Lazy lady snack attack
Well, the slow abandonment of our place downtown didn't happen. The night after I made that statement we started deconstructing furniture, cleaning out cabinets that needed cleaning out two years ago, and cramming the majority of our apartment into as few boxes as we could. Later the next day (after a four hour closing that usually takes 45 minutes) we rented a moving truck, schlepped the poorly packaged contents of our apartment into said truck in the pouring rain, drove across town, and then unloaded everything, assembly line-style, to our new place. Still in the pouring rain. The next morning I was up at 5AM, unpacking boxes as quietly as I could and by nighttime we were settled into a new space that still doesn't feel like home. Which I contribute to the fact that A) the apartment is much larger than we originally thought, meaning we need to acquire more things just to fill it out and B,C,D) there are no photos on the walls, my baking pans are strewn about the spare room, and my weights are still holding down the old fort because I figured if we're going to pay for that place until mid-June, I may as well turn it into a gym with a view.
While I'm here - which seems to be a rarity these days - I feel it's worth mentioning that my distance from this space has been completely intentional based solely on the fact that my writing has bored the shit out of me, lately. If you could see the accumulation of bullshit I've piled into Microsoft Word documents you'd probably cringe at the lackluster reflection, repetitiveness, and overall carelessness of my sentence structure. It's the real reason I put a password on my laptop because I would be truly mortified if anyone got ahold of that thing and read the couple hundred pages of garbage I've got stashed in a folder I recently named Psychobabble. Garbage that, now that I think about it, may have a lot to do with my ratio of read non-fiction:unread fiction because more than a few months ago I replaced Kurt Vonnegut, Milan Kundera, and Arundhati Roy with Alan Weisman, Vandana Shiva, and a bunch of other scholarly environmentally-minded folks who, although are influencing and broadening my knowledge surrounding many of the issues I study (issues I don' talk about here because who really wants to listen to me ramble about the demographic transition or carbon sequestration?), do not cover topics that evoke emotions conducive to writing anything heart-felt or poetic. Hashtag-longest-run-on-sentence-ever. My high school English teacher would be proud.
Since I'm lacking confidence in my ability to produce anything even remotely enjoyable (although I'm sure a quick fix would be to reread The Unbearable Lightness of Being), I figured I'd distract you with snacks because snacking is one of my favorite past times. Right behind procrastinating and reorganizing the bookshelf. And running the food processor at 6AM because WAKE UP, THOM! While most pre-made snacks tend to be tooth-achingly sweet, I wanted to throw together a few that aren't completely terrible for you. Ones that also require minimal preparation time because when I want a snack, I wanted it five minutes ago. And you probably did, too.
Notes: If you're going to make both the banana bites and the crunch bark, I recommend just melting the total amount of chocolate together, submerging 3-4 bananas, then using the leftover chocolate to make your bark; two tofurkies with one stone! And if you can save a bit of the chocolate, dipping the bottom of each macaroon would be a really delicious move. If you're making the macaroons and don't have coconut flour, you can use an additional 2/3 cup of shredded coconut but really you should try to get your hands on coconut flour. Try hard. If you'd prefer something a bit more moist, increase the liquid by up to two tablespoons. There are rather dry, but I prefer them that way. And because I think it's totally ok to play favorites: If you've only got time for one of these recipes, I'm on team maple macaroons. Just sayin'.
DARK CHOCOLATE COVERED BANANA BITES
I made this recipe for eHow a couple of weeks ago and you can find it here. For the toppings I used a combination of toasted buckwheat, coconut (shredded and flaked), cacao nibs, hemp hearts, raw almonds, and goji berries, but I think toasted quinoa or crushed pretzel sticks would also be a delicious addition. My favorite way to eat them is just after the chocolate has set, but just before the bananas have completely frozen because my semi-sensitive teeth are not fans of frozen bananas.
NO-BAKE MAPLE MACAROONS
1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut 1/2 cup coconut flour 1 cup raw almonds 1/2 vanilla bean, split and scraped Small pinch of fine sea salt 1/4 cup Grade B maple syrup3 tbsp almond milk
Line a small baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside. In a food processor fitted with the S blade, blend the shredded coconut, coconut flour, almonds, vanilla bean, and sea salt into a fine meal. Add the maple syrup and almond milk and blend just until mixture starts to come together. Using a 1 1/2 tablespoon cookie scoop, drop the mixture onto the prepared baking sheet and freeze for 30 minutes. Once firm, transfer macaroons to an air tight container. Cookies will keep frozen for up to six weeks, but I doubt they'll last that long.
Yield: 20-22 macaroons
DARK CHOCOLATE CRUNCH BARK
3 oz good quality dark chocolate 2 tsp unrefined coconut oil 2 tbsp raw pumpkin seeds, divided 2 tbsp toasted buckwheat, divided 1 tbsp goji berries
Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside. In a double-boiler over medium heat (or a microwave, if that's your jam), melt the chocolate and coconut oil. Once melted, stir in 1 tablespoon of the pumpkin seeds and 1 tablespoon of the buckwheat. Pour onto prepared baking sheet and top with remaining pumpkin seeds and buckwheat, as well as the goji berries. Transfer sheet to freezer to set for about 15 minutes. Once frozen, break into pieces and store in the freezer for up to six weeks.
Yield: 4 servings