Natural food bar and colours.

>> Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Hello Spring,

You have a way of creeping up on me rather quietly. 

Then one day, as I was busy going about my business, I smelled you and saw you in all shades of colour. 

And wondered why I hadn't noticed the signs - longer daylight hours and neglected scarves and jackets.

So I think it's about time to bid farewell to the slippy, drippy, nippy winter and make room for some showery, flowery and bowery times ahead (yes I remember my nursery rhymes).

I'm looking forward to days of ice-cream after dinner, unsightly tan marks, pizza parties, hiking trips and possibly some pollen allergies. 

Thanks for coming on schedule year after year and please make yourself at home!


Below are some of my recent Spring snapshots in 'rainbow'!


Spring is like a doting mother dressing her babies with red flowers. 


Drive into the orange sunset (in a convertible with flowy scarf and immaculate hair. Maybe only just the flowy scarf part.)


Banananana...they still cost an arm over here! But of course that didn't stop Mae and I from a banana bake-off!


Another delicious breakfast food = green zucchini fritters. And some sour cream.


True Blue! Did I tell you how pretty my city is?


The stigma of this flower is indigo, right? I often get indigo confused with purple or navy (because they never taught me this colour in kindergarden, so totally excusable!)


This purple lavender greets me every morning as I rub my fingers against its leaves for the lingering smell.

I need to declare my love for this natural food bar (almost like those museli/nut bars you find in the supermarket but is less processed = much healthier for you.) 

Being one of the few Asian kids growing up my area in NZ, Mother used to pack muesli bars in my lunch box when I wanted to fit in with the rest of the kids, as eating things like sheets of seaweed didn't exactly fly off with the others in primary school.

I really think I would've preferred this yummy homemade version.

This power energy bar is made of few simple ingredients: dates, almond, cocoa, walnut, and salt. I sometimes use nuts like cashew or pinenut, and add a bit of peanut butter too! The best thing about these is that you can try a gazillion flavour combinations with different ingredients and they are just sooo quick and cheap to make. 

I will be packing these energy bars to accompany me for the Spring hiking trips - I think they will make me more popular than in my primary school days. ;)

Chocolate PB Almond Dates Bars 
Adapted from Delightful Delicacies

  • 1 cup whole almonds and/or walnuts (or mix of nuts as you prefer)
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa (unsweetened, optional)
  • 1 cup dried dates (whole)
  • 2 tablespoons natural unsalted peanut butter (optional, but I find it binds the bars together better)
  • pinch salt
Chop the almonds in a food processor until you have a mix of chunk sizes. Add cocoa and pulse once. Add dates, salt and peanut butter and pulse until well combined.

Line a loaf pan with wax or parchment paper, press fruit and nut mixture into the pan and press down firmly. Remove from the pan, cut into bars, and wrap individually in plastic wrap or wax paper, tie with string.

Store in airtight container inside the refrigerator or freezer.

Makes 8 bars


Jeannie September 28, 2011 at 12:20 AM  

Beautiful photos Viv:) I love the bars too, would be so healthy eaten as lunch in the office:D

GratefulPrayerThankfulHeart September 28, 2011 at 6:16 AM  

Your rainbow photos are so beautiful and creative! And your bars look perfect! Your spring approaches as our fall does. Both full of color yet so different.

StarletStarlet September 28, 2011 at 6:32 AM  

Yay Viv, new post and tons of gorgeous pics! Just what I was expecting when I saw you on my google reader!

Now, I almost forgot that you are on the other side of the world. While we are bracing for fall and colder temperature over here, you are getting ready for beautiful spring dresses!

I would still have ice cream though, they are best in the winter! :)

Now, umm, do you have a recipe for the zucchini fritters too? I'm about to harvest a boatload of them!

Juliana September 28, 2011 at 7:19 AM  

Viv, great you are celebrating the colors of Spring, here we are ready for Fall :-)
The bars look very healthy and tasty...great at anytime...Spring or Fall ;-)
Hope you are having a fantastic week!

Nic@diningwithastud September 28, 2011 at 10:09 AM  

What stunning photos! These muesli bars look much better than the ones I use to have at school :)

renee@sweetsugarbean September 28, 2011 at 10:48 AM  

Gorgeous photos! Yes, your city is so pretty, I'm a little bit jealous. These bars look super healthy and delicious - and wouldn't you know I have a bag of dates in the pantry needing a purpose. Found one!

sugarpuffi September 28, 2011 at 2:56 PM  

beautiful photos! and the food bar looks so healthy yet delicious :D when will i see the post of the banana tarts?

Lori September 29, 2011 at 1:59 AM  

This is why I love reading blogs from around the world. It's so great to know what others are experiencing. As we move into fall and cool, crisp days, you are experiencing the new life of spring! The photos are lovely. I'm making these bars today. They will be perfect for a pre/post run snack for us.

Naomi A. September 29, 2011 at 4:04 AM  

Those bars look absolutely awesome.

Lisa @ Tarte du Jour September 29, 2011 at 8:55 AM  

What a beautiful post! These bars look delectable... the other school kids would have been green with envy if you pulled these out of your lunchbox. Gorgeous photos!

Yi @ Yi Reservation September 29, 2011 at 12:37 PM  

Australia is such a gorgeous country. I'd not hesitate to give up NYC for Sydney if I can find a job here lol (in fact a worker of mine decided to do that recently)

Zoe September 29, 2011 at 2:21 PM  

Very beautiful photos. I love the way you capture the colours of Spring.

Love the bars too. With no extra fat added, real nuts and fruits, these bars are great fillers for lunch box.

Btw, I've nominated your blog to Giulia @ Love at first bite, who ask for recommendation for a good Australian blogger site and the 1st person I thought is you. Hope that you don't mind.

Von September 29, 2011 at 3:05 PM  

How could you not notice?? haha....I love your photos- especially the one of the indigo flower! I was never taught that colour in kindy either! I only started eating muesli bars a couple of years ago- just out of interest ;) I used to bring all these asian snacks to school, which all the other kids wanted to try :D I've never tried making muesli bars though- I'll have to try this one day!

Aizi September 29, 2011 at 9:07 PM  

love your rainbow pics! and those bars look totally healthy...
it s supposed to be autumn here and i m looking forward to the leaves turning, but this week we re definitely enjoying 'Indian summer' days...
enjoy your spring! and your summer!

Jessica's Dinner Party October 4, 2011 at 8:41 AM  

Haha we're quite the opposite from you over here in Paris. We're bidding goodbye to winter and hello to fall! Can't wait!

hanushi October 4, 2011 at 5:12 PM  

Spring is always so wonderful and welcoming... :) Great photos.

Anonymous,  October 6, 2011 at 9:18 AM  

Are bananas expensive over there? They're cheap here. I can get six bananas for under two dollars. BTW, I love the bars, sometimes store bought ones are too over processed. These are simple and nutritious.

Zoe October 6, 2011 at 10:47 AM  

Hi Viv,

Sorry I've left this message before in another back-dated post...and I've missed out this most recent one.

You are right with your comments about my recent bread post. For this bake, I've kneaded and rested the dough using my bread machine and then I shaped them as accordingly. The Italian OO flour has a ranging gluten content ranging from 6-12% and the reason for me to choose to have this 1:4 ratio is because the overall flour will have 25% softness of the OO flour and at the same time having enough gluten to rise for a perfect bread texture. AP flour has a slightly lower gluten content than bread flour and thus less "tougher" than bread flour and I'm guessing that it might achieve the same effect as Italian OO. In regardless, I still like to use the Italian OO for my baking. I reckon that it works well for me most of the time :D

Dolly October 6, 2011 at 12:34 PM  

bananas yumm .. i made banana and choc chips muffines a month ago.. para were selling bananas for $6 p/kg bargain!!

Vivian - vxdollface October 11, 2011 at 3:42 PM  

The photos really do sum up the beauty of life! Always the little things :) Home-made fruit&nut bars <3

Quay Po Cooks October 15, 2011 at 1:35 PM  

This is a great post on colors and food. Nice photos too.

BlondeBomber November 11, 2011 at 9:13 AM  

Very inspired by this! I just made natural cupcakes and they were some of the best cupcakes ever! I will definitely be trying this. Thank you

Maryanne Gobble March 5, 2012 at 9:41 AM  

These are super yummy. Maybe to soft to take hiking in the heat or anything, but great snack straight from the fridge at home. Flavor combination is perfect!

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