This Friday Soon-to-be-J.D. and I made a date. And just like we were high school sweethearts (we’re not), we went to the mall. I needed a makeover. A life upgrade.
Note to self: life upgrades aren’t usually found at a 3-level mall with seven different fro-yo-Pinkberry-esque storefronts, a Love Sac store, and a Louis Vuitton inside of Bloomingdales.
Fortunately, we could drive ourselves. Definite upgrade. We could also eat dinner and it wasn’t Panda Express. Major upgrade.
But unlike my high school relationship with the mall (unadulterated passion), this one didn’t end well. I didn’t buy a thing. No wardrobe upgrade. No makeup upgrade. No kitchen appliance upgrade. Definitely no MacBookAir upgrade (i.want.). Not even the allure of new Lululemon tops could sway me.
A $50 dollar shirt made of organic newspaper did nothing for me. A cowboy hat with leather trim from a trendy store? Not so much. I don’t eat animals, and I try not to wear them. Faux-vintage wears from Urban Outfitters? Um, no. The you’re-too-old-for-this-store-and-this-mall alarm went off the minute I walked in the door. The gleaming and chic aisles of the ultimate makeover spot? Nope. I think people would run for the hills if I actually wore makeup nowadays, all who is this girl? This real life girl?
I wasn’t looking for that type of makeover.
But I was looking for a blog makeover. Check it out!
And a photo makeover!
And a dessert makeover.
I can’t have dessert at the mall. Downgrade. So I made this. It’s worth noting that this in no way resembles Friday’s Oreo Madness, but it is mostly raw, totally vegan, and pretty damn easy. And luckily I won’t have to worry about mussing up my designer duds, because crumbs + yoga pants are totally good friends.
It’s a Date Apricot Oat Bars
(vegan, raw except for maple syrup)
(fills an 8” x 8” baking dish)
- 2 cups raw oat groats (you’d probably be OK to use regular oats here)
- 2 cups almond flour (grind it up yourself or buy it)
- 1/3 cup maple syrup (or agave if you care about being 100% raw)
- 2 t cinnamon
- 1 t nutmeg
- 1/2 cup dried apricots (unsulphured, no sugar)
- 1/2 cup medjool dates, pitted
- 1/2 cup of water (more if needed)
- 1 T vanilla extract
1. Put the dates and the apricots in a measuring cup and cover with 1/2 cup of water. Let soak for at least 45 minutes.
2. Grind the oat groats in a food processor until finely ground. You’re looking for a flour-like consistency, but a few chunks are OK. Add the almond flour and maple syrup to the food process. Process until until it all comes together, sort of like a dough. Set aside.
3. Drain the dates and apricots, saving 1/2 cup of the soaking water. Place the 1/2 cup of soaking water, vanilla, dates, and apricots into a blender. If you don’t have a Vita or something equivalent, you may need to add more water. That’s fine. Blend until you get a smooth consistency, adding water as you see fit.
4. Press half of the oat groat/almond flour dough into the bottom of the baking dish. Pour the date/apricot mixture on top and spread evenly.
5. Crumble the remaining dough on top. You may not have enough to completely cover the top, but that’s OK.
6. Place in the freezer for an hour, or it until it sets up. Cut into squares and serve.
Or eat right from the pan. No makeover or fancy outfit required.
And what could be better than that?
I can think of one thing: when Louis Pug greets your arrival like you’re the Queen.
Preach it, B.