I’m fairly certain that Clif bars are the only reason that my brother hasn’t starved to death. Clif bars and rice. Between not having time to cook or a lot of grocery money, grad school can make life complicated. In addition to the actual school part. My staples were lentils and quinoa. Probably cooked in curry of some sort. I think I ate some version of curried lentils and quinoa at least 4 days a week during my first year of grad school.
I got to hang out with my brother this weekend for the 4th of July and some things still haven’t changed – the man loves his Clif bars and his rice. And spicy food, which was all fun and games until we ordered roasted jalapenos at a bar in Virginia beach and it burned both of our faces off. It almost brought me to tears and it wouldn’t go away. It burned for a solid 10 minutes. Jalapenos are tricky – some of them are more mild and some of them will ruin your life. These ones were life ruiners.
Anyway, bars are super convenient – but like most things, they are cheaper and healthier when you make them yourself! All it takes is a few minutes and a handy dandy food processor!
Carrot Cake “Clif Bars”
1 cup pitted dates (about 8 medjool)
1 cup rolled oats (certified GF if necessary)
1/2 cup almonds (or 1/2 cup almonds and 1/2 cup hazelnuts or 1 cup of any nut/seed you prefer)
1 cup shredded carrots
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup shredded unsweetened coconut flakes
1/8 cup honey
1/3 cup flax meal
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/3 cup water
If dates are dry, soak them in warm water for a few hours – it’ll make life so much easier!
Preheat oven to 325.
In food processor, pulse oats, almonds, and hazelnuts until crumbly. Add dates and pulse until mixed in.
Add in raisins, 1/2 cup carrots, honey, flax, and cinnamon. Pulse together until the mixture becomes thick and sticky. Add up to 1/3 cup water as needed.
Mix in the coconut and remainder of carrots by hand.
Line an 8×8 pan with parchment paper, leaving enough on the edges to pull bars out. Press mixture into the pan.
Bake for 20 minutes or until bars are set. Allow to cool completely before removing from pan.
Cut bars into whatever size you like and store in the fridge for best results.