There is such a large range of muesli bars available in the supermarket these days, let alone searching the internet for a decent recipe! Just as there are endless variations, there are also many reasons why we should ditch the manufactured supermarket brands and make our own from scratch. Packaged muesli bars are often not as ‘healthy’ as they are perceived. Many contain a ridiculous amount of refined sugar and an ingredients list as long as the box itself.
When I get my muesli craving (which is probably more often than others), I like to put in some elbow grease and whip up a big batch that will last me a couple of weeks. It can be laborious, involving lots of toasting and chopping nearly half of the ingredients in my pantry, but the end result is always satisfying. I usually have plenty of nuts, seeds and dried fruits available so making these is a great way to use up the odds and ends and replenish my stock.
Here is a general recipe for a batch I made recently, entirely adaptable to your tastes and whatever you have on hand. They are perfect as breakfast on the fly with a tub of natural yoghurt or for snacking when you feel like something nutty and chewy. I prefer my snacks to be not too sweet so this recipe is less sticky than others – be prepared to press, press, press these onto the pan!
Ingredients: approximately 20 bars
3 c rolled oats + 1 c puffed cereal (rice, buckwheat, millet)
1 c All-Bran cereal or Weet-Bix, crushed
2 c nuts & seeds (almonds, pepitas, sunflower seeds etc)
2 c dried fruit (apricots, sultanas, cranberries etc)
1 c orange juice
1/2 c – 1 c maple syrup or other natural sweetener (honey, agave, brown rice syrup)
1/3 c tahini
2 tbs coconut oil
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp salt
1. Preheat the oven to 180C. Place oats, puffed cereal and crushed All-Bran on a large baking tray in the oven to warm up as you prepare other ingredients. On a separate tray, toast the nuts and seeds
2. Chop the dried fruit and put in a large mixing bowl
3. In a small saucepan, heat maple syrup, tahini, juice, coconut oil and salt until the mixture comes to a gentle simmer. Remove from the heat
4. Remove oat tray from the oven, sprinkle with cinnamon and add to the bowl of chopped fruit . When the nuts and seeds become fragrant, remove from oven and allow to cool before chopping, also adding to large mixing bowl
5. Give the maple syrup mixture a stir before pouring into the bowl of oats. With a wooden spoon, combine thoroughly to coat all the ingredients and pour onto a baking tray lined with baking paper
6. Now, moisten your hands with a little water and press the living daylights out of the mix. Once I got it fairly even, I placed a piece of baking paper on top and pressed it down even more with another heavy baking tray. Told you there was a lot of pressing!
7. Place in the oven to bake for 20-25mins, rotating halfway through. Cool completely before slicing