Friday 12 June 2020

Apple strudel breakfast bars

 Recently my cousin told me a recipe for apple strudel cocktails (raspberry gin or vodka, prosecco and cloudy apple juice, FYI.) Somehow I've not gotten around to making those (a rookie mistake!) but I DID make apple strudel breakfast bars instead! We get through a lot of oats in our house - they're cheap, nutritious and Eden absolutely loves them. This is a new combination - inspired by @littlemindfulvegan who uses applesauce to bind her oat bars. Because we get through lots of these I like to play with the recipe, so these consist of a few layers: a soft oat and fruit bar, layered with applesauce, and topped with crunchy cinnamon oats.

My ingredients are always approximate when making breakfast bars as there are so many variables - what you have handy, what tin size is etc - but as with all baking, it mostly comes down to a formula of wet to dry ingredients. You can always add a handful of oats if the mix feels too wet, or a splash of plant milk if it feels too dry. I like my bars quite soft as that way Eden devours them and full tummies make for happy babies. Keep experimenting until you're happy! You will need:

- 4 apples
- 220g oats
- Dried fruit (a few handfuls - these use chopped dates, figs and raisins)
- 1 banana
- 1 tbsp peanut butter
- 1 tbsp chia seeds
- Cinnamon, to taste
- Approx 3 tbsp agave syrup (or similar)
- Plant milk (optional)
- Coconut oil or vegan margarine, for greasing

To make:

- Peel and chop the apples into pieces and put in a pan, adding a pinch of cinnamon, 1 tbsp of agave syrup and 2 tbsp water. Cook on a low heat until they are soft, mash together well, then set aside to cool.
- Grease a baking tin with coconut oil
- Mash the banana in a small bowl then combine with the peanut butter and chia seeds
-  Mix the oats and dried fruit together in a mixing bowl, then add in the banana mix along with half of the apples. You may choose to add a splash of plant milk in here if you want softer bars.
- Press firmly into a baking tin and bake for 15 minutes at 180 degrees.
- Make the crunchy oat topping - mix a few handfuls of oats in the bowl with some cinnamon, then stir in 2 tbsp of agave syrup to coat and combine the oats
- Remove the bars from the oven, spread thinly with the remaining apple sauce and then sprinkle the cinnamon oats over the top, gently pressing them to stick to the apple. Bake for 7/8 more minutes.
- Cut and enjoy!

What are your favourite foods to snack on?

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