• Lindsey, EDRD

Hedging Bets

I have never really been one to enjoy gambling.

Slots? Blackjack? Poker?

No thanks.

So why then did I entrust my entire garden success on seed packets primarily from Dollar Tree?

Eek.

I spent the better part of the weekend outside planting seeds. Some I had started a few weeks ago, the others I just went for it right in the dirt.

Now is a fun time to be noticing that my Canon lens has a smudge on it


Watermelon, honeydew, pickling cucumbers, regular cucumbers, zucchini, beets, Swiss chard, parsley, basil, purple basil, sage, cilantro, cherry tomatoes, roma tomatoes, chocolate tomatoes, yellow tomatoes, jalapenos, habaneros, bell peppers, sugar snap peas, purple pole beans, green pole beans and OH MY GOSH this was the biggest gamble of my life.

One bet I did not take ‘cause I *knew* they would be good are these trail mix bars I made this afternoon. With kids coming in and out of the house all day (some my own, some not, haha), I am going to need SO MANY SNACKS to get us all through the summer. As much as I’m all for the convenience of pre-made bars, these were so stinkin’ easy and the kids actually had fun helping me make them.

I found these baking dates at Wal Mart- this is new to me. Previously whenever I made bars, I’d have to puree dates myself using my wimpy food processor and I just overall hated that messy sticky process. This product is fantastic though- it’s a paste-like texture and looks not unlike my dog taking a squat on our morning run, but that aside, it made the process infinity percent easier. Baking dates. Who knew?

I used basic crisp rice cereal for this. If you can find brown rice cereal, that would be the slightly better nutritional pick (but honestly it’s not much of a difference). For the chips, I love my dark chocolate- less sugar + more flavor! I should also mention that while I love my Smucker’s peanut butter, I used the kids’ generic peanut butter. I’ll try making these again sometime with Smuckers- I’m betting it’ll work just fine, but a disclaimer that I’m not certain!

Trail Mix Bars

2 cups crisp rice cereal

1 ½ cups dry oats

1 cup peanuts (I didn’t bother to chop mine but you could if you wanted)

½ cup raisins

½ cup dark chocolate chips

½ cup baking dates (or pureed dates)

In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine all ingredients until well mixed. Line an 8x8 or 9x9 square pan with plastic wrap. Press mixture down. Place plastic wrap on top and continue to press until it’s solidly packed down. When you think you’ve done a good job, DO IT MORE. Take it from me. Put in the fridge for at least an hour to slightly harden up, then cut into squares to serve. Keep leftovers refrigerated.


Annika's hand in the background, giving me a "thumbs up"


These have those awesome sweet 'n' savory, chewy 'n' crunchy combinations. My kids (and husband) love these. I'll probably need to make another batch in a day or two!


Makes 16 bars. Per bar: 123 calories, 19 grams carbs (2 g fiber), 5 grams fat, 3 grams protein, 20 mg sodium

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