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Treats & Snacks

Treats & Snacks

WFH PrOat Bars (haute bars?)

Heard of hemp protein? It comes from the same plant species as marijuana, but hemp is entirely legal and non-psychoactive. Sorry. My childer have it in their smoothies and these lunchbox proat bars. Proats (protein & oats) are simple to make, cheap, highly nutritious and crazygorgeoustasty.

Hemp protein powder contains all 8 essential amino acids to give it bragging rights in the plant kingdom, as well as a nice dose of omega-3 and iron. Omega-3 fats are important for gym bunnies as they help quench inflammatory markers and heal bruised tissue. More importantly, omega-3 fats feed your brain and not your waistline. We like.

Hemp’s rich store of iron is responsible for helping oxygen to Access All Areas and make you feel like a backing dancer for Beyoncé. Spinach pales in comparison – tough luck Popeye.

And finally, a word on flax seed. They help your pipes. A lot. And offer another round of omega-3 artillery.

Use whatever protein powder you have – I won’t mind. Much.

To make 8 bars:

80g oats

2 tablespoons (hemp) protein powder (or more oats)

3 tablespoons milled chia

3-4 tablespoons maple or rice syrup

5 tablespoons runny tahini

Generous flurry of flaky salt

1 In a food processor or blender, blitz the oats and protein powder (if using) into a fine flour.

2 Tumble into a large bowl with the remaining ingredients and mash together with a fork and muscle. If your oats soak up all the liquid straight away, it’s worth adding another splash of tahini or syrup. Both the oats and ground chia need liquid to make them more digestible. And if your tahini is super thick, you might benefit from adding another drop.

3 Line a loaf tin with parchment, and squash the mixture down. Freeze for 30 minutes, before cutting into bars and storing in the fridge. We love drizzling chocolate over ours, or extra sea salt. Serve them to moody teens or sporting nuts, and watch them prostrate your genius.

Treats & Snacks, Vegan &/or Raw

Making Cola Cordial

A long list of Ayurvedic spices and celestial goodness? Yup. It’s home-made cola, inspired by Dublin’s best barista and mixologist. (Hi Alex).

Whatever you’re into … Jesus, Allah, ACDC or Dumbledore, you can’t deny the reverie here. It’s all-powerful and pervading.

 

Home-made Cola

Makes 500ml cola cordial

 

5 medium unwaxed oranges

4 small unwaxed lemons (3 big ones)

600ml water

270g-300g light muscovado sugar

1 large cinnamon stick

6 cloves

1 vanilla stick

½ teaspoon ground All Spice

2 bay leaves (optional)

Sparkling water, to top

 

Prepare your cordial by juicing and zesting the oranges and lemons. Bring to a gurgling boil, and add the water, sugar, cinnamon stick and cloves. Now split the vanilla pod down the centre. Using a sharp knife, scrape out the sticky black seeds (which looks like black sap). Add this, and the empty vanilla pod, to your bubbling pot. Sprinkle in the ground all-spice – don’t panic if you can’t find this because you can swap it out for 2 bay leaves, a little ground coriander seed and ground nutmeg.

Boil for 45 minutes, or until dark and viscous.

Strain into an airtight sterilised bottle. Store in the fridge for up to 8 weeks.

To serve as cola, use ¼ cordial to ¾ sparking water in each glass and add some ice to the party. If it’s too sweet, add as much fizz as you fancy.

 

Groovy re-usable straw …

To wash, just rinse or stick it in the dishwasher! Made by my friend Jeannie in California (Jeannie is short for Genius, I think). Metal ones tend to freeze the bejaysus out of my lips.

 

 

Breakfast, Treats & Snacks, Vegan &/or Raw

GRAINOLA – a multigrain granola

Rice malt syrup – ever heard of it? You will. Sarah Wilson of I Quit Sugar fame swears by the stuff. And now I know why.

In fairness, this sweetener is flipping good. Think of a malted milkshake that hits the spot without being too saccharine or sweet. That’s rice malt syrup.

But calm down, it ain’t no superfood! (BTW, I’ve bags’d that for my epitaph). Rice malt syrup is a more wholesome sugar than most, and escapes the modern evils of fructose. What’s so bad about fructose? Little, really. Unless you regularly neck the dumbed-up version found in sodas and a whole lot of junk foods. This is called high fructose corn syrup (HFCS).

Fructose, itself, is a naturally occurring sugar found in fruit and some veg. In its natural state, fructose is found in small amounts within a coalition of minerals and fibre contained within that piece of fruit. Ah! But when fructose is artificially concentrated, and in isolation of other nutrients, our body treats it quite differently.

Glucose is metabolised by every cell in the body, says endocrinologist Dr Robert Lustig. Fructose, however, can only be metabolised by the liver.

Too much fructose in a concentrated, isolated form has been shown to substantially burden the liver. So if you’ve been horsing into high-fructose agave, it might be time to make friends with a new sweetener. Let me help you do exactly that.

Grainola

Enough for several weeks worth of breakfast

The number of expensive granolas to choose from in our supermarkets is unprecedented in Irish history. Trust me – you can make a much better one for a fraction of the price at home. This one has three different grains, making it a complete protein by virtue of its amino acid permutation. That’s benchpresser speak for “highfive”. Sporty teens will go mental for it.

  • 125ml (½ cup) rice malt syrup or barley malt syrup or maple
  • 125mll (1/2 cup) extra virgin coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 150g oat flakes
  • 150g barley flakes (or use more oats)
  • 150g whole buckwheat grouts (not flakes)
  • Up to 1 cup of hazelnuts
  • 4 tablespoons raw cacao nibs (optional)
  • Pinch of flaky sea salt
  • 200g dried dates
  • 100g dark chocolate, like Green & Blacks cooking chocolate

Fire up your oven to 160 Celsius, gas mark 3.

Line your largest tray with parchment, or use two smaller trays.

In your biggest pot, melt the coconut oil, your syrup, vanilla and cinnamon over a timid heat. Turn off the heat.

Now tumble in the remaining ingredients, all except for the dates and dark chocolate. Scrape the contents of the pan out over your lined tray(s).

Bake for 22 minutes. Allow the ‘Grainola’ to cool completely before stirring through the chopped dates and glorious chunks of chocolate. Store in a tall glass jar on the kitchen counter. This is magnificent stuff with ice-cold milk.