Way Better Than Fruit Cake!…

When I bought some gadgets from King Arthur Flour Co. a little while back, I also purchased a mix of dried fruit…

They called it ‘Our Favorite Fruit Blend’… it “is a combination of diced apricots, [golden] raisins, pineapple cubes, chopped dates, and sweetened cranberries”.

It sounded great! Upon it’s delivery, though, the package of fruit was labeled…

Dried Fruit Blend “Fruitcake Fruit” (the quotes are theirs)…

Wha??? Fruitcake? I double checked the ingredients, is that what I ordered? Yep. I gingerly tasted it… oh, it’s just dried fruit with a bit of confectioner’s sugar…

Fruitcake? I don’t know about you, but I’ve never had a fruitcake with this kind of fruit! If I had, I might have liked it better. I mean, doesn’t fruitcake have those weird gelatinous unidentifiable green and red bits in it that are supposed to be fruit?

Anyway, enough of my rant, this dried fruit blend resembled nothing close to fruitcake in my opinion, which is ok by me!

I found some really good uses for this mixed fruit blend…

First up, I added the fruit blend to Scottish oats, you know, pin-head oats? With a bit of vegan margarine and just a touch of sugar in the raw. I didn’t need to add too much sugar, remember the fruit is sweetened. Sorry, no pictures, it was gobbled up too
fast. šŸ˜‰

My next adventure wasn’t too far from the first… I added the fruit blend to Irish oats (which seem like the oats between old-fashioned and instant, you know, 5-min quick oats)… anyway, I made these oats with homemade vanilla almond mylk, the fruit blend, and a bit of vegan margarine. I didn’t need extra sugar because the mylk was sweetened with dates. Again, no pictures… this one I savored, but still didn’t take pictures of.

I seem to recall several bowls of oats with the fruit blend… but this next item… oh yeah, it’s a keeper too.

Funnily, it too has oats, but hey, what can I say, I stick to a good thing when I find it!

Behold, Averie’s Vegan No-Bake Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Protein Bars

She posted this recipe about a month ago, I’ve been meaning to make it ever since then, but I kept eating up all the bananas before I could make it! So when I got eight bananas from my produce delivery, I knew I was going to make these bars!
(*note: I am a goob… the recipe only calls for one banana šŸ˜› )

I made a few minor changes to her recipe, I do mean minor. My changes:

  • She didn’t specify what kind of oats, so I used Old-Fashioned
  • I used raw unsweetened coconut instead of sweetened
  • I used the dried fruit blend instead of raisins
  • I used chunky natural peanut butter
  • I used 4 Tbsp. hemp protein powder because I didn’t have brown rice protein powder

See, hardly worth mentioning my changes. šŸ™‚

I think the next time I make them I will add some walnut bits… one, for the extra crunch, and two, because we can always use the extra brain-food-omegas that walnuts give!

These bars are yummy and delicious! Dare I say, Awesome! šŸ™‚ I put them into snack-sized zip-top bags so that they’d be easy to grab and toss into a lunchbox. Averie, thank you for another stellar recipe!

Speaking of lunchboxes…

For the last two days, I’ve been packing a lunchbox for myself while I make a lunchbox for my ‘taste-tester’. Why? Because three days ago, it hit me that I’ve been seriously shortchanging myself.

Let me explain… normally I pack up his lunch and if there is only one serving of leftovers I give it to him, thinking that I’ve got a full kitchen at my disposal to make something for myself later. But nine times out of ten, I don’t have the time or inclination to make something for myself and end up snacking on not so nutritious, but easy stuff…

So, three days ago, I was straightening, vacuuming and mopping the house, but I was a bit behind on the dishes, so every time I went into the kitchen I was faced with a pile of dishes that needed my attention. I was disgruntled. Since I was busy elsewhere, I’d just pop into the kitchen make a quick cup of tea (using the microwave to heat the water – I can make tea in under 6-min) and practically run out of the kitchen. It was just too much work to make food when I had to do the dishes first. So, I decided to try making a lunch for me too. I mean, it doesn’t take that much effort to make two of everything in the mornings.

So, that’s what I’ve done for the last two days. Let me tell you, it’s been awesome! I don’t have to worry about, what am I going to eat? All I have to do is check my lunchbox and I’ve got something great to eat. I’ve been packing a bunch of easy to snack on goodies/veggies/fruit and something that needs to be heated. That way my ‘taste-tester’ can take several small breaks throughout the day eating just a bit of food, and then take a lunch with something a bit more substantial. It works out because he’s now actually taking breaks in his day, which he was not doing before.

It’s also great because now I will know what travels well and what doesn’t. Before it was a guessing game. ‘So how was your lunch?’, was a typical question I asked when he got home. Now I will know if something just doesn’t work in an lunchbox with an ice-pack. šŸ™‚

What’s in today’s lunchbox you ask? Well, let me see… oh, today I decided to try something different… I pre-peeled the orange and cut/cored the apple, then I placed them in the same zip-top bag hoping the orange would help deter the oxidation on the apple… it seems to have worked really well. The apple has just the slightest hint of orange, but it’s actually quite tasty – far better than brown apple! Plus, now time doesn’t need to be taken out to peel the orange. And hopefully apple-juice-cheeks are avoided as well, is that only me, oh…

What’s in the box? (PAIN!… I hope not!… don’t get the reference? Check here. šŸ˜› )

Well, there you have it, waaaay better than fruit cake, wouldn’t you say?
Until next time…


4 thoughts on “Way Better Than Fruit Cake!…

  1. Hi Nic!
    I am honored that you have 3 of my recipes in your lunchbox AND that you made the protein bars! Woohooooo! your tweaks were pretty minor and as i said in the orig recipe, pretty much anything and everything but the kitchen sink will work in these…and glad to see things totally worked for yours!

    I hope you have an awesome weekend & thx for the comment on my bloggie today and that you saw my reply on the site. šŸ™‚

  2. Pingback: Grapefruit, Lemons, Oats, and Kuzu… but not at the same time… « The Auspicious Squirrel

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