A weekend in the mountains works wonders.
I forgot how much I missed not showering. And hiking, and snakes, and fishing for minnows with my hands. And meteors! I could keep going for a long, long time with the list. But yes, all that Appalachian air finally gave my mind some of the clarity it’d been distinctly missing.
Naturally, I did get to do some cooking on the trip. There was an apple tree right near the cabin where I climbed up and shook down a lot of apples. I wasn’t sure what kind they were, but I sautéed them with maple and cinnamon for a quick treat. Of course there were ample authentic s’mores, which were maybe even better than those S’mores Donuts I made a couple of weeks ago.
But now I’m home, and the baking can begin again! I was seriously protein deprived after a weekend of carbs carbs and more carbs, so I set out to make a protein bar without the use of protein powder (which I’ve sort of given up on, I can’t find a good, cheap vegan one!) but still with natural protein sources. They’re PB&J flavored too- a classic flavor combination made healthy!
Vegan PB&J Protein Squares
1 can chickpeas, drained
1/2 cup peanut butter (or sub. any nut butter)
1/8 dark brown sugar
1/3 cup unbleached organic flour (or sub. peanut flour)
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 cup + 1 tb almond milk (or any nut milk)
3/4 cup rolled oats
In food processor, blend chickpeas until smooth. Add peanut butter and blend. Add brown sugar, flour, and baking powder, and pulse until dough forms. Add in milk and blend until smooth. Stir in rolled oats.
Spread into greased 11″ x 7″ glass pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes, until tops form a slight crust. Cool before topping with frosting.
1 package light firm tofu, drained (12.3 oz)
1/3 cup jelly/jam, any flavor (I used strawberry)
3 tb chia seeds
optional: mint leaves
In food processor, combine tofu and jelly/jam. Add in 2 tb of the chia seeds, and blend again. If desired, add a few sprigs of mint. Add in last 1 tb of chia, and stir into frosting mixture. Refrigerate for about 30 minutes, until frosting has thickened. Spread over peanut butter bars and serve. Makes about 12 squares.
Well, now that I’ve got a huge pan full of bars, I ought to go share some. In the meantime, I had a nice moment during the meteor shower last night where this Owen Pallett song kept playing through my head. I had this overwhelming feeling that I was about to be sucked into outer space the whole time I was watching the stars (probably because every lucid dream I have ends that way… more on this strange phenomenon another day). But anyways, here’s to hoping my two feet stay planted on solid Earth.