I don’t really like cooking, I love eating though so occasionally I have to endure the cooking bit. What I tend to do is make batches of stuff when I can so that my efforts last for as long as possible.
Although I’ve literally just eaten a bar of chocolate we do try and eat healthily most of the time. Honest!
Anyway, I thought I’d share my breakfast bars recipe with you. What I love about these is:
1. They’re healthy- no fat, no refined sugar, yey!
2. They fill you up – stops you wanting that sugar fix before lunch.
3. They’re versatile, you can take them on your commute or load them up with yoghurt, fruit etc in a bowl at home or the office.
4. They’re VERY easy to make – trust me if I can be arsed to make them they’re not difficult.
5. You can vary your ingredients to your liking – stops you getting bored of the same old breakfast.
6. One cooking session can last one person 2 whole weeks- value for money!
7. You can also freeze them – what’s not to love?
Okay so let’s do this in just a few very easy steps.
Firstly, stick your oven onto 180c and get out a baking tray. Ours is 30 x 20x 3cm deep and will make about 14 bars, taking about an hour to cook. Obviously if your tray is slightly different dimensions, you’ll have to experiment with the cooking times.
An excited helper is optional, preferably still in their pyjamas
Start off with a big mixing bowl with 500g of porridge oats. This is the last time you’ll need to weigh anything, promise! Into the bowl stick a couple of large handfuls of blueberries or raspberries or some stewed apple, (We used to make them with stewed apple, and although they’re really good, the stewing the apple part was a faff) basically whatever you like that’s yummy – you could use blackberries, cherries, etc. Obviously the more seasonal, the better the flavour. Then into the mix stick in a glug of maple syrup and a glug of agave nectar, or more of just one of them. I reckon a tablespoon of each max is about right, but you can taste the mixture before it’s cooked and if you want it to be a little sweeter, add a bit more.
Stir the liquids through the oats and fruit then add some spice flavour. We tend to use mixed spice as it goes with everything, just cinnamon is also good. Give the bottle a few good shakes – around a teaspoon or two if you were measuring. Then also at this stage you can add a few optional extras. We like to add a good handful of ground almonds and for this batch we added some sunflower seeds and sesame seeds. You can add whatever you want crushed hazelnuts, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, etc. just experiment with flavours you like.
Once you’ve done that, chop up a couple of handfuls of dried fruit. We tend to use apricots or prunes, or a mixture of both as above. They help create a bit of stickiness and also add more vitamins and minerals to the mix.
Then add milk and stir well, the consistency should end up quite wet but still sticky, so just add a little milk at a time and judge it, you’ll get used to how much after a couple of times of making these. Don’t panic if you think you’ve added too much milk, they’ll just take a bit longer to cook and you might just have to cover them over near the end of the cooking time. Lightly butter your tray and pop the mixture on, compressing it.
Again optional, but you can now let your helper lick out the bowl 🙂
Pop tray in the oven and check on them after about 45mins, be prepared for them to take an hour. When they’re done they look like this. Wait for them to cool in the tray before cutting them up into the breakfast bar slices.
Eat the breakfast bars however you like, I dollop greek yoghurt and more fruit on mine because I’m greedy. YUM
I hope you enjoy making these- let me know your flavour combinations!
Love Angela xx