by Philly | 4:01 am

Homemade Peanut Butter Kind Bars

After my Homemade Clif Bars were such a hit, I asked all of you which bar you would like to see next.  The answers were all asking for KIND bars.  I had never even tried one, so I went to the store and got one to dissect.  The first flavor I attempted was Peanut Butter Chocolate.  I have plans for more homemade KIND bars in the future.

bars

These, like my Clean Eating Samoas,  are kind of involved, but I think they turned out pretty good!  I used my Sweet Peanut Butter Spread as inspiration for the ingredient that binds this bar together.  So here is the recipe.  I got about 10 bars out of the recipe, but mine are quite thick.

    • 2 cups mixed nuts chopped (I bought mine out of the bulk bin)
    • 2 cups brown rice cereal (I used Nature’s Path)
    • 12 medjool dates pitted
    • 1/2 cup natural peanut butter
    • 3/4 cup water
For the chocolate coating:
  • 1 cup chocolate chips (I used Enjoy Life Chips )
  • 1/3 cup milk (I used hemp milk)

Instructions

    1. Preheat oven to 325.
    2. In a large bowl , mix the nuts and cereal.
    3. In the food processor , pulse the dates and water until a thin paste forms.
    4. Add in the peanut butter. If you store your peanut butter in the fridge, pull it out a few hours ahead of time so it will be soft.
    5. Once all those are combined well, add it to the nuts and cereal.
    6. Mix well until everything is combined.
    7. I used an 8×8 baking dish, but I would suggest using a slightly bigger one because my bars came out a bit on the thick side.
    8. Line your pan with parchment paper leaving enough room for some paper to come out the sides so it’s easy to pull the bars out after baking.
    9. Press batter into the pan so it is coated evenly and then press down hard with the spatula. The batter will be very sticky.
    10. Bake for about 20-30 minutes.
    11. Let the bars cool before pulling them out of the pan.
    12. Once cooled and out, slice into bars, spread out and bake for another 18 minutes.  I cut my bars easily with a pizza cutter .
For the chocolate coating:
  1. Using a double boiler, melt the chips and milk together.
  2. Once a smooth and runny consistency is reached, drizzle over the bars and place in the fridge to set.
  3. I had some chocolate left over, so if you want, you can dip the bottom of each bar in to coat as well.  That way, they will be a bit more like the real bars.  Hope you enjoy these.

This recipe is from My Whole Food Life.

 

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by Philly | 8:35 am

Comparing Two German Kitchen Knife Brands

I don’t look at a knife the way I used to. I’m more aware of what it is. I think twice. This is a key finger. It’s in every chord. Neil Young

The best German knife is a thing of beauty. It is skillfully crafted and manufactured to perfection, Since I was such a huge fan, I thought it would fun to compare two block sets of German kitchen knives brands and find which has the best quality. I chose to use both of the knife sets for a duration of three months. The knife sets were the Zwilling J.A. Henckels Twin Four Star II 7-Piece Knife Set and the Black Wusthof Classic Ikon 7-Piece Knife Set which comes with an Acacia Block. If you don’t like the Acacia wooden block, you can purchase a set that comes with the Blackwood or Walnut block.

The Knives You Get

The Zwilling J.A. Henckels Twin Four Star II 7-Piece Knife Set came with a 3-inch paring knife, a 5-inch serrated utility knife, a 5-inch hollow-edge Santoku knife, an 8-inch chef’s knife, a pair of kitchen shears and a 9-inch sharpening steel.

The Wusthof Classic Ikon 7-Piece Knife Set came with a 3.5-inch paring knife, 6-inch utility knife, an 8-inch bread knife, 8-Inch chef’s knife, a honing steel and a pair of kitchen shears.

best-german-knife

The Legendary German Knives Appearance

There were many similarities between both of the knife sets. Both knife brands made their forged knives full tang with an extra mass of stainless-steel end caps. The handles were also made from high-impact polypropylene user-friendly handles. However, the Wusthof knives were secured to the blade by three rivets.

I preferred the Wusthof handles because no matter how hard or soft I gripped the handles, it stayed in my hands as if they were glued to them. Even though the Henckels was nice to hold on, I didn’t feel confident in slicing ingredients as it was also slightly lighter than the Wusthof.

The Blade and Balance

Both, the Wusthof and Henckels, knives were very well-balanced. I think this is because they have full bolsters. Both knives edge were also very sharp and I had accidentally cut myself with both knives. However, the weight of the Wusthof knives especially the chef knife made it sliced through vegetables and big chunks of meat effortlessly. The Henckels was also easy to slice ingredients but I always find myself searching for the Wusthof to get the job done.

Verdict

Both of this knife sets are almost the similar price. I recommend you getting the Wusthof because not only do I love it, it comes with a lifetime warranty which I think is very beneficial. To maintain the condition of these knives, do dry them after washing even though they’re stain and rust resistant. If you’re intimidated by the Wusthof, you can give the Henckels a try since there’s not much difference.

Getting the best knives for chefs

The tool makes the man and likewise for a chef. Knives are very important for chefs and could make or break the quality of a dish even if the ingredients are all perfect. Chefs are also often seen having their own personal set of knives, treating it almost like a prized possession. The best knives for chefs despite their high quality and grade, are easily available and you can buy them online too.

Make of Knives.

The best knives for chefs are often a push and pull decision, where some are inclined towards Japanese blade knives while others lean towards those originating from Germany. Both countries are world renowned for their knife making skills and have an ardent following of chefs from all over the world mainly for the reliable quality and finish that they offer.

Rivets.

To be considered as a good or excellent knife, it is never just all about the blade and how sharp it is. The grip that the tool provides is a key element as well. A sturdy rivet not only is able to handle pressure, it also offers durability and precision in the way the knife can be handled, giving the right and adequate kind of feel to chefs where they will not require much effort to wield it.

Culinary style.

What kind of knife works best for you as a chef also boils down to what culinary style you fall under. The kind of knife and the best knife for a pastry chef is clearly very much different from a chef who is dealing with tough meats all day. Each culinary style requires a varying level of style and precision which makes it hard to classify the best kind of knives for chefs in general.

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by Philly | 4:09 am

No Bake Granola Bars

Healthy, no bake granola bars with just 5 ingredients and a sweet, crunchy texture. Peanut butter and honey complement each other perfectly in this ideal portable breakfast or snack.
snack
Recipe type: Breakfast, Snack
Cuisine: Gluten Free
Serves: 10 bars
Ingredients
  • 1 heaping cup packed (~220 g) dates, pitted (deglet nour or medjool)*
  • 1/4 cup (84 g) maple syrup, agave nectar, or honey if not vegan
  • 1/4 cup (64 g) creamy salted natural peanut butter or almond butter
  • 1 cup (112 g) roasted unsalted almonds*, loosely chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups (135 g) rolled oats (gluten free for GF eaters)
  • optional additions: chocolate chips, dried fruit, nuts, banana chips, vanilla, etc.
Instructions
  1. Process dates in a food processor until small bits remain (about 1 minute). It should form a “dough” like consistency. (Mine rolled into a ball.)
  2. Optional step: Toast your oats (and almonds if raw) in a 350 degree F (176 C) oven for 10-15 minutes or until slightly golden brown. Otherwise, leave them raw – I prefer the toasted flavor.
  3. Place oats, almonds and dates in a large mixing bowl – set aside.
  4. Warm honey and peanut butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Stir and pour over oat mixture and then mix, breaking up the dates to disperse throughout.
  5. Once thoroughly mixed, transfer to an 8×8-inch baking dish or other small pan lined with plastic wrap or parchment paper so they lift out easily. (A loaf pan might work, but will yield thicker bars.)
  6. Press down firmly until uniformly flattened – I use something flat, like a drinking glass, to press down and really pack the bars, which helps them hold together better.
  7. Cover with parchment or plastic wrap, and let firm up in fridge or freezer for 15-20 minutes.
  8. Remove bars from pan and chop into 10 even bars (or 9 squares). Store in an airtight container for up to a few days. I kept mine in the freezer to keep them extra fresh, but it isn’t necessary.
Notes
*Although not ideal, if your dates don’t feel sticky and moist, you can soak them in water for 10 minutes then drain before processing. This will help them blend better and hold the bars together better. But ideally, you can find fresh, sticky moist dates.
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