I did wonder if these bars were just a little too simple to add to the blog, mainly because there is no cooking involved or not really too much preparation come to that either. What they lack in technical ability required to make, they make up for in nutritional content and great taste. For those reasons, I decided they definitely have a place on here.
I have been making a version of these bars for around 30 years. I actually spotted my old recipe amongst my vast collection of recipes while trying to sort them, deciding what to include in the books or blogs. My boys loved them and often had one tucked into their packed lunch. Quick to make when short of time, a great thing for children to help make too.
Years roll on, times change, we are now looking towards healthier food choices. Where once mine might have contained sugar,honey, and marshmallows, I wanted now to update them to a healthier, gluten-free and vegan version. Adding plenty of nuts, seeds, and fruit to bump up their nutritional value.
I am a big fan of these type of bars and often I grab one while out, as a quick pick me up. It is only when I turn the packet over and read the nutritional label that I become horrified. Now, these are no way a low-calorie bar, they are however packed with healthy ingredients.
There is always a plus side to knowing exactly goes into what you are eating. I’m proud of these bars now, both crispy and gooey, they feel like you have eaten something your body likes.
Makes 12 bars
Prep time 10 minutes, chill time 15 minutes
- 150g rolled oats ( gf in needed)
- 40g rice crispies ( gf if needed)
- 30g mixed sunflower & pumpkin seeds
- 2 tbsp chia seeds
- 2 tbsp flax seeds
- 125 ml date syrup or agave syrup
- 60g pitted dates finely chopped
- 70g good quality nut butter (no additives)
- pinch of salt
- seeds scraped from 1/2 vanilla pod or 1tsp vanilla extract
- 30g dried cranberries or cherries
- 60g roasted cashews or almonds, very finely chopped
Preheat the oven to 160C. Line a square cake tin/brownie tin with two pieces of baking parchment, one going each way. Making sure some hangs over the edge to enable you to remove it from the tin when ready.
Place the nuts on a baking sheet and cook for around 12 minutes or until golden in colour. Remove and leave to cool before blitzing
In a large bowl place the oats and the rice crispies, mix around. Then add the fruit, seeds and salt. Lastly add the cooled finely chopped nuts.
In a saucepan place the nut butter plus the date syrup, on a medium heat melt togther. Once combined add the vanilla extract or seeds, stir well.
Quickly add this to the dry mixture and start to stir together making sure everything is combined and everything covered in wet mixture.
Scrape the mixture into the prepared tin, spreading it out evenly, with damp hands press it down. The best way i have found to really press this down is to grab a tin of beans etc and roll over the surface and around the edges. Not technical,but i find this works really well.
Place the tin in the freezer for 15 minutes until firm,uncovered. Set the timer on this one as if you have a memory like mine you could end up with a frozen block.
Lift the square out of the tin using the baking parchment as handles, then place on a cutting board. Using a sharp serrated knife slice the square in half, then slice each half into 6 bars.
Individually wrap each bar in clingfilm and store in an sealed tight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. For me i like to freeze mine, wrapped and stored the same way. Can be stored in the freezer for about 6 weeks.