Hello! I’m Ariel…

I’m all about that healthy-ish lifestyle and my food is at the center of my universe. When I’m not cooking, eating, or photographing my food, you can catch me passing the time on the trails or playing with purr babies. Happy Eating!

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Gillian's Squirrelly Granola Bars

Gillian's Squirrelly Granola Bars

On Sundays we long run. Every Sunday the University of Pittsburgh Cross Country team loads up a bus at 7:30 a.m. and we make a bumpy ride to the long, flat, and monotonous Panhandle Trail. The ride to the trail is eerily quiet as most girls are struggling to open their eyes and their granola bars. Two weeks ago we rode in this familiar stillness and I heard someone unwrapping plastic wrap behind me; it was Gillian. Gillian is a sophomore distance runner who blew us away last fall with her speedy legs and exuberant presence. She is the most energetic and squirrel-like person I've ever met; I think she would take this description and a bag full of nuts as a compliment (Gillian I.O.U. a nut bag of your choosing). Any time you're with Gillian you should expect to learn something new, whether it's about her family's clam farming lifestyle in New Jersey, or her vast interests in Chemical Engineering. She also says "doll" quite a bit and I'm a sucker for terms of endearment. 

That morning Gillian broke the silence by unwrapping her nutty runner bar and I'm so thankful because these bars are worth breaking silences, vases, and your boyfriend's heart. "Yes you heard me right, we are breaking up over a granola bar. Maybe you'll find someone on Match.com." 

The recipe is simple and flexible for your desires. Let's not get started about my desires, we cannot fit them into this granola bar, nor would anyone want to eat them. 

Man on street: I found these 45 cats with no home looking for love.

Ariel: I shall name you Sir Pickles, you Nigel, you Theodore Meowsevelt, you Ralph...

Recipe time!

Master squirrel at work. 

Master squirrel at work. 

*This recipe is from Gillian's mother Sybil, who adapted it from a Runner's World granola bar recipe. 

Gillian's Squirrelly Granola Bars

  • 2 cups oatmeal
  • 2 cups nuts and/or seeds (I used almonds, cashews, and walnuts)
  • 1 cup shredded coconut 
  • 1 cup cranberries or raisins
  • 1 cup pitted and chopped dates
  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 1 cup honey
  • 1 tsp. vanilla

Directions

1. In a large bowl combine the oatmeal, nuts and seeds, coconut, and dates.

2. In a small bowl combine the peanut butter, honey, and vanilla. You may need to microwave these ingredients to aide the mixing process. 

3. Mix the wet ingredients into the oatmeal mixture. Line a pan with parchment paper and evenly press the mixture into the pan. 

4. Refrigerate the bars for at least an hour and cut into squares, rectangles, hexagons, or parallelograms. Wrap each bar in plastic wrap and store in a cool area. 

That's a lot of nuts!!! If you see Gillian on the street, be sure to ask her about her clams.

Happy Eating my friends.

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