Introduction: Nutrition Complete Dorm Meal Balls and Bars

About: Like to solve everyday life little problems. I'm curious about things I don't know much. Like to do things that require and allow creativity.

This recipe is no-bake, gluten-free and vegan for original flavor. I also provide instruction on customizing it to suit your vegetable faith, chocolate passion or meaty taste. It is as easy as measure-mix-shape and done for original flavor. To drizzle chocolate, add vegetables and meat, it takes one step beyond which makes differences.

When I was in school besides study I worked in a lab part time. I always ran to food court late for lunch. All there left was McDonald's fries and that was usually what I got. It was poor nutrition and took a toll on my health. If I knew what I know now I wouldn't have lost 20lbs (gained back by now), a head of hair and added miles of wrinkles.

My dorm life is history. But I may have two international trips each year with two children who both can't stay still for one second, their hands reach as far as their eyes can, their feet are lightening fast, and five bags to be responsible for. There is just no way for me to walk up to or stand in line in food court in airport to eat. I always make a batch of these bite size balls or fat bars to pull out of the bag whenever we need. I pack them in cereal box which seems to be able to pass security if there is any leftover.

Whether you live a dorm life, have a trip or in an office, this recipe of meal balls and bars is a life savor. They are nutrition complete, tasty, and compact and convenient.

Check out the ingredients below and steps follow. Please vote for the Dorm Food contest after you review it and if you like it. If you decide to try it, don't forget to take photos and share them with I Made It button at the top.


1 1/2 cups rolled oats

1/2 cup popped amaranth (a how-to reference:

1/2 cup popped millet (I found it in Natural cereal section in Woodman)

1/2 cup dried coconut flakes

1/2 cup dried craisins

1/2 cup pistachios

1/4 cup flaxseed meal

1/2 cup pecans

1/2 cup pumpkin seeds

1/4 cup sunflower seeds

1 cup peanut butter

1/3 cup agave syrup, maple syrup or honey

3/4 cup unsweetened applesauce (I used homemade)

Optional ingredients:

3 tbsp. melted chocolate

1 cup stir fried green leaf vegetable

1 cup pulled lean meat

Yields: 10-15 servings

Step 1: Measure-mix-shape

If you really don't have time more than 15 minutes on hand:

In a large mixing bowl, measure and add all the dry ingredients, stir to evenly mixed.

In a large measure cup, measure and add all the wet ingredients, stir to mix well.

Combine dry and wet ingredients and mix to evenly distribute ingredients.

Cut 5 squares of parchment paper large enough to wrap your sushi mold around, place your sushi maker on the parchment paper, fill it with your granola, press firmly to form a bar. Place the bars in fridge to set.

If you have more than 15 minutes, or you can cram textbook on one hand and absent mindedly stir on the other hand, you can toast all dry ingredients except craisins, popped amaranth and popped millet till its color darkens or you smell its aroma (shown last photo). I always toast nuts, seeds, oats I use in recipes. It's one step beyond that makes the difference between a cook and a good cook.
You can also bring out your play-dough skills and form it into packed tsp bite size balls which takes a bit time to do but are beautiful and convenient to pop in mouth.

Also, because I have small children, I crush nuts and seeds to help them at least partially digest them instead of pass them out whole in stool or choke on (My kids are great eaters. They love food. The tastier the food, the more likely they swallow without thoroughly chewing, especially my toddler.).


Step 2: Customize

For people who faithfully eat green leaf vegetables, finely chop the vegetable, stir fry with vegetable oil and season with salt and pepper. Add it to the mixture. Collard green or Chinese broccoli is my No. 1 choice. Kale is second.

For chocolate lovers, melt 3 tbsp. dark chocolate according to its direction and drizzle on top of bars and balls before placing in fridge.

For meat lovers, add roasted, pulled lean meat. (I roast and pull meat as everyone else. But I make sure all fat is removed. And then I braise it in a Chinese red braising mixture, dig the how-to reference for how to make the mixture here:

Among the four favors, pulled lean meat is my favorite. Not only it packs more protein in your meal, meat prepared the above way makes the bars and balls taste profoundly delicious, not like any bars you have eaten before.

Enjoy Enjoy Enjoy!

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