Monday 1 March 2010

Fruit and nut bars - take 2!

I think I might have nailed it!

I decided to slightly rejig my first effort.

Joe was after more fruit and I figured I could do away with the sugar altogether...

There's more rice, honey, quinoa and peanut butter than last time so the Calories are slightly higher... but the fat is lower and they're a lot tastier too! :-)

Here's the nutritional Information Per Bar (1/16th)
Calories: 250
Carbohydrate: 31.3g
Protein: 6.2g
Fat: 11.2g
Fibre: 2.7g

And here's the all-natural ingredients that go into these yummy bars:

* 100g Organic Wholegrain Puffed Rice from Rude Health'
* 100g Quinoa
* 50g Dried chopped Dates
* 200g Pure Clear Acacia Honey
* 50g Whole Almonds
* 50g Whole Hazelnuts
* 25g Sunflower Seeds
* 200g Crunchy Peanut Butter (Waitrose make a lovely basic peanut butter that is very creamy which I'm sure helps!)
* 50g Raisins
* 50g Sultanas
* 50g Dried cranberries
* 45g Dried Strawberries from Urban Fresh Fruit

These dried strawberries are lush, look at them, they don't look like much but they're packed full of flavour which is 100% natural as they've had nothing added to them, no sugar, no sweeteners, nada! :-)

So, as with before:

1) Pre-heat the oven to about 140 degrees Celsius (Gas Mark 1/ 275 Degrees Fahrenheit)

2) Line a baking tin (I think the one I used was 20x30cm) with non-stick greaseproof paper (then no need for extra fat to prevent sticking).

3) Weigh out the puffed wholegrain rice and quinoa into a bowl, chop up your dates into little pieces and add them to the bowl together with the mixed nuts, dried fruit and seeds.

4) Mix the honey and peanut butter into a bowl and stick in the microwave for about a minute (can't remember exact time) until the peanut butter and honey have mixed into one lovely gooey runny mess (if you don't have a microwave you could heat it all in a pan on the stove for a bit until it all runs together).

5) Mix the *whole* lot together in a big bowl, vigorously! Tip the mixture into the lined pan and press down really really firmly with the back of a spoon until it's all evenly distributed and nicely compacted.

6) Bake in the oven for about 30 - 40 minutes keeping an eye to ensure that the edges don't burn

7) Take out the oven and leave in the tin to cool *completely* (this is very important, you need to leave it for as long as possible, you want it to be rock hard before you cut into it!)

8) When complete cooled, lift out onto a large chopping board and cut into rectangles (cut mine into 1/2's then 1/4's then 1/16ths)

9) Serve! Or do what I did and wrap them into individual portions and then hide them round the house so my son has one-a-day to take with him (he'd seriously scoff the lot if I left them out in his sight!!)

10) I also took a few of the bars and cut them further into 25g-30g portions (half the usual) which are only 125 Cals each - very handy tasty nutrition energy snack :-)

The best thing about these bars (other than the taste of course and the money you save from not buying cereal bars!!) is that because you don't use butter, eggs, milk etc they last for ages and you can just keep them in a box in the cupboard (albeit hidden away from the hungry hollow-legged teenager in our case!!)

So there you go, my second effort and I'm very pleased too. I'm thinking next time I'll add less honey but more fruit, perhaps blueberries?

Mmmm love blueberries :-)

I also might experiment with oats for their low-GI, slow-releasing energy properties...

I also want to do a high-protein one just for moi!

The possiblities are endless, cooking is such fun :-)

In any case, I'll keep you posted with how I get on!



1 comment:

  1. Wow they look amazing. I too was thinking of chucking some proein powder into my cereal bars - like my own version of promax crisp.
    I don't have a hungry teenager but I do have a hungry hubby so I can relate to stashing food away!