by Margaret Mendel
I’ve been able to catch some of the trials that determine who’ll be heading for London to the actual games and I am totally amazed at the skill of these athletes. Even those who don’t make the Olympic Teams stun me with their efforts to make it across that finish line, jump from the high diving board turning and twisting with thrilling un-human maneuvers. And those gymnasts!!! Now that’s not something the average person can even think about doing.
The Summer Olympic Games have been around for more than 2,800 years stretching back in time to Homer’s Iliad. In those ancient years soldiers laid down their spears for several days before and after the Games allowing them safe passage through hostile territories as they headed for and then away from that first stadium in western Peloponnese.
This will be the third time that England has staged the Summer Olympic Games; the first was in 1908 and the second time in 1948. This time the shipyards in East London have been spiffed-up and transformed into a major playing field to receive this crop of world-class athletes.
What I find interesting is that there are no major food feasts related to the Summer Olympic Games. Since I have not been in another country during the games I cannot speak about anywhere else but here in the USA. There’s the hotdog, beer and crackerjacks that we associate with baseball, and spicy chicken wings and pizza are a tried and true staples that go with watching football. Then there’s the famous English strawberries and cream at Wimbledon. But I cannot think of any food that people clamber for during this major world athletic event.
It would feel totally inconsistent to start a greasy, fatty food fad that could be eaten while watching these athletes competing for the coveted medals. So I’d like to present an easy to make and healthy food, an energy bar.
The recipe that follows is non-gluten though any flour can be used, even whole wheat.
SUMMER OLYMPIC ENERGY BARS
1-cup quick-cooking oats
½ cup almond slivers
½ cup dark raisins
½ cup golden raisins
½ cup dried apricots
½ cup Craisins
½ cup pumpkin seeds, shelled
½ cup sunflower seeds, shelled
½ cup mini semi-sweet chocolate bits
½ cup dark brown sugar
¼ cup honey
1 ¼ cup all purpose non-gluten flour
½ cup nonfat dry milk
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon vanilla
Pinch of salt
½ cup milk
1 Tablespoon unsalted butter
Heat over to 300 degrees F.
Toast oats and almonds in oven on a baking sheet for no more than 10 minutes, watching carefully so that the almonds do not burn, then set aside to cool.
Turn oven to 325 degrees. F.
Add oats, almonds raisins, Craisins and apricots to the bowl of a processor and pulse about 10 to 12 times until mixture forms a course texture. Set aside.
In a bowl of a heavy-duty mixer beat the butter, brown sugar, honey, vanilla and egg until light and fluffy.
Combine non-gluten flower, dry milk, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add to the creamed mixture.
Next add the milk and mix thoroughly.
Add dry fruit mixture, seeds and chocolate bits.
Pour mixture into a well-buttered 13 X 9 by 2-inch deep pan, spreading mixture evenly across the pan.
Bake for 30 minutes, until it is set.
Cool in the pan. Cut into squares.
Wrap bars individually in plastic wrap. The bars keep nicely for about one week and can be stored in the freezer up to 3 month.