Sometimes you have to give in. Delve into desire, indulge and listen to that little voice asking for something more.
That is the premise of this recipe, created for a little sweet voice of a babe, asking to be just like the other kids at preschool.
Muesli bars are not part of our everyday world, but for this beautifully honest question I delved.
Most of the schools in Australia, especial preschool and primary (junior) schools have adopted a nut free environment as life threatening allergies are becoming more common within the community. With most muesli bars heavily based on nuts I came up with my own version. Gluten free, nut free and unrefined (with the exception of some golden syrup. I would have used date syrup but I didn’t have any).
The base is made from puffed grains and seeds of all types. The exact combination can be shifted and changed depending on what you have on hand or what is supplied in your area. It’s a very relaxed recipe. The dried fruit is the same, a combination of our favourites but please play around and choose your own muesli bar adventure. It’s the absolute beauty of the bars, each time you make them you can feature different seeds, new fruits or try ancient puffed grains whose names are hard to pronounce. Even popped corn could be added, if preschool friendly which in our case is not.
The flavouring combination of Lime zest and cinnamon which brings a little age to the bars, creating a depth to an otherwise plain honey flavour base. Tahini, which has extremely high quantities of calcium has been added to help bind and to add to the flavour base.
The bars are a hit. Devoured instantly by my little babes. They have since been in high rotation in the lunch box. Filling their little hungry bellies with grains and nutrients for an afternoon of play and discovery.
The muesli bars are resonably healthy, nutritionally dense without a preservative in sight. But for something not as healthy try these additions:
For those special occasions dark chocolate bits.
Yoghurt buttons (from the health food shop)
sprinkle the top with hundreds and thousands as it comes out of the oven for a sparkly treat.
Lime and Cinnamon Muesli Bar
1 cup Puffed Rice
1/2 Cup Puffed Buckwheat
1 Cup Quinoa Flakes/ GF oats
1/2 cup Shredded Coconut
1 Cup total Sesame seeds/Pepita/Sunflower seeds/linseed
1 Cup total chopped pitted Dates/dried Cranberries/ dried apricot
1/2 cup linseed meal
1/2 tsp fine grated lime zest
3 pinches ground cinnamon
1 tbsp Tahini
1/2 cup honey
2 tbsp Golden Syrup
Line a brownie pan with silicone paper and preheat oven to 150C fan forced.
Combine puffed rice, puffed buckwheat, Quinoa/oats, coconut, seeds mix, chopped dried fruit, linseed meal. lime zest, cinnamon and mix.
In a saucepan combine Tahini, golden syrup and honey and stir over medium low heat until the mixture comes to a gentle boil. Boil for 2 minutes.
Pour the honey mix into the dried ingredients and mix until completely combined and evenly coated.
Press the mix into the lined brownie pan with a rubber spatula until even and flat.
Place into the oven on the middle rack and bake for 30 – 40 minutes or until golden brown yet glossy.
Once cooked remove from the oven and cool slightly in pan.
Whilst still warm and in the pan, cut the muesli bars into even sized bars using a sharp knife. Allow to cool completely and place in the fridge to chill.
Once cool re-cut the bars and store in an airtight container in the fridge.
Any combination of dried fruit can be used. The total just needs to be 1 cups worth.
Any combination of seeds can be used, or if not nut free any nuts can be substituted. The combined total just needs to be 1 cup.
Puffed buckwheat can be found in health food stores. If not available substitute with puffed quinoa or more puffed rice.
Tahini can be found in the health food isle of most supermarkets, health food shops and online.
Linseed meal can be found in the healthfood isle of supermarkets, healthfood stores or online. LSA (linseed, almond and sunflower) can replace the linseed meal if unavailable or nuts are not an issue.