Following 18 Rabbits

As I’m reevaluating my careers goals, I’m beginning to finally understand the difference between doing something you enjoy versus doing something just to get the job done.

The program for my Master’s degree requires lots of projects, papers, and group work. Last semester, I pursued paper topics and projects that were of remote interest to me. I wanted to get the assignment out of my way as soon as possible. Consequently, writing my papers felt similar to the action of force feeding myself  to eat a particular food I disliked. I tricked myself into believing I was interested in the topic but the product of my work couldn’t hide my disinterest.

As my involvement in leading and promoting a healthy lifestyle expanded with the transition into the new year, I found myself pursuing topics that related to either food or exercise. No longer did I find myself complaining or playing games on my mind. Yes, I still despise having to showcase my knowledge to my professors through paper assignments but no longer do I have to force feed myself to do the work.

Moreover, as I read the dozens of product reviews on various food blogs, it’s not the ratings people give that interests me but the goals and values of these food companies in providing quality products to their customers.

The people over at 18 Rabbits were kind enough to send me some samples of their granola bars. I liked that they partner with local farmers in creating their products. 18 Rabbits and I share some of the same values and goals:

At 18 Rabbits we pride ourselves in forming relationships with our ingredients and our farmers! We love to team with others who are as passionate about the health of our food and the planet as we are! With a focus on sustainability, we try to do out part to contribute to the earth and the community at large.

I taste-tested these two samples today. Surprisingly, texture of the bars were chewier than I had expected–could have been the flaxseeds, maple syrup, and coconut.

It was delicious and if I were to rate these bars based on taste, I would give the Cheeky Cherry Chocolate the highest rating while the Funky Fig and Cherries a few points behind because I didn’t find its taste too unique. However, the Funky Fig and Cherries Granola Bar definitely gets props for ostentatiously displaying those figs; it’s nice to see a company market its product as it is!

I always share foods I like with my sister so I reluctantly ate 1/3 of both bars and saved the rest for her hungry stomach 🙂

Concidentally, the same week 18 Rabbits paid me a visit, I had tried my First attempt at baking my own granola bars.

Peanut Butter Granola Bars

adapted from Ohh May

  • 1 tbsp coconut oil (or vegetable oil)
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1/3 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon (optional)
  • 2 cups old fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup chopped nuts of your choice
  • 2/3 cup Organic Peanut Butter
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup milled flaxseed* handful of sesame seeds
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries, or other dried fruit
  • 2 tbsp spelt flour (or whole wheat flour)
  • 1 cup puffed grain cereal: millet, wheat, rice, or kamut (I actually bought rice cakes and crumbled them into bits)

Preheat the oven to 325* F.

In a large Tupperware container, combine the oil, honey, salt and cinnamon. Microwave for 20 seconds, stir and microwave until very thin (about another 20 seconds.)

Add the oats to the container, cover and shake until all oats are evenly coated. You may have to open and stir the oil and honey out of the corners of the container.

Pour the shaken oats and the nuts into a 13×9×2 pan and bake for 10-15 minutes, turning once.

Meanwhile, combine the peanut butter and honey in the same container.Microwave for 2 or 3 sets of 20 seconds, until thin enough to combine the rest of the ingredients.

Once the oats are toasted and cooled, add the flour, dried fruit and puffed grains. Stir, then pour into the container of honey and peanut butter.

Fold ingredients together and add the sesame seeds.

Cut a piece of parchment paper large enough to line the bottom of the 13X9 pan. (An 11”x8.5” piece is the perfect size) place on bottom, thenspray with baking spray.

Pour the mixture into the prepared pan, then grease the bottom of a bread pan. Place the bread pan on top of the granola bar mixture and apply even pressure, flattening and tamping down the ingredients.

If there are any spots that appear dry, drizzle a little honey and then tamp down with the bread pan.

Bake for 20 minutes, and then let cool in the pan for 30.

Remove the bars from the pan and slice with a sharp knife into 18 equal pieces. (they end up about 3.5”x2”)

May, if you ever come across my blog, I want to tell you that I truly worship your ingenuity because these bars were really the best granola bars and I’m sure with the addition of flaxseeds or Saratoga Peanut Butter, they may have came out even better, but these bars were good enough for me and my family 🙂

The only thing I should have changed on my part was drizzling more honey or packing in the mixture a bit better because the parts that lacked sufficient amounts of peanut butter crumbled easily.

I’m very grounded in my values but I need to learn to not hide or be ashamed of my interests and hobbies. So this is what it means to follow your dreams…

What are YOUR dreams?

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4 thoughts on “Following 18 Rabbits

  1. Awesome post! I’ve heard good things about 18 Rabbits bars but I think the homemade ones look even better! Great job.

    Sigh. My dream is to open up my own restaurant and/or become a food network star. Both of which are slightly unrealistic. Have a great Friday!

  2. OH! I love the idea of ethics and morals behind companies I support. I think it’s great you focus on that idea and I’ll definitely be checking them out. I love to find products NOT made in China, built with laborers who earn a TRUE wage and that invest in the community around them.

    Nice review and the granola recipe rocks-visiting from Christina’s!!

  3. Thank you so much for your comment on my blog! 🙂

    You’re so sweet to share the granola bars with your sister… 🙂 I love your approach to assignments, picking topics you’re interested in and passionate about! So wise… I’m soooo excited about your granola bar recipe – they sound so delicious, healthful, and wonderfully peanut-buttery!!

    My dreams are to pursue my masters degree, and grow an improved garden this year! 🙂

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