“What joy is there in being cavalier about your life or your endeavors? You should take your life, your joy, your endeavors, seriously.”
-Chris Lear, Running with the Buffaloes
Do I take myself too seriously? I’ve wondered frequently over the years. Probably, was always my first thought, but the more I’ve considered it recently, the more I tend to swing in the other direction: I think that sometimes we don’t take ourselves seriously enough. I don’t mean to say that we shouldn’t laugh at ourselves or learn to let go or try be spontaneous. All of that is important too! What I mean to say is why bother if you don’t care?
My lovely boss at a past job had a background on her computer that read “I care about this a lot.” It may have been a reference to something totally unrelated, but it always struck me as important. I did care about that job a lot. I care about my current job a lot, too. I care about my family a lot. I care about my friends, my future, my Earth, my country, my fellow humans, a whole stinking lot!
If something really matters to you, you’ll find a way to give it the time it deserves. If you’re not willing to put in the effort on a regular basis, ask yourself: how much do I really care? If it’s not too much, let it go. I take things seriously because they matter to me. I take myself seriously because I’m only here for a short time and tomorrow, next month, next year, the world could be a very different place.
What does this have to do with granola bars? Maybe just that I take delicious food very seriously too. Let's make these this weekend and go adventuring.
¼ cup almond butter
2 Tbls. olive oil
2 Tbls. maple syrup
1 cup rolled oats
¾ cups roasted, lightly salted cashews, chopped
1 Tbls. + 1 tsp. chia seeds
1 ½ tsp. flax seeds
Flaky sea salt, for sprinkling
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8 ½ x 4 ½ - inch loaf pan with parchment paper.
Place the almond butter, oil, and maple syrup in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Cook until warmed through and stir to combine completely.
In a medium bowl, toss together the oats, nuts, and seeds. Pour the almond butter mixture over the oat mixture and stir well, until evenly combined. Scoop the granola into the prepared pan and press well into all of the corners, using the back of a spoon. Sprinkle with salt.
Bake the bars for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the edges are a rich brown and start to pull away from the pan. The mixture in the center might feel just a tiny bit soft – that’s okay. Everything will harden as it comes to room temperature. Let the bars cool completely in the pan on a wire rack, then cut into bars using a very sharp knife. I wouldn't say no to dipping these in dark chocolate, if you're in the mood!