I have a weakness for Granola bars. Packed full of oats, seeds and fruit, they should be a healthy treat and one that sustains your energy levels for a long period. However, shop bought varieties are often so full of sugar that it tends to ruin the overall ‘healthiness’.
As a person who tries to avoid sugar as much as possible, I find that the only way to satisfy my cravings is to make my own. They do contain sugar, in the form of Agave nectar, but it’s far less than the commercially made ones. Sweetness also comes from the dried fruit, as well as the addition of Apple. Puréeing the apple first, helps to bind the mixture together and keep the bars from being dry and brittle when cooked. It also adds moisture and means that you don’t meed as much butter or syrup either.
I adapted this recipe from an original one given to me years ago by my good friend Chloe. I’ve been tinkering with it over the years and it really is very versatile, meaning that you can add your own mix of dried fruit or chopped nuts according to taste.
This is a basic version, which works well. I hope you like it.
1 eating apple – chopped
80g dairy free alternative to butter
3 tbs honey (maple syrup or Agave nectar)
225g gluten free oats
30g pumpkin seeds
30g sunflower seeds
80g raisins (or chopped dried fruit or nuts of your choosing)
Steam the apple until soft, then purée or mash and set aside
Melt the ‘butter’ in a pan together with the Agave, then add the puréed Apple and mix well
Stir in the dry ingredients, mix thoroughly
Pour the mixture into a greased flapjack tray – 20cm (8inch) squared
Press down with the back of a metal spoon
Bake at 180/gas 4 for around 20 mins or until golden brown
Leave to cool in the tin, before dividing into 8 portions
These Granola bars are as beautiful as they are tasty and they deserve to be served up on something special like a piece of Welsh slate. Set as the centre piece and enjoy with a cup or two of English tea!
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