Thursday, April 14, 2011

Travel Insurance

 I can’t believe it’s been almost two whole weeks since my mom left for her work trip to Fairfax. Mind you, a lot has happened in that time – my sister’s and my birthdays (which slipped by without ceremony), I finished another two courses at IHN (and started one more – the other one’s next week), I started Zumba-ing (a new major love there) and realized just how tumultuous my relationship with my stepfather really is. I also got to play “Food Network Host” a la IHN – at least for ten minutes. But that’s for another post, with lots of pictures, a recipe and even a story about how I could never make it as the Next Food Network Star.

But like I said... that’s another post for me to write (likely in the middle of the oh-so fascinating Pathology ;-)). Anyways, being April, the time has also come for most universities and colleges to release their captives back into the world of the living. For my family, that means a caravan of my mom and stepdad, as well as my dad and his girlfriend, journeying up to Kemptville to fetch my sister from college and cart her and her belongings home. Because it’s a four-hour trip, starting roughly at 6AM, and my mom gets home from her business trip late the night before, a supply of snacks is definitely warranted. I actually get to miss the fuss and hubbub, and stay home to make her birthday cake!

Thinking of what I could possibly make to satisfy my family, I turned my attention to the latest package that I had received in the mail. Kellogg’s had sent a small sample box of their new cereal (think the 1-ish serving ones they market to kids) called Fibre Plus, so I figured well, it’s a breakfast food, and whatever I made would likely be breakfast anyway, so why not use it? I scouted around the house (discovering just how sad-looking our produce selection gets when mom’s away and I don’t have energy to do a huge shopping) and came up with some slightly floppy carrots, the end of a carton of buttermilk and tiny bags of berries, nuts and other fun things that if left to their own devices would start growing legs and walking around. But what to make? Well, lo and behold, I actually looked in a book for once and found a “Breakfast Bar” recipe by chef Jim Dodge in my copy of “The Best of FOOD” compiled by Marion Kane.

The basic formula – a buttermilk and bran concoction – just begged for customization. So breakfast left the table, and these Traveller’s Bars took flight.

Traveller's Bars
Makes 12 large bars
3 tbsp butter
1 tbsp low-fat peanut butter
2 tbsp honey
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
1 large banana
zest of 2 oranges
1 cup shredded carrots
1 1/4 cups buttermilk
1/4 cup oat flour
1/2 cup spelt flour
1/3 cup rolled oats (not instant)
1 1/4 cups spelt bran (not cereal flakes)
1/4 cup wheat germ
1/4 cup ground flaxseed
1/4 cup psyllium fibre husks
1/4 cup unflavoured whey protein isolate
2 tsp baking soda
pinch salt
3/4 cup Kellogg's Fibre Plus Harvest Brown Sugar cereal
2 tbsp chopped walnuts
1/3 cup sunflower seeds
6 dried dates, chopped
1/4 cup dried blueberries
1/2 cup diced dried apple rings
1/4 cup cinnamon chips (or chocolate chips, optional)

  1. Preheat oven to 375F and lightly grease a 9x13" pan with cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl, beat together butter, peanut butter, honey, and brown sugar until well blended.
  3. Mash in the banana, then stir in the orange zest, carrots and buttermilk until thoroughly combined.
  4. In another bowl, combine flours, oats, bran, wheat germ, flax, psyllium, whey isolate, baking soda and salt.
  5. Stir into the buttermilk mixture, then fold in the cereal, walnuts, sunflower seeds, fruit and cinnamon chips.
  6. Spread evenly in the prepared pan.
  7. Bake on the lowest rack of the oven for 25 minutes. Cool completely before cutting, wrapping and storing in the refrigerator
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 265.1
Total Fat: 9.2 g
Cholesterol: 8.7 mg
Sodium: 121.3 mg
Total Carbs: 43.3 g
Dietary Fiber: 9.6 g
Protein: 9.8 g

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