Park. Unfortunately, due to poor weather and many injuries, we didn’t get to try. I had made these bars as a celebratory snack to keep us going once we made it to the top, but we still enjoyed them nonetheless in the rain.
They are a variation of these energy bars I made four years ago for a backpacking trip with my mom. Very tasty, easy to make and Bean-family friendly!
Mount Temple Granola Bars
1/2 c. rolled GF oats
1/2 c. quick GF oats
1 1/2 c. chopped nuts (I used 1/2 c. each of almonds, pecans and hazelnuts)
1/2 c. (packed) chopped dried fruit (I used a combination of apple juice sweetened cranberries and cherries)
1 tbsp. coconut oil
1/2 c. honey
1/2 c. almond butter
- Grease an 8″ x 8″ plan with coconut oil. Set aside.
- Mix together oats, nuts and dried fruit in a bowl.
- In a medium sauce pan, mix the honey and coconut oil. Bring to a simmer and let boil, stirring occasionally for 1 – 2 minutes.
- Mix in almond butter until smooth.
- Stir in the dry ingredients until evenly coated.
- Scrape into greased pan and press evenly into pan.
- Chill for an hour or two in the fridge and cut into bars. Wrap bars in wax paper and store in a bag in the fridge.
For this month’s Secret Recipe Club, I was paired with Sally of Bewitching Kitchen. Sally is Brazilian and a biochemist. She has a beautiful smile, an awesome kitchen, and mad cooking and baking skills! I feel like we have a connection as we both went grey early. :)
She has TONS of delicious looking recipes, like this Cauli-Couscous, this simple non-roasted “roasted” broccoli, this ultimate Apple Cake and this granola. She is also a champion bread maker and I am so impressed by all her Brazilian Food!
I ended up choosing her Avocado and Orange Salad with Charred Jalapeno Dressing – definitely a winner! I changed it up a bit – I used a blender for the dressing as I’m too lazy to chop things that small), added orange zest and added toasted almonds instead of seared scallops (shellfish = bad for me). I expected it to be fairly spicy, but it wasn’t – just really tasty!
Bewitching Kitchen’s Avocado and Orange Salad with Charred Jalapeno Dressing
1/2 cup fresh orange juice (I used 1 orange plus the juice left in the membrane from the segmented orange)
Zest of 1 orange
1 small shallot
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
salt & freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 avocados, sliced
2 oranges, cut in segments
Mixed greens (I used power greens mix)
Toasted Almonds (Optional – I ran out of time and didn’t toast mine, but I definitely recommend it to take the flavour to the next level)
- Simmer orange juice in a small saucepan until syrupy and reduced to about 2 Tbsp. It should take a little over 5 minutes. Let cool.
- Roast jalapeño directly over a gas flame (I used my BBQ), turning occasionally, until charred on all sides. Let cool; remove stem, skin, and seeds.
- Place shallot, vinegar, reduced orange juice orange zest, olive and the jalapeño in a single serving blender container (i.e. magic bullet or similar) and blend until all chunks are gone; season with salt and pepper.
- Toss avocados, orange segments, salad greens, and vinaigrette in a bowl. Serve with toasted almonds if desired.
Sally, it was a joy to read through your blog! I love how your fun personality shines through in all of your posts and your wide array of recipes!
Please check out the rest of Group D’s recipes below:
So the morning that Mr. Bean and I were supposed to head out on vacation, I fell off my bike on the way to work and had a wonderful crash. Thankfully, there were people who saw my crash and they took me to the hospital to get stitched up, plus Mr. Bean was home so he was able to pick me up and take me to the dentist to fix my broken t00th. Great way to start a holiday, eh?
Having your face and mouth busted up means no solid foods, so it’s a good thing I brought my blender with me! Here’s one of my favourite dessert creations. It would also be really good with peanut butter or chocolate ice cream!
Dairy Free Banana Almond Butter Milkshake
1 – 2 spoonfuls of almond butter
1 large scoop of vanilla coconut ice cream
2 large ice cubes (you could use more ice cream instead of ice cubes, but this helps lighten it up a bit)
- Add all ingredients to blender and blend until smooth, adding more ice cream/ice or almond milk to get the desired consistency.
When was the last time you were on a liquid diet? Let’s Commiserate!
For August’s Secret Recipe Club, I was paired with Kirsten of Troyer’s Loving Life. Kirsten is a stay at home mom who lives in Washington State with her husband and two daughters. She shares stories, moments and recipes from her life and journey as a daughter of the Most High King.
She has tons of delicious recipes – even including some gluten free ones! The following recipes caught my eye – creamy avocado dressing, Vegan peanut butter cups, Cashew Chicken Lettuce Wraps and Fusilli with Sausage, Zucchini and Cheese. When I was on holidays, we needed to bring a dessert to a dinner party, so I made a variation of Pioneer Woman’s Peach Crisp and it was a success! I was also feeling really ambitious, so on a hot day I made her Strawberry Watermelon Drink, which was super refreshing!
I did make a few modifications to the crisp to make it more “me friendly:” made it gluten and dairy free, didn’t add the maple cream sauce (although I’m sure that would be absolutely heavenly), reduced the sugar and used the fruit I had on hand. We served it with coconut ice cream and it was delicious! Definitely a keeper!
Gluten Free Vegan Peach Blackberry and Blueberry Crisp
3/4 c. Gluten free flour blend (I used Bob Red Mill)
1/4 c. almond meal (could use more flour)
1/4 c. gluten free oats
1/2 c. dairy free margarine (or other fat – coconut oil would probably work as well)
1/3 c. packed brown sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
Dash of Allspice or Nutmeg
1/4 tsp. salt
Juice and Zest of half a lemon
2 tbsp. maple syrup
5 – 6 c. of fruit (I sort of eye-balled it and used two sliced peaches, ~2 c. of fresh blueberries and ~3 c. of fresh blackberries. I didn’t skin my peaches, but if you want to, Kirsten has really good directions with her recipe.)
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together flours, almond meal, oats, sugar, cinnamon, allspice and Salt.
- Cut in margarine using a fork or a pastry blender (or go really old school and use your fingers, like me) until it is a moist, coarse meal.
- In a separate bowl, mix together fruit, lemon zest and maple syrup. Pour into a 8 x 8″ pan. (I also put some into muffin cups so that I would have some available to take photos of in case nothing was left over after the dinner party.)
- Sprinkle topping over fruit and press down lightly.
- Cover with foil and bake for 15 minutes.
- Remove foil and bake for another 30 – 45 minutes until the topping is golden brown and the fruit is bubbly. (The muffin tins took about 35 minutes total)
- Let cool slightly before serving warm with the maple cream sauce or ice cream.
Strawberry Watermelon Drink
Strawberries (I used less than 1/2 a pint)
Watermelon (3 – 4 2″ frozen chunks)
Fresh Basil Leaves (I used 2)Ice (if not using frozen watermelon)
Vodka or other hard liquor (optional)
- Place all the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Add additional basil/ice if desired.
- Enjoy on a hot day!
Please check out the rest of Group D’s recipes by clicking below!
At the beginning of June, I had my company retreat. (That’s only 2 months ago… I’m doing well!) The second day we had “team building” activities and I chose to go caving.
At the beginning, I was wondering what the heck I had gotten myself into.
It was dark. We had to clip into a rope. It was a bit slippery.
It was only until I successfully went through the first practise “squeeze” that I started to enjoy myself. It’s funny how doing something successfully boosts your confidence enough to give you the boost to continue on and enjoy yourself!
It was kind of crazy going through the “big squeeze”, where you had to riggle through a tiny hole that the helmet barely fit through, pushing yourself a few inches at a time with your feet and hands.
It ended up being really awesome – slithering through holes, climbing up and down rocks to get between “rooms” and generally getting very dirty. Totally worth it!
At the end of our adventure, we went to the Grotto. So pretty!
Soda straws from the ceiling
After a while we all turned off our headlamps and it was dark. I know I shouldn’t be surprised at that, but even when you’re in a dark room at night, there’s still a little light that your eyes can adjust to. Nope. Obviously not in a cave.
The happiest thing was this mushroom growing.
All clean at the beginning…
All dirty at the end!
Have you ever done something that pushed your comfort levels but ended up enjoying it?