Make cereal bars from your choice of dried fruit, seeds and oats.
Shock: a relatively healthy recipe!
I found the original recipe at EatYourVeg.co.uk. However, I altered the quantities and the exact ingredients to suit me and my family. As long as you maintain the same ratio of wet ingredients (a total of 220 g honey and peanut butter) to dry (a total of 625 g of everything else), you will end up with great homemade cereal bars.
Ingredients (makes 16-20 cereal bars)
- 200 g / 7 oz oats
- 100 g / 3.5 oz seeds (I used a 4-seed mixture)
- 135 g / 4.7 oz chopped prunes or dates
- 190 g / 6.7 oz mixed dried fruit (I used a mixture of currants, raisins and sultanas. However, any dried fruit of your choice will work)
- 120 g / 4.2 oz smooth peanut butter
- 100 g / 3.5 oz honey
Remember: you can swap out any amount of the dry ingredients here for hazelnuts or any other dried fruits, nuts and seeds you prefer.
This first step is optional: put the oats and any seeds (and nuts) you are using on a baking tray and put in the oven at 180 degrees C (160 for fan ovens) / 350 degrees F / Gas Mark 4 for about 10 minutes. This helps bring out their flavour but isn’t an essential step if you’re in a hurry or can’t use an oven.
Grease and line a baking tin with greaseproof paper. A rectangular or square tin is best, but you could also use a round tin if that’s all you have. The original recipe calls for a 20 x 20 cm (8 x 8 inch) tin. My tin measures 24 x 20 x 4 cm (approx. 9.5 x 8 x 2 inches).
Measure out all your dry ingredients, chop any as necessary and put to one side.
Measure out the peanut butter and honey into a heatproof bowl. Heat either in a microwave or over a pan of simmering water. If using the microwave, go slowly, using 30-second bursts and stirring between bursts. Stir until you have a smooth mixture.
Put all your dry ingredients into a large bowl and add the honey-peanut butter mix. Stir thoroughly to distribute the “glue” of the melted ingredients through the dry ingredients.
Spoon your cereal bar mixture into your tin and press down until your have a compact, even layer. This is important. If you don’t press down enough, you risk the bars falling apart when you cut them.
Put the tin in the freezer for 30 minutes (or the fridge for a couple of hours) until the cereal bar mixture has cooled.
Turn out onto a chopping board and slice into bars. Alternatively, cut or score your bars while they’re still in the tin, as I did:
Store in an airtight container in a cool, dry place and the bars will keep for up to a couple of weeks.
These are popular with my kids and a great one to make with them.
Looking for some other recipes which feature peanut butter? Try these!
Claire Huston / Art and Soul