Saturday, 24 November 2012

Healthy Coconut Banana Bars

I was thinking about post-uni plans as I was eating these breakfast bars today.  Actually, I had this realization a couple of days ago.  It's that time of the year when all 3rd year university students are busy with internship applications, especially the economists -- and I may be the only one in my year that still hasn't filled out a single application form.  Most economic students are expected to go into banking or accounting or other dreadfully dull, high-paying and soul-sucking jobs.  I can't do it.  In all honesty, it's not like I haven't tried applying to them.  I've half-filled application forms, it's just always difficult when I get to the "Why do you want to work with us?" part.  I honestly cannot think of a legitimate reason why anyone would want to go into investment banking other than to have a bank account equivalent to an all-you-can-eat buffet.  Up until this year I was pretty much set on going down that grim path.  I knew I was going to hate it, but it just seemed like the logical thing to do.  I thought a high-stress life would suit me just fine, and 14 hours of work a day with no sleep would be fine --- all a small price to pay for a gorgeous flat in the center of London and unlimited amount of useless designer bags.  Then something hit me. I think what really changed my mind was my friend.  I had coffee with him and he's only a first year, and he was telling me of his plans in the investment banking world.  And it just made me so sad. 
 You know what I want to do with my life? What I really want to do and probably never will? 

I want to open up a cafe.
It would be quite vintage. It wouldn't be too big, perhaps only enough seating place for 40 people.  You go in and you smell coffee and fresh pastry. Dark brown wooden floors.  Farm style roof composed of huge massive wooden beams.  Wooden tables.  A wide range of chairs, all different,  from basic designs to just the style chairs -- some armchairs, some stools, some desk chairs.  Same goes for the mugs, all different.  Food will be mostly served on wooden bread boards, a different shade and style from the wooden tables, of course.  There would be interior brick walls.. Don't know how you call them.  With magazine clippings and photos and some paintings and stuff posted on them.  One wall of the room would be a chalkboard wall where people can write things -- not with chalk because it would smudge, but with those special chalkboard pens.  There would be sections in other parts of the walls where there are shelves..embedded in them, if that makes sense.  And some would be filled with sculptures or pots and cookery things, some would be filled with books.  No set menu, I cook whatever I feel like cooking, the daily menu would be written on another chalkboard just behind the cash counter.  The pastries and baked goods would be around the counter.  There would be live music on some nights, it wouldn't be professionals, just aspiring musicians who could play for free. No franchising because I want to have a personal relationship with my customers.  It would all be very chill and bobo.

It's just a phase.  I'll get over it and I'll think of a more reasonable career soon.   

Anyway.  Breakfast bars to get you through the day! A big boost of energy, incredibly healthy, no added sugar, no saturated fat. It's amazing!

Makes about 8 commercial sized bars
1 banana
2 tbsp chia seeds
1 cup oats
1/2 cup mixed dried fruits
1/2 cup date paste
1/2 cup cashews
1/2 cup shredded coconut

Preheat the oven to 180C
Toast the oats slightly on a pan until slightly browned.
Put the cashews in a food processor and process until finely ground. Add all the other ingredients in.
Press into a standard loaf tin lined with parchment paper and bake for 10 minutes.
Take out and leave to cool before cutting it into bars. 

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