I'd mentioned turning my Iron Rations recipe into an algorithm over at ysabetwordsmith
's place, but I think I need a little help with ingredient substitutions & possibly the algorithm itself.
Here is the basic recipe:
1 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup honey
1 tablespoon (cocoa powder/cinnamon/poudre douce
1 cup powdered milk
1/2-1 cup graham cracker crumbs
Mix the peanut butter & honey. (Warming them gently will help with this, but be sure to take the pot off the stove afterwards.)
Add the flavouring & stir it in good. (a Kitchenaid stand mixer is your friend).
Add the powdered milk a little at a time & keep mixing. (It'll start getting stiff here. This can be done by hand, with a spoon, but you need a bunch of hand strength. My hand & wrist always ached like hell afterwards.)
Once that's in, add graham cracker crumbs, a little at a time, until it hits the right consistency. (This is tricky -- it's somewhere between 'still gloopy' & 'starting to fall apart', & I haven't found a way to consistently hit the sweet spot yet, much less describe it to others. It also varies wildly with humidity, how long the honey's been sitting, & the state of the damn moon for all I can tell.)
Dump it out into some sort of form -- I use my silicone soap loaf mold & wash it extra-good afterwards -- & let it sit overnight. Cut it into bite-sized pieces (however you define that) & nom. Hypothetically it might want to go into the fridge eventually, but I've never had it go bad. Course then I've also never kept it around for longer than a month, & often a lot less.
It's lovely stuff, relatively inexpensive to make (except for the damn stand mixer, but there are other options), about the perfect balance of carbs to fats to protein for me (& also my roommate who's diabetic), doesn't need refridgeration, travels well, & is easy to eat even when food is the HARDEST DAMN THING.
There's a bunch of pretty common allergens in it, though, & I'd love to be able to give options.
Peanut butter can be subbed in with other nut butters, which could be fun for flavour but doesn't fix the allergy issue. I'd thought of trying tahini, but I think that also tends to be a problem for people with peanut allergies? Plus it's generally a LOT more expensive. I would LOVE to hear ideas for possible substitutions here.
Honey could be subbed with agave nectar, molasses, probably even corn syrup. They have different consistencies but that'd be dealt with in the 'mix in graham cracker crumbs' step. I'd love a savoury alternative or two here -- something with the physical properties of honey, & maybe the carbness, but with less of a sweet taste.
I've got the flavouring part down in algorithmic form pretty well already, I think. There are a zillion possibilities for flavouring here. With a savory alternative to honey, that expands even more.
Powdered milk is another pretty common allergen, or at least the lactose is. I suspect that most any sort of protein powder would work here, though again I haven't tested this.
Graham crackert crumbs can be purchased gluten-free if necessary (that's what my roommate & I do), or one could sub in oats (rough-ground or not), hemp seeds, flavoured breadcrumbs for a more savoury touch, & most anything of a sort of crumby-grainy consistency.
I came up with more ideas here than I had before, so this has already helped! I'd still love input. Especially let me know if you try making some, with substitutions or without. I'd really love to do a better job of explaining the 'add stuff until it's Done' step.