Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Yoda Bars

My cousin Laura has been making these yummy bars for us for a while. I originally found the recipe at the blog Thinking Outside the Box.

She calls her granola-type bar: Walnut, Coconut & Cinnamon Bars. We have termed them Yoda bars because Laura served them as such at her son's Star Wars themed 5th birthday party. My kids love them, they are freezable, portable and just delicious. We have a hard time keeping them around. Here is the recipe (if you want to see step-by-step photos go here:

  • 1 & ½ cups of dates

  • 1 cup of walnuts

  • 2/3 cup of desiccated coconut

  • ½ tsp cinnamon


Soak the walnuts for several hours and dehydrate until dry and ‘crispy’ (about 24 hours).

Place the dates in a food processor and work until they are completely mashed and form a ball. Place into a mixing bowl. Next pulse the walnuts and coconut in the food processor until they become pretty fine but not a flour. Add this to the mixing bowl together with the cinnamon.

I do this in the VitaMix. I do the walnuts and coconut first and do not rinse. The nut powder helps the dates not stick so much. Then, cut up dates first and put in 2-3 at a time. Run in the dry container if you have one at speed 7.

Working with your hands knead the ingredients together well. Then divide the mixture into six equal sized balls.

Mould each ball into the shape of a bar with with your hands. Then using a piece of non-stick paper on a flat surface press the bar against the surface on each of its edges to form a fabulous firm bar shape!

Repeat with each ball of mixture.

Wrap the bar in a piece of non-stick or greaseproof paper and seal with a little tape. Refrigerate. If freezing, put in freezable bag.

The recipe makes 6 bars. I have made another two varieties with pecans or brazil nuts instead of walnuts.

GAPS update and our little adaptations

I know it has been forever since I've last posted. I've noticed that is a common theme among GAPS bloggers. When I visit another GAPS blog and see that they haven't posted in a very long time I feel an instant connection to them. I am pretty sure I know what they are going through. Following GAPS does not permit you much time for anything else. So hats off to you GAPS bloggers that manage to blog regularly and follow the are amazing! For the rest of you: hang in there, we'll make it! If you are anything like me, it is also hard to blog when you are not feeling "rah, rah, rah" about the protocol. So, if you are following my blog and I haven't written in a while it is probably an indication that I am struggling with being fully on board with this crazy thing. I am constantly re-evaluating this approach and its practicality in our family.

We are beginning our 11th month on GAPS. I should clarify that the kids are the only ones that have been consistently on the protocol for the entire time. I have decided that I can not stick so strictly to it at this time in my life. It is too hard to plan for my meals and theirs. I am allowing myself freedom but I am also trying to eat as best as I can.

Honestly...The trying started yesterday. For the 2 months prior to yesterday (the 2 months I was not blogging), I have been eating everything in site. Needless to say, I don't feel the greatest.

So, here is to a new start at a road of moderation for me. For the kids, things are going great! Tyler hardly ever shows signs of hyperactivity, impulsivity, high irritability, sensory defensiveness, rigidity, etc (at least not more than most 6 year olds). All of their stools have normalized for the majority of the time. They all still have very distended bellies after meals and there are still days when diarrhea strikes and because I don't take records, I really don't know why. While many people that follow the GAPS protocol take data religiously, I have come to terms with the fact that that will not work for me. I can not do that, and I am okay with not doing this protocol perfectly. For me, if I stress out about doing it perfectly it is too overwhelming to do at all.

So, for those GAPS purists that will be aghast at my following list of adaptations: close your eyes. For anyone else following GAPS that is overwhelmed or on the verge of quitting, here are some of the adaptations we make:
-Applegate Farms Organic Chicken Hot Dogs (we eat at least once a week now)
-Trader Joes Raw Almond Butter instead of making my own
-Trader Joes Almond Meal instead of grinding my own almond flour
-Whole Foods Brand all fruit jelly
-canned coconut milk with guar gum (guar gum is a no-no on the protocol)
-baking special occasion treats with baking soda and/or baking powder
-baking special occasion treats with organic cocoa
-commercially available dried fruit and fruit leathers with no sugar
-most of our vegetables are not organic (we can't afford it otherwise)
-Spectrum Canola Oil Mayo

That is all I can think of now; I'm sure there are more. Its good to be back blogging again and hopefully I will be a little more regular. I have lots of new recipes to share.