Opinion&Letters, Sept2016
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Caf Creations

“Being at Quest is just like making a smoothie. There are all these different academic disciplines, activities, and social experiences condensed down in your brain. Not everyone’s smoothie is good–too much of a single component can make it too bitter or too sweet. It’s striking the right balance that really makes a smoothie tasty but healthy as well.”

-Annika Smith, 2nd Year


One of my roommates offered this piece of insight as I sat on the porch of the cafeteria drinking a smoothie I had just made. This idea got me thinking about the importance of food on a university campus. Sure, we are here for the knowledge, not the food, but the food we eat has such a large impact on the way we live. It seems rare to go a single day without hearing a complaint about the lack of food options available to us. I’m guilty of quite a few of these complaints myself. After spending almost my entire first year at Quest eating the same meals every day, however, I realized that I just wasn’t thinking creatively. Black Katz offers plethora of foods that can be combined to create a whole new world of culinary excitement. In this column, I will provide you with some of my favorite combinations. I call them “Caf Creations.”


Oatmeal Peanut Butter Energy Bites

This recipe is a great substitute for store-bought granola bars. Oatmeal Peanut Butter Energy Bites are the perfect accompaniments to any outdoor adventure. They also work great as a casual afternoon snack. And here’s the best part: all the ingredients you need to prepare them are sold in the caf.



1 container of oatmeal (I prefer Black Tusk, but the variety is up to you)

Splash of almond milk from the coffee station

5 pumps of agave (or to taste)

1 individual portion box of rice crispy cereal

2 large handfuls of a nut of your choice (I have used both peanuts and almonds)

4 peanut butter packets from checkout counter

1 Awake chocolate bar

1 wax pastry bag



  1. Pick a container of the oatmeal of your choosing. Take container to the coffee station and add a generous splash of almond milk– just enough to mix the oatmeal into a doughy base. Add 5 pumps of agave for sweetness, also located at the coffee station. Choose a variety of nuts from the store area, located along the back wall.  Proceed to checkout, picking up an Awake chocolate bar. Make sure to ask for 4 peanut butter packets and grab a wax paper pastry bag before exiting.


  1. Break the Awake bar into small pieces and incorporate all ingredients into the oatmeal container, using your hands to mix thoroughly.


Tip: The salad bowls are useful for mixing if space becomes an issue.


  1. Once mixed, rip open the pastry bag to create a flat wax paper surface. Press mixture down firmly on the wax paper, creating a large, flat rectangle.


Optional: Drizzle chocolate on top for an added treat.


  1. Place in a communal kitchen freezer for at least 4 hours. For best results, leave overnight, however 4 hours is sufficient for achieving the shape of your bites (I get it, patience can be tough).


  1. Remove mix from freezer and cut into rectangles of the size of your choice (the real beauty of making your own bars).


  1. Plastic wrap each bar individually and store in the fridge until your next adventure!


Coming Next: Hearty Peanut Veggie Bowl


Do you have a suggestion for a Caf Creation? Email me at tala.schlossberg@questu.ca with your ideas.


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