Tomato Basil Larabars

Well, I unfortunately have to report that I have not yet found a definitive solution to stress, but I am still chugging along. Weekends are helpful, but do you want to know what's even better? Spring break! Which will be happening for me in less than three days by the time you're reading this. I will have a lot to catch up on over break, but I will still have time to catch my breath. That is, after the half marathon I'm running next Saturday.

While I'm excited for the race, and I'm sure the day of will be totally amazing, but for right now, that's one of the things I'm kind of stressed about. To be completely honest, my running has been pretty flat since the end of indoor track season during my senior year of high school (two years ago at this point). I obviously had to keep pushing when I was running for AU last year, but I have tried to keep myself going since I left the team as well. I kept telling myself that if I just got my head into it, I would be back to my buoyant self, soaring past my competition and floating across finish lines. However, I think the real problem is that I'm overtrained and a little burnt out right now. I haven't had a real break from running for the past three and a half years just because that was the way my schedule was and because I haven't listened to my body closely enough.

This is really hard for me because I have goals of running faster than my mind believes my body can right now. Shouldn't I be running fast now while I'm young and have the time to do it? Well, I have finally convinced myself that taking an extended break would be in my best interest if I want to shatter all of my previous PR's. And then break them all again. After I get through the race I'm registered for right now, I plan on taking several weeks or even months to rest and heal my aching muscles and fried brain. I'm not going to stop moving completely; I'll just learn to move in different ways and appreciate the range of activity our bodies help us accomplish. I hope if anyone out there is maybe struggling with the same thing that you also take the time to listen to listen closely to the signals your body is sending you, maybe see that it knows exactly what you need, and that you should love every part of yourself because without it, you wouldn't be you!

In that spirit, I whipped up this recipe with the intention of trying something new that would also nourish my body (and taste super awesome). I hope you guys have heard about Larabars by now because they're my favorite energy/snack bar on the market right now! All of the flavors start with a base of dates and some kind of nuts (sorry nut-free people!) and then things get wild. They add in things like CHOCOLATE CHIPS or COCONUT or DRIED APPLES or CARROTS and get flavors like Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough, Chocolate Coconut Chew, Apple Pie, and Carrot Cake. I'll forgive you if you stop reading this post right now and go to the store to get some. But when you come back, I need to ask, why has no one thought to make a savory version of a Larabar?! (Or at least why hasn't the Internet gifted me with such a recipe?)

I guess it might be a little harder to make a savory Larabar, but this post is proof that it isn't impossible! I was inspired by a bag of Trader Joe's sundried tomatoes that I had (and I also needed a distraction from studying... so many words, so little time). I know that savory snack bars aren't really that popular (actually I don't know if any exist in the mainstream grocery store), but I think trying these is definitely worth a shot! If you like pizza, you're pretty much set. These bars are basically a pizza you can keep in your pocket (except don't keep them in your pocket because they will probably get all squished and fall apart). Whether you're enjoying one as a snack after a long day of class or work or if you're refueling after a run, I hope you enjoy every bite!

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Tomato Basil Larabars (Makes 8 bars)

Prep Time: 2 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Ingredients:

3/4 sundried tomatoes (not jarred or packed in oil; choose ones that come in a bag)

1 c. cashews

1/2 tbsp. dried basil

pinch of salt

water

Directions:

  1. Add all of the ingredients except the water to a food processor.
  2. Blend until a crumbly mixture starts to form. You may or may not need to add any water depending on what your dough looks like. If it's sticky and holds together easily, you're good. If not, add water 1 tablespoon at a time until it does.
  3. Take the dough and press it into a square pan until it is about 1/4-1/2 an inch thick.
  4. Place the pan in the fridge or freezer for at least 20 minutes before cutting the dough into bars. Make sure you store them in the fridge (or freezer for long-term storage)!
Why do you stay
in prison
when the door is
so wide open?
— Rumi

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