No-bake homemade wild blueberry pistachio granola bars

I asked on Instagram, how can I help? I heard , “simple meal prep ideas, please!”

I’m here for it. For starters, here’s a simple no-bake homemade granola bar recipe that you make once, but will enjoy all week!

It’s simple but not #basic, and you’ll enjoy favors that are delicious and familiar yet on trend, like tahini and date caramel.

Here’s the date caramel just getting started with a handful of dates:

I ended up using 25 deglet dates so that there was enough physical ‘stuff’ to blend, even in my mini-food chopper. This is the date caramel with dates and water – so simple:

Makes about a cup:

Here are all the ingredients. First row: organic oats, lightly salted pistachios, dried wild blueberries, chia seeds; second row: date caramel, tahini, roasted sesame seeds, Maldon salt. 

I put all the dry ingredients in a large bowl (the wild blueberries are a little sticky, so not quite dry, but not quite wet either. They went in the big bowl). The small bowl is the date caramel and tahini. The sesame seeds and salt stay on the side until one of the last steps.

As I combined all the “dry” ingredients, I took the opportunity to separate some of the wild blueberries that stuck together.

This date caramel-tahini blend smells and tastes divine:
Add the wet mixture to the dry mixture and stir well. Here’s what it looks like after pressing into a lined small sheet pan – you’ll notice it’s a little bumpy:
Here’s what it looks like after I garnished with sesame seeds and salt:

And here’s what it looks like after pressing down with a straight-walled glass (like a Collins glass):

After at least 20 minutes in the freezer, invert the pan and cut into bars, that’s it! I think these would work well as energy balls, too. Instead of 16 bars, I think 32 balls would be good little mini snacks. Maybe I’ll try that next week.
No-bake homemade wild blueberry pistachio granola bars
 
Author: 
Nutrition Information
  • Serves: 16
  • Serving size: 1 bar
  • Calories: 110
  • Fat: 4.5g
  • Saturated fat: 0.5g
  • Unsaturated fat: 4g
  • Trans fat: 0g
  • Carbohydrates: 17g
  • Sugar: 10g
  • Sodium: 20mg
  • Fiber: 4g
  • Protein: 3g
  • Cholesterol: 0mg
Recipe type: Snack
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Simple, no-bake granola bars that work just as well for a snack as it does for a quick breafkast. These are packed with MIND foods: Whole grains, nuts, berries
Ingredients
  • 1 ½ cups rolled oats
  • 1 cup lightly salted pistachios
  • 1 cup dried wild blueberries
  • 2 Tbsp chia seeds
  • 25 dates (neglet noor or medjool)
  • 5 Tbsp warm water
  • ¼ cup tahini
  • 1 Tbsp roasted sesame seeds
  • ½ tsp flaky salt (e.g. Maldon)
Instructions
  1. Optional: toast oats (preheat oven to 350F, spread on a large sheet pan and toast for 10 minutes).
  2. In a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients: oats, pistachios, blueberries and chia seeds, breaking up any blueberries that may be sticking together.
  3. In a small food processor, make the date caramel: blend dates and water until smooth, pausing periodically to scrape down sides as needed, about 5 minutes total.
  4. In a medium bowl, stir together the wet ingredients: date caramel and tahini.
  5. Add the date-tahini mix to the large bowl with the dry ingredients, and mix with a silicone spatula until well-incorporated (alternate methods: clean hands, plastic gloved hands).
  6. Spread the mixture evenly in a parchment paper or Silpat-lined small rimmed sheet pan (I used an 8” x 11.5” pan, but 8” x 8” also works)
  7. Cover and freeze for 20 minutes. Gently invert out onto a flat surface and cut into 16 bars. Start by cutting in half lengthwise, then cut across widthwise in half, then cut each half in half two more times (7 cuts widthwise).
  8. Store in an air-tight container in a cool dry place for a few days, a week in the refrigerator, or up to three months in the freezer.

 

Korean Danhobak (kabocha squash) Porridge

Kabocha squash fall porridge with red dates, pine nuts, and mochi
Korean Hobakjuk

In Korean this dish is called “hobakjuk,” which can technically refer to zucchini or winter squash porridge. However, it most commonly refers to a porridge that celebrates the sweet winter squash called danhobak (it is also known as kabocha squash). The short-grain brown rice in this dish is a plant-based way to enhance its silky creamy texture.

MIND diet foods: Vegetables, Whole Grains, Nuts

Korean Pumpkin Porridge
 
Author: 
Recipe type: Porridge, Soup, Starter, Side
Cuisine: Korean
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
This mild-mannered and comforting porridge celebrates the subtle sweetness naturally found in kabocha squash.
Ingredients
For the Porridge
  • ½ cup sweet brown rice
  • 1 medium kabocha squash, about 4 lbs measured whole
  • 6 cups of water, ½ cup of water
  • Salt to taste
  • Recommended garnishes: jujube (red dates), sliced; pine nuts, roasted sesame seeds
  • Optional: honey
For the Mochi
  • ½ cup sweet rice flour
  • 5 tablespoons of water
Instructions
  1. Rinse and drain brown rice in cool water 3 to 5 times. Soak rice in clean water for at least 1 hour (can be done a day ahead).
  2. Preheat oven to 400F, about 15 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, soften the squash. Wash squash well, then pierce several times with a fork or knife and place in a large microwave safe bowl with 3 inches of water. Cook for 4 minutes. Flip the squash over, and cook for another 4 minutes. Let squash rest until cool enough to handle, then cut into 2-4 pieces and toss with a neutral oil, then place cut side down on a lined baking sheet and roast for 20 minutes. Let rest until cool enough to handle, then remove skins. It's 6-8 cups.
  4. While squash is roasting, make the thickening liquid. Drain soaked rice and add to blender with ½ cup of water. Blend on high until liquified, and set aside until ready to use. Quickly rinse out the blender.
  5. Blend the squash in batches, gradually adding 6 cups of water, until smooth. Move blended squash to a large pot and heat on low.
  6. Slowly stir in brown rice-water mixture and let simmer for 10-15 minutes. Remove from heat and salt to taste.
  7. Meanwhile, make the rice cake dumplings. Start a medium pot of water to boil, and set up a large bowl of cold ice water.
  8. Heat 5 tablespoons of water, e.g. in microwave or tea kettle.
  9. Place rice flour in a medium bowl and stir in hot water gradually until cool enough to handle, then knead dough for a few minutes.
  10. Pinch off a ½ teaspoon at a time and roll dough between palms to form small balls (makes about 30 of them)
  11. Drop into boiling water for 1-2 minutes, until they float
  12. Remove rice cake dumplings with a slotted spoon and place in cold water bath until ready to use
Plate it
  1. Pour soup into bowls, add a few rice cake dumplings to each, and garnish as desired. Drizzle with honey if using. Enjoy.