ugly little energy bars

So, in honor of the hubs' first half marathon this weekend, I made him some tasty - and ugly - little energy bars. What they lack in aesthetics, though, they make up for in toasty nuttiness. And it gave me the opportunity to use my combo peanut-cashew-almond nut butter. Turned out to be a great pre- and post-run snack. I think I might just blame his awesome time on these little guys. But don't feel like you have to run 13 miles to enjoy one (or two)! They're super good for you, too.

Ugly little energy bars (makes 12 bars)
  • 2/3 cup ground flax seed
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter (or any nut butter)
  • 1/3 cup honey (next time I'll try half agave)
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 2/3 cup dried fruits (raisins, cranberries, chopped apricots, whatever you have.)
  • 2/3 cup nuts or seeds (sunflower, pumpkin, chopped almonds, etc.)
  • Pinch salt (two pinches if peanut butter is unsalted)
1. Pre-heat oven to 325.
2. Combine flax with peanut butter, honey, salt, and water in large bowl and stir to combine.
3. Add dried fruits, nuts and seeds in whatever combination you like. Batter will be very stiff.
4. Spray 12 cup muffin tin with non-stick spray and divide batter evenly into cups. Use damp fingers to press batter into cups and flatten tops.
5. Bake 25 to 30 minutes until tops are dry and edges are a deep, toasty brown. (Bars will not rise.) Cool completely and store in air-tight container for up to two weeks.

Homemade pickles
The other thing I attempted this weekend was homemade pickles - inspired by two huge cucumbers I got in my produce box. This picture is of them after I shook them up with the pickling spice. You can see the coriander, dill, red pepper and a bunch of the other seasonings that went into the homemade spice mix. The jury is still out on  how they will taste, but the brine is salty, kinda spicy and tangy, and it was pretty fun to put together. I'll post the recipe after we've tasted them.

Hope everyone had a great weekend!

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