In my kitchen recipe keeper I found a recipe I’d copied out to make some delicious breakfast bars (not the type of breakfast bars you serve food from!) I think I may have got it from the Healthy Food magazine two or three years ago. This was about the time when I was on a health kick and managed to lose a couple of stone. Unfortunately I lost the incentive for some reason and the excess has gradually crept back on, well most of it.
I go through phases when I feel like being extremely healthy and then moments when less so. My lesser moments will usually be, for example, if I have an injury so exercise is limited. Sometimes I completely get in the zone, I’ll go to the gym several times a week, do classes, swim most days and be exceptionally strict with what I eat. I’m not in this mindset at the moment but am aiming for it.
I was really hoping that giving up wine would result in dramatic weight loss. It has been 80 days now – 80 whole days without touching a drop of alcohol – for that I feel enormously pleased with myself! Unfortunately I seem to have substituted my nightly wine treat for a nightly chocolate treat so my weight has remained exactly the same. I’m sure I must be healthier in general though. Anyway, I digress, I was talking about the cereal bars. I made these on a few occasions previously and they are so easy to make, plus all my family enjoyed them too. I went shopping for the ingredients yesterday and decided to make them this evening. I’m really glad I did and I am going to try really hard to have one of these instead of some chocolate this evening.
Seeds are brilliantly healthy for you, they contain so many super nutrients, but if you are like me – the thought of grabbing a handful of seeds and just munching them as a snack really doesn’t fill me with joy, so including them in a tasty bar is perfect.
Here is the recipe:
300g gluten-free oats
50g sunflower seeds
25g sesame seeds
50g dried cranberries (I used berry mix today)
50g dried prunes, chopped
100g low fat spread (I used butter because I prefer it)
405g tin light condensed milk
50g no added sugar or salt peanut butter
2tbsp runny honey
- Heat the oven to 180 (fan 160) or gas mark 4. Line a 20cm x 30 cm baking tray with some baking paper.
- Put all the dry ingredients in a bowl and mix together.
- Put the butter/spread, condensed milk, peanut butter and honey in a small, heavy based saucepan and heat on a low heat until bubbling.
- Pour the hot liquid into the bowl of dry ingredients, mix well and quickly press into the baking tray.
- Pop it in the oven, I used the middle shelf, for about 20 minutes, perhaps a minute or two more.
- While it is cooking, use a spoon to clean the saucepan of any left over, delicious caramel flavoured condensed milk mix – yummy. Also, if you like, nibble any bits of the combined oaty mixture that may be left in the bowl (or that you deliberately reserved strictly for tasting purposes of course.) This step is obviously optional but that’s what I did because I can’t help myself! See where my problem lies and hence the reason why the extra pounds just jump on me and linger like a limpet.
- Take out the oven, leave to cool , remove paper and cut into about 16-25 bars, depending on how big you want them.
I would really recommend these little snacks as they are very nutritious, low carb and high protein and the seeds and fruit in them make you feel extremely healthy. I love eating stuff that makes me feel like I’m nourishing my body, rather than filling it with junk. They taste gorgeous and remind me a little of flapjacks. They have no added sugar but get their sweetness from the dried fruit, honey and condensed milk.
I kept my resolve 😀 I had one of these delicious bars for my snack this evening, rather than my usual bar of chocolate! I must confess though, I put a teeny bit of chocolate and hazelnut spread on the top – literally about a quarter of a tea spoon so not really worthy of a full blown confession. Tomorrow I’ll see if I can manage to have no chocolate at all.