Hugh’s muesli bars

I have always had to work hard to stay at a healthy weight (sometimes it has worked better than others!), and I find that the best way for me to eat well and healthily is to plan my meals and snacks. I mostly pack my snack for our morning outing when I pack the boys lunch boxes the night before, that way there’s not as much temptation to cave in and buy junk – especially when I know how yummy the snacks ready waiting for me are.

To aid in my baking adventures, I was given the River Cottage ‘Everyday’ cookbook for mother’s day (I have to confess that I am a little bit in love with Hugh and I often wish I lived at River Cottage … but given that I live in the middle of the desert and that I am a real veggie growing novice, I am just making do with some of his amazing recipes for now!). This muesli bar recipe is adapted from one of the recipes that I first saw on his show.

It is probably more of a ‘grown ups’ recipe but I have taken to packing some for my boys when I have them because otherwise they just pinch mine!

  • 250g nuttelex/tasteless coconut oil
  • 250g Sunflower seed butter 
  • 1/2 cup honey/maple syrup
  • zest of 2 oranges and 2 lemons (I mix and match with lime too, depending on what’s hiding in my fridge)

Mix all above ingredients in a large saucepan and cook over low heat until all melted and mixed together.

Remove from heat and add;

  • 2 1/2 cups diced dried fruit (I’ve just used sultanas, dates, apricots and cranberries)
  • 75g sunflower seeds
  • 100g pumpkin seeds
  • 75g flax seeds
  • 75g chia seeds, and
  • 400g rolled oats.

Stir in thoroughly, press the mixture down firmly into a greased baking pan and cook in a preheated oven at 160 C for approx 45 mins, or until golden.

Allow to cool completely before cutting into bars.

I find it’s best to leave it in the fridge for an hour or so before I cut it up, then store it in the fridge in an airtight container and it keeps well for a fortnight.

This makes a large batch and it is quite calorie dense, but because of all the protein and good oils it is filling and you don’t need a huge serving to be satisfied. Great for school lunchboxes when you’re at a ‘nut-free school and it can also serve as a quick and filling breakfast.

To make this Coeliac Friendly replace the oats with equal weight of a mix of puffed rice, rolled quinoa and desiccated coconut.

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