Scarlett and I travel a lot. We're on a plane once a month and we've been doing that amount of travel since she was a baby. It's just the way it is when nana and grandpa live so far away. As a result, Scarlett is the most amazing little traveler — nothing like myself. I'm a nervous flyer, but I'd never let her know. I had to leave my fears and the larazpan behind when she was born — I would never want to transfer my anxiety to her. She just loves the whole process - pulling her little bag, ordering her beverage (Juice, pleeze) and coloring the whole flight. I try to make an event around eating because it kills time. I pack lots of snacks that could easily sit in a bag without any refrigeration. (I can't tell you how many cold packs airports have confiscated from me.) The obvious things like bananas, carrot sticks and apples always rate, but I also can't resist a home baked treat. I usually take enough for myself as well. If you're heading out-of-town for March break, here's a healthy snack. Larazpan not included.
photo Maya Visnyei
I was relieved when I went to bake these bars that have been adapted from a Whole Foods recipe and Scarlett jumped right in because she had formally quit the blog the week before. Since she had the flu, I was pretty sure it was the fever talking. Regardless, I was a little worried. I keep waiting for the moment when she realizes cooking isn't a game. Well, it's fun, but it's not Candyland people. I'm sure the lovely and brilliant photographer Maya Visnyei had something to do with Scarlett's keener attitude. In our home to capture the process, Scarlett loves to show her cooking prowess. Luckily, Maya didn't mind Scarlett's interest in her photography equipment or her inappropriate line of questioning. No one wants to explain to a preschooler why they don't have kids yet while they're working.
Blueberry Spelt Oat Bars
1 cup rolled oats
1 cup spelt flour
1/3 cup packed natural brown sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 ground cinnamon
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1/4 cup dried blueberries
1/2 cup sunflower oil
5 tablespoons orange juice, divided
1/2 cup blueberry fruit preserve
Preheat oven to 325 and grease a 8×8 in. baking pan. Set aside.
In a large bowl, mix oats, flour, sugar, salt, baking soda, cinnamon, sunflower seeds and blueberries. Add oil and 3 tablespoons of the orange juice. Mix well. Save a 1/2 cup of the mixture and press the rest of the oats into the prepared baking pan. In a bowl, mix the blueberry preserves with the last two tablespoons of orange juice. Spread preserve mixture over the oats then sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 cup of oats. Bake in the oven for 30 to 35 minutes. Cool in the pan on a wire rack. Allow to cool completely before cutting into bars.
photo Maya Visnyei
Thank goodness Scarlett didn't quit. I really didn't enjoy baking and cooking without her while she was sick. Plus, I like being her assistant — just prepping and cleaning. Poor Maya had a hard time keeping up with Scarlett since she likes to push through recipes. I think she just wants to be able to eat them.
I cut the sugar in this recipe from Whole Foods because I knew the dried berries would lend their own natural sweetness. I've got to admit, these bars are super crumbly. However, I don't mind because they tasted delicious broken up over yogurt.