Blogs: Compounding in the Kitchen

Up In the Air (The Not-So-Friendly Skies)

Published Online: Tuesday, March 18, 2014
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I love to travel, but only for adventure and vacation. If you give me an airplane ticket to some exotic locale, my face lights up like a Christmas tree. Business travel, however, is another story. There is the middle seat (can't they all be windows or aisles?). Even worse, there are the usual suspects of seat neighbors: the ones who want to talk the whole flight (and who could use a mint), the ones who keep getting up to open and close the luggage compartment, the loud talkers positioned a few rows over and, worst of all, my inevitable seatmate—the guy with terrible hygiene. Flying on airplanes has turned me into a bit of a germaphobe. If I had a wand to wave, there would be hand wipes for all—and let's not forget, plenty of mints!
 
Another problem with airlines is the food—or should I say, the complete lack thereof. When, exactly, did airlines stop serving anything more than a bag of three pretzels? There is always the airport food court, though it usually offers little more than unhealthy fast food. Not only are these foods high in fat (a bad idea when you will be stuck in a seat for hours, unable to walk off the calories), but their addictive greasy aroma circulates through the plane.
 
My advice is to be proactive and pack your own healthy options—and don't let the TSA take them! This month, I'm suggesting granola bars and have included an easy recipe is below. For extended layovers, I follow the advice of one of my favorite foodies, Anthony Bourdain. On his show “The Layover,” Bourdain makes a point of leaving the airport to explore the city and eat healthy in a non–food court environment. So check your bag, get out of the cramped terminal, and enjoy some local delicacies. Your body will thank you later.

 
granola_barsChewy Granola Bars
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup dark brown sugar
  • ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1½  teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 cups quick-cooking/instant oats, such as Quaker Quick 1-Minute Oats (do not use regular old-fashioned oats)
  • 1¾  cups crispy rice cereal, such as Rice Krispies
  • ½ cup sliced almonds
  • ¼ cup flax meal or wheat germ
  • 1/3 cup mini chocolate chips or dried fruit (or to taste)
Instructions
  1. Line a 9-x-13-inch baking pan with aluminum foil. Spray the foil lightly with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. In a large pot, combine the butter, brown sugar, and honey. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring constantly. Lower the heat and simmer until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is slightly thickened, about 2 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the vanilla and salt.
  3. Add the oats, rice cereal, almonds, and flax meal (or wheat germ) to the pan and fold with a rubber spatula until well combined.
  4. Transfer the mixture to the prepared pan and press down lightly with a rubber spatula to even out. Sprinkle the miniature chocolate chips over top, adding more or less to suit your taste, and press down firmly with the spatula so the chips stick. The mixture should be tightly compacted in the pan. Place the pan in the refrigerator for 1½ to 2 hours to cool.
  5. Use the foil overhang to transfer the uncut bars to a cutting board. Using a sharp knife, cut into rectangles. Store the bars in an airtight container in the refrigerator. If you have to stack them, be sure to use parchment paper or foil in between the layers, otherwise they'll stick together and fall apart.
Note: If you are substituting dried fruit for the chocolate chips, mix it in along with the other ingredients as opposed to sprinkling over top.
About
Jill Drury, Pharmacist and Cook
Blog Info
In this blog, Jill Drury, a clinical pharmacy specialist based in Chicago, Illinois, will talk about her passions—pharmacy and cooking, and how she has managed to blend the two. She will provide insights on compounding, along with recipes for healthy dishes, and will relate stories from her experiences.
Author Bio
By day, Jill Drury works as a clinical pharmacy specialist in Chicago during the week and as a clinical staff pharmacist at a retail pharmacy on the weekends. By night, she is a cook, mixing up recipes and sharing the results with her coworkers. Whether she's in the laboratory or the kitchen, Drury spends the bulk of her time measuring, grinding, and pouring to create a better finished product.

Drury earned her Doctor of Pharmacy from Midwestern University College of Pharmacy in 2007. She has done numerous presentations and consults for several pharmaceutical companies. She has won top honors at the Wisconsin State Fair for her jam, and has a Facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/pages/Jack-Jills-Laboratory/117372888279326?ref=ts) dedicated to baking.

Drury has found that the skills she utilizes behind the pharmacy counter can be applied to the stove top, and that both require a generous helping of patience and precision. Stay tuned to learn more!

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