A common mental image of a “hacker” is a computer geek who uses his computer to get unauthorized data. Thankfully. the term “hacker” no longer applies only to computer geeks.
This term has a completely new meaning that I embrace and embody in my everyday life and my career. It is a beautiful thing.
The term hacking can also be used to describe someone who combines excellence, playfulness, cleverness and exploration in performed activities. Now that is what I am talking about!
My darling friend Cesar asked me to make some food for a retreat he was organizing. He wanted some delish and healthy meals and snacks. I wanted to try something new for snack ideas. Here is a picture of Cesar enjoying one of my meals at the Unreasonable Institute retreat this summer.
My other darling friend Pascal has a recipe on his fridge for quinoa snack bars. I did not have a copy of the recipe but could remember the basics of the recipe and decided to give it a hack. You should check out Pascal’s website Make Awesome Shit Happen.
Using ingredients I had in the pantry and pulling out my food processor I got to work. I was surprised at what a “healthy hack” this snack turned out to be. “Healthy hacking” means when you get a result in the kitchen making fantastic food with beautiful ingredients that does not take hours of time or years of skill. I delight in finding recipes that are similar to expensive convenience items and are simple to make and cost a fraction of the retail price.
These healthy and tasty bars are a great “kitchen hack.” Packed full of ground flax seed, organic toasted nuts, dried organic fruit, dried coconut flakes, Justin’s almond butter and agave nectar this is a powerhouse snack.
TRY THIS RECIPE. Kids love it, you will love it and give some to your friends and they will love you more!
I urge you to step into your kitchen and hack away. No, I do not mean you should wield you knife in an unsafe manner but approach your cooking with a mindset that embodies excellence, playfulness, cleverness and exploration. Have Fun!
This a gluten free, paleo snack that is also vegan.
Quinoa Fruit and Nut Bars
Makes 12 Bars
Prep time 10 minutes
10 minutes to set
20 minutes to enjoying a yummy and healthy snack.
3 cups dried fruit, you can use apricots, cranberries, raisins, dates or any other moist dried fruit
1 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
2 cups nuts, I used almonds, walnuts and sunflower seeds and you can toast them or use them raw for a healthier hack
1/2 cup organic quinoa
1/2 cup organic flax seeds
1/4 tsp sea salt
2 tbs agave nector
4 tbs Justin’s Almond Butter, I could say to use any almond butter but for best results use Justin’s.
A great kitchen hack for baking and prep is to use a flexible cutting board, silpat baking sheet or parchment to measure out your ingredients.
Then you can just lift up the flexible surface and pour into your food processor or mixer without a mess or losing any ingredients. So easy and simple
1. Grind the flax seeds for about 2 minutes.
2. Add Nuts, Quinoa and dried fruit then grind for another 2 minutes.
3. Add coconut, salt, agave and nut butter and mix for 2 more minutes.
4. Line a 11 x 7 inch rectangular pan or any other similar size pan with parchment paper or plastic wrap. Spray lightly with non-stick spray.
5. Add quinoa bar mixture to the pan and press it flat.
6. Set pan in freezer for 10 minutes or refrigerator for 1 hour to set the mixture and make it easier to cut.
Bars may be stored in the freezer for up to 1 month or in the refrigerator for two weeks.
About a week after the retreat I received this email from Cesar.
Here is a photo of both my sisters and one of their fiancees with your snack bars in Argentina! I brought the left over ones as a travel snack and had enough to share, and the girls loved them would you mind sharing the recipe with us?This was a very nice email to receive. I love the fact that those healthy bars made it down to Argentina to these beautiful young people!!!
Since we are on the subject of hacking let me tell you about a happy discovery in my life. My husband recently found a hacker space in our town. Solid State Depot is the hacker space here in Boulder Colorado.
What is a hacker space?
From the website LifeHacker I found this description of a hacker space. They also list hacker spaces around the country.
“Great DIY projects are often easy to do at home, but many require tools and space that you may not have. Just because you don’t have a basement workshop doesn’t mean you don’t get to scratch your DIY itch. Odds are there’s a hackerspace in your community, stocked with tools, plenty of space, safety gear, and knowledgeable people willing to help you. These spaces offer would-be makers a place to go and safely experiment, tinker, and dream. Here’s how you can find and get involved with one near you.”
Check out your local hacker space today!