FRUITY OATY BARS
Prep: 10 mins
Makes: enough to feed a small protest action
I learned Fruity Oaty bars from a Bear Grylls book. It's a back.of.the.cupboard recipe - the ingredients all keep forever, and once it's made the bars keep for a good long time as well. They're perfect for taking to a protest; as well as taking on trips, or just having in the fridge for snacking.
- 200g dates (stones removed)
- 100g coconut oil
- 150ml water
One especially nice combo is:
- 1 tsp cinamon
- pinch of salt
- join your local climate direct action group NOW
1. Put the dates in the water over a low heat. Simmer. Use a wooden spoon to press the dates into the side of the pan so they melt.
2. add the coconut oil. This will also melt.
3. In a new bowl, mix the dry ingredients and flavouring
4. Turn off the heat. Pour in the dry ingredients slowly, mixing until the consistency feels OK. You can add more oats/dry ingredients than you mixed if necessary - too much date will be very intense (sticky/metallic/sharp), so err on the side of too dry.
5. Pour onto a flat surface and allow to cool, then cut into small chunks. Can be quite rich, so no more than 1.5" square is good.
6. OPTIONAL: you can bake at 180 degrees for 15 minutes, but I have never tried it.
7. Keep in the fridge and snack on
The coconut oil means these bars don't stick to the pan, so it's quick to wash up after them - and you can pour the mixture straight into a container tub, ready to cool on the way to an event where you have many people to feed.
The dry ingredients are so flexible that it's easy to DIY with what you have, and everything is also non-perishable, so you can keep the ingredients for ages.
These bars are vegan + raw as standard, but you can add other things in to experiment with flavours and themes. Consider also melting chocolate and sitting the finished bars in it until they set. or putting a drizzle of icing sugar on top. The dates read as "sweet", but a sophisticated cook might be able to do clever things to the other dry ingredients for the overall experience to read as a savory one (i find cashew helps!).
But the basic bar is trivial to make once you're used to it, from whatever you have around, so long as you have coconut oil, dates, water, and oats (or some other tasty dry ingredient).
Protest Top Tips!
Protesting is stressful and exhausting, and people will often forget to eat (or be in a position where they are unable to; for example, if the police have kettled people or arrested but not taken them away). Sharing food builds frienships; and if you've baked it yourself, can be a conversation-starter. Food can be emotionally grounding and physically replenishing. Food can also be handy for de-escalating situations - offering members of the public or officials a tasty snack can help build rapport, if it is safe to do so (little old ladies with a box of biscuits can work wonders).
It's a good idea, then, to always pack food to share when going to political events. Things to consider:
- Can be eaten without utensils (do NOT bring utensils to protests, they might be perceived as potential weapons)
- Not so sticky, crumbly that people will want to wash their hands or might mess up clothes
- Don't make you immediately need a drink
- Won't get nasty if the weather is too hot or cold
- Fits neatly in a container in your bag
- People may well be veggie or vegan; have food allergies or religious taboos. Obvs, you can't cater for 100% of these, but choosing recipes which match as many people as possible is good etiquette.
- What kind of rally is it? For the planet, you're gonna have lots of vegans. If it's an international solidarity march, say for Palestine or Rojava, you should plan for Muslim diets etc etc
- Think good-quality, high-energy foods, which sustain people without creating energy spikes or lethargy. A bit of chocolate is good for people under stress, but prioritise a kind of Healthy Breakfast On The Go vibe over desserts and sweets.
fruity oaty bars have been my go-to for years now; they don't hit all the criteria (they can be a bit sticky & you might want to wash it down), but they're pretty good - and you can pour the mixture directly into a lunchbox to set.