The eagle-eyed among you will notice that I did a lot of posts in early summer, and but have been doing less of them in recent weeks. OK, there was nothing for two weeks because I managed to go to the bits of Europe that seem to be devoid of Internet access, but even so, I’ve been less active. All of this is because I started a new job, which I absolutely love. Everything’s great, but as I get busy, there are those odd days when I end up skipping breakfast.
So what to do? I thought about making breakfast bars, which I could pack with good things to eat on those mornings when I am too lazy to get up early enough for a proper breakfast.
These bars are a breeze to make. Just use juice, nut butter and apricots to make a thick paste, then throw in oats and flour, and then whatever bits and bobs you fancy. This could be dried fruit, nuts, seeds, spice and – gasp – chocolate chips. I went for apricots, sunflower seeds and pistachios. They look kind of funky with all the flecks of orange and green.
They also taste great. They are not particularly sweet, tasting more of oats with occasional bites of nut or apricot, but if you like a bit more sweetness, then you could easily add some honey or demerara sugar to the mixture before baking. And they are filling. I think these might just do the trick to start the day.
For 20-25 breakfast bars:
• 225g dried apricots, whole
• 170g nut butter (almond, cashew, hazelnut)
• 200ml fruit juice (I used orange)
• 225g rolled porridge oats
• 125g wholemeal flour
• 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
• 1 teaspoon baking powder
• 100g dried apricots, chopped
• 50g sunflower seeds
• 50g pistachios
• 2 tablespoons dried mixed citrus peel
Preheat the oven to 190°C, and grease a rectangular baking tray (I used 20 x 35cm).
Put the nut butter, whole apricots and fruit juice in a food processes and blitz until you have a smooth paste.
In a bowl, combine the apricot paste with all the other ingredients and mix well. Use a spoon, but hands will be easier.
Put the mixture into the baking tray and smooth out. Bake for 20-25 minutes until slightly golden.
When cooked, remove from the oven, allow to cool, then cut into bars.
Worth making? Very much yes. These are easy to make and can be endlessly changed depending on what you’ve got in the cupboard. They will also keep for a long time in an airtight container, so perfect for an early morning bite or healthy snack. If I make them again, I plan to add a little cinnamon and dried apples and sultanas. Yum!