Saturday, 13 April 2013

Chocolate lime energy slice, the park and the beach

Last weekend saw us making the most of the Autumn sunshine.  We took a picnic to the park on Saturday and headed down to the beach on Sunday.  Perhaps it was atonement for not making the most of the parks and beaches all summer.  On Saturday morning we fortified ourselves for an active weekend by making a chocolate lime energy slice.

This slice was meant to be.  I saw a few tempting recipes during the week.  I still had some of the lime cheesecake filling I had made for Easter eggs.  (We had made two batches of easter eggs but that was enough!)  So I decided to use this instead of nut butter.  It was brilliant in these bars.

I decided to use what I had at hand to make the slice.  Hence some more changes to ingredients.  I was shocked to find that we only had a measly 1/2 cup of walnuts left.  (Hmmm maybe I should have used up some of the oodles of almond meal I have in the fridge.)  The mixture was a bit wet so I added the dregs of a packet of coconut flakes and then more dessicated coconut.  I didn't have any plain chocolate so I used some of a bar of roasted almond chocolate.

Once the slice was firming up in the freezer, we packed out picnic lunch. Some cheese and vegemite sandwiches, fruit and a few small Easter eggs.  (We don't seem to be going through the Easter eggs very quickly this year and still have some left.)  Then we headed off to a new park I had found online.

The park is in De Chene Parade on the other side of Coburg Lake from the side where we usually go.  I was intrigued by the 'loungeroom'.  It is a carved loungeroom of sofas, a cluttered coffee table, a toy box, a fireplace and a tv with an aquarium.  Just this list gives you an inkling of how much attention to detail there is.  It was brilliant but it was too hot to sit there when we arrived.

The park was full of interesting play equipment.  It had a hexagonal sing.  Five swings all face one another.  It is quite friendly and there is usually a swing free for a little girl.  The flying fox was the longest I have seen at a kids park.  It gave Sylvia a fright on her first go but she loved it enough to go back again and again.  There was also a maze of old tins, a large seasaw,  more public art and an outdoor Twister dial and mat.  It was well attended without being horrendously busy. 

The slice was just the thing for the picnic.  Sylvia didn't care for her sandwiches and merely picked at them.  She managed to enjoy some slice, plums and an Easter egg or two.  As for me, I loved the slice.  It was dense and chewy on the bottom but soft and chocolatey on the top.  The roasted almonds in the chocolate were nice in the topping but the banana and lime together made it a tad fruity, even for me.  Nothing that I couldn't get used to, of course!

We had gone to the park from De Chene Parade so I was curious to see how to get to the part of Coburg Lake the we know.  We got quite a few smiles at Dolly with her big sister Jemima in their stroller as we carried it down the steps and across the bridge to the larger more traditional playground by Murray Road.

Sylvia took a fancy to this above curved ladder up to the slide.  It brought out the helicopter parent in me when she reached the top.  But she told me that now she is 4 she can climb it.  Mostly I stood around trying to make sure people didn't trip over Dolly and Jemina in their stroller.  Eventually I had to insist that we head back across the bridge and up the steps to our car for we had to get home for dinner.  It was such a lovely balmy evening that it was hard to leave.

View of Coburg Lake from the bridge.
The next day was another sunny day.  We drove down to see my parents in Geelong and from there to Torquay Beach.  It was our perfect day for the beach.  Warm enough to go in the water, mild enough that we didn't worry about sunburn and the waves were mere ripples so Sylvia was quite happy to splash about in the sea.  I was happy that there were no crowds but we loved the sandcastles, seaweed and ice cream!  It left me wishing for more.  Just like the slice!

Torquay beach.  Not quite as deserted as this picture implies but by no means crowded.
I am sending this slice to Ricki for her wonderful weekly Wellness Weekends event.

Previously on Green Gourmet Giraffe:
One year ago: WHB Purple carrot soda bread, wildlife and sandcastles
Two years ago:  Memes are due. Thanks are due.
Three years ago: SOS KC: Beets, Greens and Chickpea Curry
Four years ago: A Nutroast Tribute
Five years ago: A Long-winded Nut Roast Post

Chocolate lime energy bars 
Adapted from Inspired Edibles

1 cup dried dates soaked in boiling water for a few min
1/2 cup lime cheesecake mixture or nut butter*
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup walnuts
1/2 cup coconut flakes
1/2 cup dessicated coconut

Topping:
100g chocolate (I used almond chocolate but 70% is better)
1 small very ripe banana
1 tbsp honey (or other sweetener)
1 tbsp lime juice (or less?)*
2 tbsp dessicated coconut, to sprinkle

Soak dates in boiling water for about 5 minutes.  Drain and set aside.  Place all ingredients (including drained dates)  into a food processor and blitz until you have a sticky mixture that is almost a ball but not quite.  (You don't want it too wet or it wont firm up enough.)  I had to scrape down the sides of my food processor quite a few times.  Line a 15cm square cake tin with baking paper.  Spread mixture into tin, pressing down with the back of a spoon.

Make topping: Puree banana in food processor.  Melt chocolate in a heatproof mixing bowl in the microwave and stirring in banana, honey and lime juice.

Pour topping over slice.  Sprinkle with coconut.  Place in freezer for an hour or two to set.  Cut into squares or bars.  Can keep in the fridge or the freezer.  I found my slice was quite firm when out of fridge but topping kept firm only if in freezer so I kept mine in the freezer.

NOTE: If you don't happen to have cheesecake mixture like I did then nut butter should be fine but you may need to check the consistency of the slice mixture as it may change a little.  If you want the lime flavour I recommend more lime zest in the slice and less lime juice in the topping.

On the Stereo:
Deserters Songs: Mercury Rev

20 comments:

  1. What lovely photographs, Coburg lake looks wonderful. It's so hard to imagine the sun here at the moment - it's either grey and cold or wet. And I love the sound of your slice. You come up with such inventive recipes. Chocolate and lime being a bit of a favourite of mine at the moment, I might have to give these a try.

    BTW did I say my cousin, his wife & two young daughters are now living in Melbourne - I'm not sure what area, but they are loving it apparently. Moved out in January.

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    1. Thanks Choclette - I don't do much chocolate and lime recipes but I noticed a few of them on your blog recently - sorry to hear you don't have a lot of sun in your part of the world - glad to hear your cousin is enjoying melbourne - let me know if you decide to visit him (or if he needs any local knowledge)

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  2. FLYING FOXES!!!! Man I miss adventure playgrounds. At least I can keep eating my own no-bake treats.

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    1. Thanks Hannah - A friend of mine broke his back on a flying fox (and he was old enough to know better). I think I prefer no bake treats to adventure playgrounds :-)

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  3. Oh wow. You MUST come share this at Raw Foods Thursdays! Chocolate and lime? Absolutely divine!

    http://www.glutenfreecat.com/2013/04/raw-foods-thursdays-41013/

    Heather

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    1. Thanks heather - I didn't think it classified as lime because I melted the chocolate (you see I am a bit unsure about what is raw foods) but will try and come over to raw food thursdays

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  4. It looks like you all had a lovely day. That energy slice looks fab! Chocolate anything and I am there.

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    1. Thanks Cakelaw - I feel the same way about chocolate!

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  5. I love the sound of your weekend. That playground would be difficult for me to keep off of - the flying fox in particular! - and some of this slice would round things out perfectly. I'm glad you put the autumn sunshine to such good use.

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    1. Thanks Kari - I am not a flying foxes enthusiast (as noted to hannah above, a friend broke his back on one but fortunately not one like in the park) but I liked that this playground was inclusive because it had a loungeroom for people who like to take it easy :-)

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  6. Thank you so much for your encouraging words!! You uplifted my day... *grateful hugs* I am finding that I am actually much happier and more relaxed when I am broke but less morally and physically drained - an important life lesson, perhaps! :-) thank you again for your incredibly kind words... And this beautiful, uplifting post! :-) I am so happy to see Dolly again!! :-)

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    1. Thanks Astra - glad my comment hit the right note - money isn't everything - and no one wants to feel morally drained for any price - it sounds like your brave decision is already making you happier which is heartening to see.

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  7. Looks like a lovely weekend! I love the sound of your slice and that you created the recipe as you went along!

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    1. Thanks Hazel - I was pleased how well the slice turned out - the only problem with winging it with a leftover tub of vegan cheesecake mix is that I am unlikely to have that in the fridge next time :-)

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  8. What a fun weekend! Hehe I had to look up what helicopter parent meant too. I think that I would have been fascinated by it too! :)

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    1. Thanks Lorraine - oh dear, guilty of using mummy jargon :-( I suspect it would be far more fun to play on that equipment than to watch :-)

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  9. My fat bum has been on that flying fox. It's a great park, I like the lounge room thingies too :)

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    1. Thanks Veganopoulous - I have always wondered what is on that side of coburg lake but usually have a stroller that makes me feel loathe to climb upwards. Glad I have discovered it - not sure I feel brave enough to go on the flying fox

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  10. It sounds and looks like you had a wonderful weekend with all of that beautiful sunshine. The slice sounds like perfect sustenance for a busy day.

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    1. Thanks Caroline - the sunshine even more glorious in hindsight now that it has got more gloomy grey and wet here

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