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Desserts & Sweets
No Bake Muesli Bars

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No Bake Muesli Bars

 

Muesli bars are always a handy treat to have on hand as nutritious snacks and lunchbox fillers, but I've never been a fan of the bought variety. As well as being expensive and unnecessarily wrapped in plastic, they quite often contain questionable preservatives and don’t seem to provide the same nourishment as homemade bars.  

I have been making these No-bake Muesli Bars for my children since they were knee high and toddling around, and now my constantly hungry teen and almost teen still regularly ask for them. The beauty of this recipe is that it is so simple and quick to make, you can easily whip them up in ten minutes. It is also nice being able to choose what combination of fruit and nuts go into the bars. I also like to use organic ingredients where possible (there really is no comparison to organic apricots!), and homemade almond butter.  

You can easily adapt this recipe to create your own medley of flavours depending on what you like and what you have on hand, and I have included three variations to inspire you. 

 

Makes 24 muesli bars 

Ingredients 

  • 1 ½ cup rolled oats  

  • 1 ½ cups rice bubbles 

  • 1 cup thread coconut 

  • ½ packed cup chopped dried apricots 

  • ½ cup chopped prunes OR dates 

  • ½ cup walnut pieces OR chopped nuts of choice 

  • ½ cup sunflower seeds OR pumpkin seeds 

  • 100 grams butter  

  • ½ cup nut butter 

  • ½ packed cup brown sugar 

  • ½ cup honey 

 

Method  

  1. Line a 20cm x 30cm baking tray with baking paper. 

  2. Toast the rolled oats in a dry pan for a few minutes, stirring, until they are lightly coloured. Place into a large bowl with the rice bubbles, coconut, dried fruit, nuts and seeds. Mix. Make a well in the mixture and set aside. 

  3. Gently melt the butter, nut butter, sugar and honey together in a heavy based pot, swirling until the sugar dissolves. Increase the heat and boil for 4 minutes until the toffee thickens slightly – don't overcook it at this point – if you do the toffee will become hard once set and instead of chewy bars, you will have hard crunchy bars! Carefully swirl the pan while the mixture cooks, ensuring it doesn’t burn. A lot of heat will be generated in the nutty toffee so you may need to turn the element down a bit. 

  4. Pour into the dry ingredients, using a spatula to get every last bit out and quickly mix, ensuring everything is coated with the toffee. 

  5. Place into baking tray and push down with the back of a wet spoon, making sure you squish it all down into an even smooth layer. At this point I ditch the spoon and use wet hands to compress the mixture down evenly in the tray. 

  6. Allow to set for an hour or so in a cool place before cutting into bars. Store in a tin in the pantry, or if it is very warm, keep in the refrigerator. 

 

Variations  

  • Berry and toasted almond - replace the dried fruit with a mixture of cranberries and goji berries, and use chopped toasted almonds instead of walnuts. For a healthy cacao hit to go with the berries there is an option of adding a few tablespoons of cacao nibs to the dry mix. 

  • Seeded fig and walnut - replace the dried fruit with chopped dried figs. Replace the ½ cup sunflower seeds with ¼ cup sunflower seeds and ¼ cup pumpkin seeds and add a couple of tablespoons each of sesame seeds and flaxseeds to the dry mix. 

  • Chocolate fruit and nut - replace the dried fruit with jumbo raisins or sultanas and replace the walnuts with mixed toasted nuts. Salted nuts will give you a salty sweet vibe. Melt 100 grams chocolate with a teaspoon of butter or coconut oil and drizzle on the bars once cut (chocolate melting instructions below).  

To melt the chocolate, place a small metal bowl over a pot of water, ensuring the bottom of the bowl is not touching the water. Bring the water to a boil. Remove from the heat and place the chocolate and coconut oil or butter in the bowl, breaking up the chocolate into pieces. Stir gently until melted. 

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