“Can we have some muesli bars in our lunchbox, Mum? Pop buys us these yummy ones – see?”
I kinda groan when I hear this – not because I mind if my parents buy my kids muesli bars (I’m all for that) but more about the muesli bar aisle in the supermarket. I don’t like things in packets and I try to never buy individually wrapped things, especially if those things are chock full of sugar and marketed as health foods when they are clearly not. Sigh. See where my mind goes?
I dutifully went and surveyed the muesli bars anyway on the off-chance that some miracle has happened, and that Kelloggs, Uncle Toby’s and the rest of them have been blown off the Earth, leaving behind two or three humble, healthy and delicious bars. Sadly, that is not the case, and my eyes and brain are assaulted anew with fresh insults to my intelligence. What the hell? I think to myself. I’ll just make them.
Over the years, I have experimented with the muesli bar – because of course, this is not the first time I have ever had this request. What I am sharing with you today is the result 🙂
The Best Home-Made Muesli Bars
170g of Puffed Corn or Rice (I use Abundant Earth)
1 Tbl of coconut or olive oil
1 cup of almonds, chopped roughly (or other nuts of your choice – macadamias are also yummy)
1/4 cup of sunflower seeds (you can use pepitas, linseeds or sesame seeds if you like them better)
1 cup of shredded coconut
choc chips – strictly optional
3/4 cup of rapadura sugar (you can use whatever sugar you have)
1/2 cup of rice syrup (honey is fine)
So, here’s what you do: Pour the puffed grains and chopped almonds into a large shallow baking tray, drizzle with oil and toast in the oven at 180°C for about 10 minutes until crispy. Don’t take your eyes off those babies – they burn easy, and if they do, you’ll have to chuck the whole lot out and start again. When it’s ready, pour into a large bowl and add coconut, sunflower seeds and choc chips. Line the baking tray with baking paper and set aside.
Meanwhile, take a small saucepan and start melting the butter. Add the sugar and rice syrup, bring it to the boil over a low-medium heat and then let it simmer for 5 minutes until a thick, luscious looking caramel forms. Pour it over the mixture in the bowl, and then pour the whole lot back into the now-lined baking tray. Put it into the fridge and leave for an hour or two.
When the bars have set into a block, lift it out of the tray by the baking paper and cut into bars, like I have here:
And then call the children into the kitchen and tell them that you have a small problem that needs taking care of 🙂 They don’t always care about my problems, but for this one, they are happy to oblige 🙂
And then when school starts again for the week, I have a moment of satisfaction: