Looking for a healthy alternative to store-bought cereal bars? Well, this recipe might be a saver. My daughters, brought up in typical french culture, will request, every single day, their goûter or mid-afternoon snack. This is a true French tradition. I usually suggest an apple or a banana as I’m always trying to get them to eat more fuit. The look on their faces says it all! Then, I get showered witht the usual complaints and the usual “Why must we always eat fruit? My friend has pancakes with nutella, “So and so eats waffles” blah blah.. I’m sorry, call me a bad mother but I refuse to normalise these foods as regular snacks. A snack should be a snack, small and filling enough to keep you going until the next meal and in no way should it be another opportunity to binge on sugar and other calorie loaded cakes or biscuits.
Forgetting the fruit, I sometimes give in and I’ll make a pound cake or a marbled cake, biscuits or bars. As long as I know what goes in it. Cereal bars, marketed as “healthy” tend to be high in sugar, salt and products I don’t want my kids eating.
These little granola rocks are easy to make, they’re tasty, crunchy and full of good seeds and healthy nuts. The muscovado sugar and golden syrup give them a little caramel flavour and the mixed spice gives them a real homey feel. Actually, the mix as it is makes a perfect granola mix too. Of course it’s got sugar but it’s not overly sweet in taste.
Special cooking note: when you remove them from the oven, they’re still soft and they don’t hold together. It’s as if something failed but just let cool down on the tray and after some time they harden up and you get clusters that hold together.
- 1,5 cup rolled oats
- 1,5 cup quick oats
- 1/4 cup raw almonds
- 1/4 cup walnuts
- 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
- 1/4 cup dessicated coconut
- 125 g unsalted butter
- 70 g golden syrup
- 50 g dark muscovado sugar
- 1 tbsp mixed spice (pumpkin pie spice)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Preheat oven at 160°C, gas mark 3.
- Roughly chop nuts and place in a large mixing bowl iwth oats, dessicated coconut and pumpking seeds. Mix well to combine all ingredients.
- In a small saucepan combine butter, syrup, sugar, vanilla extract, spice mix. Over medium heat, allow butter and sugar to dissolve and form a thick syrup.
- Pour hot syrup mix over dry ingredients and stir until evenly distributed.
- Scoop dessert spoonfuls (or small ice-cream scooper) onto a lined baking tray and with fingers form a cluster.
- Bake 15 minutes or until browned. Remove from oven and leave to cool completely.
Note: To make them more appealing to chocoholics and pickie children, melt 50 g of dark chocolate (I use 70% cocoa) and drizzle on top. You can also add cranberries, raisins or any other dry fruit. Use any nuts or seeds you like and have.