There’s so much misinformation about “healthy eating”. We seem to think about eating well as part of a binary choice where the only other alternative is eating badly, but there is more to it than that. In addition, some people seem to think that cutting down on sugar, avoiding gluten or processed foods means having to eat food which tastes worse. It’s all nonsense of course.
Sometimes our bodies react negatively to certain foods and reducing or removing them can have miraculous impact on our physical bodies and therefore our emotional wellbeing.
Taking care of our bodies through a little extra thought about what we eat doesn’t need to be a chore and it definitely doesn’t mean denying yourself.
At Christmas I was given a copy of Claire Ptak’s book “The Violet Bakery Cookbook”. It’s such a beautiful book, full of imaginative recipes which use less refined sugar and experiment with flours and ingredients you may not have considered using in your baking. These granola bars were inspired by the granola recipe in Claire’s book which, since Christmas, has been an ever present staple in my kitchen. Having messed around adding ginger and cranberries and once, having run out of buckwheat flakes, using quinoa flakes with great success I decide to make some granola bars for my daughter to take to school which would give her the slow release sugar boost she needs, without compromising on taste.
This was my first go at the recipe and, I’m really pleased with it. But, if you want to mess around with any of the ingredients, feel free. I’d love to know what you think and how you’ve adjusted the recipe.
With heartfelt thanks to Claire Ptak for the inspiration.
Don’t be put off by the extensive ingredients list. Putting it together takes hardly any time at all.
120g gluten free oats
250g buckwheat flakes
50g millet flakes
50g soft brown sugar
100g buckwheat flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
100g dried cranberries
50g dried apricots
75ml agave syrup
50ml coconut oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
80g natural peanut butter (crunchy or smooth, as you prefer)
120g mixed seeds (I used pumpkin seeds and sesame seeds in equal measure)
Mix all the dried ingredients (except the sugar) together in a large bowl
Combine the brown sugar, agave syrup, coconut oil, peanut butter in a pan over a low heat until all melted and combined.
Remove from the heat and add the vanilla essence.
Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix well with a wooden spoon.
Press the mixture into a baking tin or dish approximately 23cm square or similar. Make sure you lined the dish with baking paper otherwise you won’t be able to get the granola bars out when they’re cooked.
Bake in a preheated oven at Gas 4/180c for around 30 minutes until they have turned golden brown. Keep an eye on them and if they look as if they are browning too quickly cover them with some baking parchment. They are done when they are springy to the touch.
Leave them to cool completely before cutting them into bars with a sharp knife.
Do leave me a comment to let me know how you get on.