Oat, chia, cashew, honey, almond and cranberry bars.
50g butter (or coconut butter)
80g chia seeds
2 tablespoons honey
1 - 2 tablespoons agave nectar
2 handfuls cashew nuts (toasted first if you like)
2 handfuls almonds (toasted first if you like)
1 - 2 handfuls of dried cranberries
1 - 2 teaspoons sea salt flakes, i used maldon
1 bar lindt 80% chocolate
10 - 15 bars depending on the size you want
Place 50g butter in a saucepan and melt, add 250g porridge oats and mix together. Soak 80g chia seeds in water and allow to expand to form a cooked tapioca type consistency, a gelatinous mixture, and add to the pan with the heat off. Stir together. Add two tablespoons of honey and one to two tablespoons of agave syrup, measuring the sweetness level according to your own taste. Add a couple of handfuls of cashews and almonds, and a handful of dried cranberries, a teaspoon of sea salt flakes and stir to combine. Transfer to a lined baking tray and bake in the oven at 150C for twenty to twenty five minutes. Remove from the oven and leave to cool.
At this stage, i decided i wanted to turn these nutritious bars into a slightly more decadent breakfast snack and since i don't consume any chocolate at any point in the day other than this, i melted a bar of lindt 80% dark chocolate in a bowl over hot water and transferred to a piping bag in order to drizzle somewhat erratically over the bars, with another sprinkle of sea salt flakes and a touch of crunchy demerara unrefined cane sugar, the ultimate finish to my ultimate bars.
I then packed these up in baking parchment and individually wrapped them to take one each day on the go. And i have to say, these are pretty goddam perfect for the mornings, i love them and will be making my own breakfast bars each week now changing up my ingredients and looking for the best combination.
This week - I'm doing macadamia, cranberry again (i love the sweet sharp tang these bring), and yoghurt drizzle. The great thing about the ponsy 'drizzle' is that you get the taste of the slightly more indulgent topping without eating a whole load of actual badness, it's just a smidgen, and really when you think about it - we're told a square of dark chocolate a day is good for our hearts - so i say why the hell not at breakfast when you most need that extra buzz to get going with the day! And onto the salt, i know it's frowned upon, but i love salt, and since i make all my own food i monitor what goes into it all, and i know, i need that salt in my diet. Plus it makes the bar freaking awesome...
Obviously, if you don't want butter, chocolate, or honey, and you want more of a raw foods bar - apply the same recipe, minus the honey and add more agave nectar and use coconut butter instead. Then cook it at a lower temperature for a longer time in order to dry the bar out, you just won't have those tasty caramelised edges... I cooked mine, but will be experimenting with more 'raw' bars in the future.