How many of you run out every morning and skip breakfast in the process and grab a coffee to give you an energy boost? Or snack on chocolates and crisps mid morning when you feel a bit peckish? Yep put your hands up! (for the record I don't drink coffee, but I am guilty of the rest).
While in a cooking practical, someone on my course whipped up a batch of these energy bars from the WeightWatchers website. And they were frikking delicious. I was really surprised how much I liked them considering I hate apricots, dates, cranberries and raisins! (I basically hate dried fruits).
They are so good that they've become a weekly baking thing as my mum gets to take one to work in the morning and I pack some for uni to munch on during lectures.
I adapted the recipe slightly because I don't like consuming dairy and the original recipe called for sugar which trust me is simply not needed. Original recipe can be found here.
My version is recipe is vegetarian, vegan (depending on your opinion on honey, some vegans think honey is okay while others don't), and gluten free if you use gluten free certified oats. You can swap the coconut oil for the same amount butter or margarine if you like prefer.
Handful of dried apricots
Handful of pitted dried dates
Handful of dried cranberries
Handful of raisins
Handful of flaked almonds
Handful of sunflower seeds + pumpkin seeds
150 g of jumbo oats (slightly more than 1.5 cups and less than 2 cups)
Pinch of salt
2 tablespoon of extra virgin coconut oil
150 g of honey (I don't measure this, I squeeze out an approximate amount as my tub of honey contains just over 300 g)
1. Line your tray with greaseproof paper/parchment paper
2. Turn on the oven at 180 degrees Celsius or gas mark 4
3. In a blender, add the apricots, dates, cranberries, raisins and pulse it for a minute or so. You want the dried fruits to be finely chopped but not mushy
4. On a saucepan on low heat, melt the coconut oil and honey, until it bubbles up slightly (The kitchen should smell ridiculously warm and sweet)
5. Add everything (the chopped fruits, and all the seeds and the oats) in the saucepan and stir well with a wooden spoon. Turn off the heat.
6. Pour the entire mixture into your baking tin. It is rather sticky and awkward to spread, so wet your hands and press and spread the mixture across the tin. I like the bars to be thinner to I spread it out all over. If you'd like a thicker bar then use a smaller baking tray.
7. Place in the oven bake for 15 ish minutes or until the mixture starts to turn brown.
(there'll be a bit soft while still in the oven but will harden as they cool)
Take it out and allow to cool for about 15 minutes and then cut into squares/rectangles/whatever.
Once it's fully cooled place in an airtight jars and enjoy.
Beware: They are incredibly morish!
p.s. I did make this without the dates last weekend (it was accidental) and I think I prefer the texture without the dates.
Dried apricots are a good source of Vitamin A and Iron
Sunflower Seeds are a good source of Iron, Vitamin B6 and Magnesium
Pumpkin seeds are a good source of Iron and Magnesium
Coconut oil is a great source of medium chain fatty acids
Each bar contains approximately 133 kcal with 5.8 grams of fat (coming from good sources of poly + mono unsaturated fatty acids and medium chain fatty acids)
All in all this is a really tasty bar with great nutrient benefits and certainly much more healthier than anything you can pick off the supermarket shelf.
What are your favourite mid morning/afternoon/anytime snacks?