Right now it’s Hot in Southern california, anything requiring the oven just is out of the question. Actually, I questioned baking things outside in the sunshine instead but then decided against it just in case the food caught flames due to the lack of protection from extreme uv rays. To be completely honest, during my hot summer days at a small airport where I worked throughout high school, a group of us tested an egg on the scalding tarmac – nope, it doesn’t fry an egg in extreme heat. So, save yourself some time and energy by staying in the air-conditioned house sticking to no-bake recipes.
Genki Husband on the other hand has not been so lucky, he has had to work outside in the heat. Exchanging from and air-conditioned office to the unprotected desert heat has been hard on his health (and emotions) lately. Knock on wood and ask for something calming, that’s when I came up with the idea inspired by The Vegan 8. Below is my version of the oat bars but made it simple with ingredients you most likely already have in your kitchen, along with some of the measurements. These make around 10 oat bars and freeze best for hot summer days. I like to make these ahead of time and freeze, placing one in Genki Husband’s lunch bag before leaving for work in the morning. He either has it for breakfast or a snack, just depends on his mood.
1 1/2 cups quick cooking oats, blend into a flour (or buy oat flour)
6 lemon tea bags
6 chamomile tea bags
2 tbsp corn starch
1/2 cup maple syrup (or agave, brown syrup, etc)
1/4 cup chunky peanut butter (almond butter or etc)
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (around 4-5 lemons)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1. Combine all dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Open the tea bags up and just pour the herbal tea into the mixture (no water or steeping required).
2. Combine all wet ingredients together in a small bowl. You can either microwave the peanut butter for a few seconds to achieve a creamy texture or let it set out for a bit while doing something else. Or, if you are adventurous and it’s hot like it has been here, just place that bowl right outside and let the sunshine do the heating for free while you work on your tan. (Don’t worry, I just let it warm up inside on the countertop.)
3. Add all ingredients together until moist but not like a batter. It will look as though the mixture does not have enough moisture but don’t worry it will get there with a little bit of a stirring workout.
4. Place mixture into a prepared 9×5 loaf pan. I like to use parchment paper underneath so there is less mess and no workout to get the energy bars out without making granola.
5. Chill in the fridge or freezer for at least an hour, works best overnight.
*Any type of herbal tea will work. Personally, I chose chamomile for the calming effect and lemon for the cooling effect since these breakfast bars were to go to an intense workplace.