My boys are growing. Bottomless pits. Devouring all that is in their path. A practice run I suppose to the dreaded teenage hoovers I’ve heard whispered about.
And so every day I bake something for them. Scrolls, muffins of all kinds, usually with some form of vegetable tucked inconspicuously in there and topped with a faux icing made from avocados. They don’t ask and I don’t tell.
For the last few weeks I have been perfecting a healthy muesli slice. Nut free, Dairy free and Refine Sugar free and made with very little coconut oil but with all the deliciousness you could hope for. The sweetness comes from dates that are cooked down to a soft mush and 2 tablespoons of honey (or syrup of your choice) and that’s it. Filled with seeds of all kinds ticking an enormous amount of nutritional boxes, dried fruit (you could also admit this and add more seeds or nuts), oats or quinoa flake, spices, coconut and linseed meal. The texture is dense and firm like a muesli bar with a flavour that is balanced.
Feel free to omit the dark chocolate from the top but it does give the slice a wonderful finish and ties all the seeds, fruit and spices together. Also feel free to substitute with a faux chocolate topping made from cacao, coconut oil and sweetener (there are plenty of recipes to be found on the internet) but the slice would need to be kept in the fridge at all times and served cold. Not a great option if your looking like me to fill lunch boxes.
2/3 Cup Dates Chopped
1/2 Cup Water
1/2 tsp Bicarb soda
2 Tbsp Honey/Rice Malt Syrup/maple syrup
2 tbsp Coconut Oil/Butter
1 tbsp cacao butter
1 cup rolled oats/quinoa flakes
1 cup dessicated coconut
1/2 cup linseed meal/LSA
1/4 Sesame Seeds
1 tsp each ground ginger, cardamon, cinnamon and mixed spice
pinch Himalayan rock salt
1 cup mixed chopped dried fruit
1 cup mixed seeds (Pepita, linseed, sunflower, chia)
1/2 cup puffed grains (i used both buckwheat and rice)
1 lemon zest
1/2 block dark chocolate (dairy free and sugar free optional)
1 tbsp olive oil
Beetroot powder and pepitas for decoration (optional)
Preheat oven to 150C (fan forced) and line a classic rectangular brownie pan (20x30cm or 9×13 inches)
In a saucepan combine chopped dates, water and bicarb soda. Bring to a slow simmer, cover and allow to soften and break down for a few minutes.
In a bowl combine all the dry ingredients.
Once the dates have broken down add the honey/syrup of choice, cacao butter and coconut oil and stir until combined and melted.
Add the date mixture to the dry ingredients, then add the eggs and mix until evenly combined and coated.
Press the mixture into the lined pan making sure to press into the corners.
Place in to the oven on the middle rake and bake for 40 minutes or until evenly browned and set in the middle. turn oven off but leave slice to cool in the oven (this ensures a more evenly set slice, however if you are time poor feel free to pull the slice out of the oven and cool in the conventional way, the result might be a little more bouncy but just as delicious)
Once cooled Keep refrigerated for up to 2 weeks. Also great to freeze.
Sprinkle with a little beetroot powder and the pepitas before serving.