Saturday, January 23, 2010

granola treats and powder days

I live in a ski town and had the good fortune to have a few days off as a winter storm rolled in. Friday presented 15" of fluffy goodness and another 5" this morning. I actually skied the better part of the day on Friday which I haven't done in a long time.
I used to have to quit after 2-3 hours because my knees hurt... I told myself that it was because I can go whenever I want but the truth is that I haven't skied much in the last few years because it hurt. I was either exhausted or aching. I'd rather be at happy hour then out making turns. I'm the person that shaved her head because of a lost bet with my ski team in high school, who picked her colleges based on proximity to ski mountains and skipped more school then most students to enjoy days on the mountain. The change happened slowly and I blamed it on work and picking up telemark skiing (which is like doing lunges the whole way down the mountain) but I really just wasn't having fun anymore because I had no energy and a lot of aches.
This October when I started my ski conditioning class for the second year in a row I felt different. I felt like the class was having more effect on me then last season. I'd have to say that after around 20 days on the mountain this season so far (I had 22 the whole season last year) that I'm stronger, have more energy and am enjoying the sport again.  Did anyone else notice anything like this? Not just increased energy but a new responsiveness in atheletic endevors? My hand eye coordination has also seemed to improve from horrid to deccent.
I skied from 10am to 3:30pm in 15" of powder- then went to a friend's party last night! We made pizzas and other folks even tried my gluten free, dairy free pie and enjoyed it. I brought my own GF pizza stone and had premixed a Chebe crust in addition to shredding up some Almond "Cheese". I kept mine all seperate from the flour covered doughs that they had picked up from Baked in Telluride.
One bummer about the ski season is my apres options. We go to a place at the base of the mountain called The Hop Garden. As the name suggests this is a place that's very focused on beer. The menu is just as unfriendly for glutards with dairy issues. I could have a salad but that's just not my thing. I bring in my own snacks and think about how sick every one's wings and fries would make me. I now ski with a Lara Bar or Stretch Island Fruit Strip in my pocket to have for these scenes. I go because Dave and a lot of our friends are in the mug club there and they have a good price on his PBR for happy hour. The bartenders are not only nice but our friends and they happen to make a good margarita. So I pack a snack and try not too think about wings and things.  I'm not a huge fan of the texture of Lara Bars- so I'm working on a homemade granola bar with certified Gluten Free Oats to carry me through a long ski day and happy hour.
First I toasted 3 cups of GF Oats, 1.5 cups of coconut and about 3 tablespoons of flax seeds in a 325 degree oven for about 10 minutes.
I then brought 1 cup of brown sugar, 1 cup of agave nectar, 1 teaspoon vanilla, a dash of salt and 2 tablespoons of Earth's Balance to a simmer and mixed it with my toasted goodies.

I lined a baking pan with wax paper and spread the mix and topped with Enjoy Life Chocolate Chips. I love how small (and dairy free) these chips are. I used a small piece of wax paper to pat it all down and spread it out. I baked in the oven for 20 minutes and peeked after 15.

I let them cool and cut them into bars and some small squares.... this is when I learned a new lesson. My bars had stuck to the wax paper! I was able to remove it by reheating slightly and peeling it off but should you make these either lightly grease your wax paper or don't let them cool too long! They taste pretty good but I think I needed to add more of the oats mix as when it baked, the liquid mix increased seeped to the bottoms and made the base really sticky. I've got them in the fridge now and will figure out a way to pack them up to be non sticky and last in my pocket all day to help me be strong during apres time.

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