Radish Butter on Homemade Rye Rounds

 

It’s the late afternoon. Before the wine time, before we bathe and dress and head out to meet friends for dinner. It’s the afternoon respite, when the day’s whirl and swirl of energy has slowed to a breathless ease. It’s the afternoon sit down.

Earlier in the day flour dust rose and settled as I prepared the rye bread dough and shaped it into two logs. The smell of caraway seeds filled the kitchen, and the homey smell of bread straight out of the oven is the now the familiar. It’s so easy to make, so easy to create a masterpiece out of such simple ingredients- it no longer makes sense to do anything else.*

We don’t eat much butter these days. The demon “saturated fat” lurks within and I shun it at every possible turn, but from time to time, there something so simply wonderful as butter on bread. It is a taste so crazy good and so elemental, that it makes me laugh. Because I eat butter so rarely, I can experience a wide open happiness. That’s a really good feeling.

As a kid I remember reading books such as Heidi, where thick slices of wheaty homemade bread were slathered with butter. This was the staple, the basis of existence, the staff of life-the safe place of home.

I go back to that romantic place here.

The combination of radishes with butter and salt is another classic. If you’ve not tried it, please do. The sharp spice of the radish is tamed by the butter, and at the same time brightened by the salt. Typically radishes are sliced into paper thin wisps, then planked on top. For my table I’ve diced and mashed them right into the sweet butter. So simple. So good. A sprinkling of Maldon salt on top and you are complete.

A delightful afternoon snack.

Of simple.

And quiet goodness.

*The recipe for basic no knead bread is found HERE. To make rye, I replaced 1 cup of the white flour with dark rye, and added 2T of caraway seeds. When it came time to shape the bread I divided the dough in two and created two long thin loaves- as long as my oval pot would hold, and then baked them separately.

Road Food- The Energy Bar For A Queen

Well, whaddyaknow, but I am back on the road again. Took a 2500 mile road trip (solo) last weekend down to Southern Florida and back, this weekend I am flying out to Dallas for my Fiancee’s induction into the Women’s Softball Hall of Fame (YES! she IS amazing!!!), and the weekend after that I drive another 1500 mile loop out to Indianapolis.

I will say that road food has improved in some ways in recent years. It’s now possible to get fresh fruit cut and prepared, salad, and non fried meals on the go. It really is wonderful to see these offerings, and even better to see that people are opting for them.

Yet even with these better options, I do my best to take along a snack bag that I can ice down and bring some of my own things. Not only is it cheaper and removes any mystery, it also saves time. I carry fruit and low fat mozzarella sticks, sometimes yogurt in containers and- of course- these bars.

There are a lot of power bar recipes out there these days- I am certainly not reinventing the wheel here, but I will admit that I like mine the best. First off they are not overly sweet, which I find is a real problem for these bars. Yes, they are meant for energy, but pure honey, agave or syrups are just too much for me. I feel like that starts leading these treats into the direction of candies and I’m not really keen on that.

I use dates as my base. It’s a great option- high in fiber, iron and not overly sweet. Personally I am not a date fan on their own, but when combined with the other ingredients, you can’t tell they’re in there.

So this is one of those recipes that you have some latitude. I will provide you with my recipe, but feel free to tweak to your hearts content.

Here are my combinations:

Date/Oats/Peanut Butter and Dried Cherries
Date/Oats/Pistachio/Cinnamon
Date/Oat/Cocoa Nib/Coconut

I store mine in the fridge in small grab and go bags. They’re great post work out, or just to keep in your bag when you’ve got one of those long days ahead of you.

One note: Though they are healthy and full of nutritious ingredients, they ARE calorie dense- so in the words on Bonquiqui “Don’t go CRAY-ZAY”

The Method is the same for all- place all the ingredients into a food processor and whizz to even consistency. If your mixture is a little dry, add a teaspoon of water one at a time until you get a sticky clay feel. You want to avoid mushiness, but too dry and they crumble. Err to the moister side of things.

Date Oat Peanut Butter and Dried Cherries:

2 C pitted dates
3T fresh ground peanut butter
1c instant oats
1 fist-full of dried cherries
Pinch of salt

Date Oat Pistachio Cinnamon

2c pitted dates
1c instant oats
1c shelled unsalted pistachios
1t ground cinnamon
pinch of salt

Date Oat Coca Nib Coconut

2c pitted dates
1c instant oats
.5c cocoa nibs
1c shredded unsweetened coconut

After you’ve made your doughs you can either pat them into a square pan then cut into bars, or pinch and roll into balls. I obviously rolled the CocoNib balls in more coconut- but you can also roll them in finely chopped nuts, or nothing at all.

They store for a real long time in the fridge- if you can get them to last that long.

Power to the Power Bar

I am proud to say that I’ve been pretty good about going to the gym lately. It’s about time I dropped the 10 pounds I gained sampling my way through Thailand (NO regrets!) 

It is my usual practice to snack on a Balance Bar post workout. Sort of a treat but in a healthy way. I am also a fan of post work out refueling, it definitely helps my physical recovery and my mental attitude. So a snack that has quality carbs, protein, tastes good and can be dropped into my gym bag wins. 

I have my favorites and I don’t mind schlepping to Trader Joe’s to stock up, but the last time my little pile cost me some coin for, well, such a little pile. 

I certainly have all the stuff to make my own, and so, there you have it- the kernal, the spark, the moment of genesis. I love it when my kitchen becomes laboratory. 

I like crunch and I don’t like too sweet and I prefer a jolt of protein for good measure, so that was the challenge. 

I went hunting around online for some ideas and didn’t really like anything I saw, but I liked some concepts and discovered what I didn’t like. Not too cakey, not too nutty or granola-y either. 

I settled upon a sortof kindof rice crispy treat thing. I have a bag of chia seeds in the fridge and this seemed like a perfect vehicle. I also had some dried goji berries from my trip to Thailand and a jolt of chocolate is my idea of healthy antioxidants. 

The entire batch cost me approx $5, much less than the 16 bars would have cost me. I am pleased with the combination but have some more ideas for the next time. Gotta sneak in some more protein and more fiber. The nutritional breakdown is pretty good though, so no complaints really. (see attached to printable recipe). 

I wrapped them in wax paper and stored them in plastic bags. Easy to grab either coming or going to the gym. 

 
Rice Crispy Power Bar
(printable) 

3/4 c agave syrup
3/4 c fresh ground peanut butter
1 T gelatin softened in 3 T of water
3 C rice crispies
1/4 t salt
2T Chia Seeds
1/2 C Dried Goji Berries
1/2 C chopped semi sweet chocolate
In saucepan combine agave syrup and peanut butter. Warm over medium heat, stirring smooth, until bubbly. Remove from heat and add gelatin. Stir thoroughly until completely incorporated. Stir in salt.
In separate larger bowl combine the rice crispies, chia seeds, goji berries and stir to combine. 
Pour peanut butter mixture over dry ingredients and stir to incorporate. When cooled a little bit add chocolate and quickly and gently combine.
In baking pan sprayed with cooking spray, dump mixture in and pat evenly with hands. Allow to cool completely.
Remove from pan and cut into 16 equal pieces.