No Bake Blueberry Crisp Granola Bars
- 2 cups rolled oats
- 1 cup puffed millet (sub crispy rice cereal)
- 1/2 cup flaxseed meal
- 1 cup dried blueberries
- 2/3 cup raw cashews, chopped
- 2 tablespoons chia seeds
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup pitted medjool dates
- 1 tablespoon non dairy milk
- 1 cup almond butter (sub cashew or peanut)
- 1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- In a large bowl combine your oats, puffed millet, flaxseed meal, dried blueberries, raw cashews, chia seeds, and salt. Mix well.
- In a blender or food processor, combine your pitted dates and 1 tablespoon of non dairy milk until it is soft and gooey.
- Add this to your bowl of dry goods, along with the almond butter, coconut oil, maple syrup and vanilla extract.
- Mix until everything this well combined and sticky.
- Line a 9x12 (or slightly larger) sheet pan with parchment paper. Spoon your mixture into the sheet pan and use a separate sheet of parchment paper to press down on the mixture and smooth it out into the sheet pan.
- Freeze for 1 hour.
- Take out of the freezer, slice into 12-16 bars and store in the refrigerator until ready to eat.
- EAT UP.
I have recently been trying to wrap my mind around the differences between professionalism, perfectionism, and progression. It seems to me that one is outwardly motivated, one is inwardly critical, and the third is inwardly free, but outwardly judged. This trifecta applies to all jobs, but I think this is particularly true with artists. Part of what makes an amazing piece of art is a strong inner critic, a need for innovation, and a unique vision. What is hard to grasp is where and how much the outside world should play apart in this vision and, oppositely, how limiting the inner critic should be. It’s a constant dance of pleasing others and pleasing yourself.
Take this recipe for instance, I did a very similar recipe a few weeks ago called Baked Blueberry Granola Bars. I tested about a million versions and came down to two. I did taste tests with people and got completely mixed answers on which bar they liked better. So I just went with my gut. But I also had a little voice in my mind saying, one of these versions would be better not baked. But every other voice said, “You can’t do that. You just put up a recipe really similar it’s not professional of you to do another one. No one will care. You’re being really boring. You can do better.”
So I debated over the merit of the idea. Stressed over the reactions. Judged myself into inaction. Until now. So here I am to say, screw that. It’s bullshit. No matter if you consider yourself an artist by trade or you just exist in the artistry of being a human, this idea applies. We should focus solely on progress – never perfection, and rarely professionalism. Progress is messy. Progress is failing. Progress is taking chances, and having people hate them. But progress is also the only way we become better. The only way our art (and our lives) move forward. So make the damn granola bars, or post the damn pictures, or paint the dang painting. We are not here on this messy, screwed up planet to follow a path, remain the same, and die. No. We are here to make human magic.