Jo Pratt gives us a quick, easy and healthy recipe for After School Bars which can be made in advance, and also taken to school as they’re nut-free.
“I’m hungry, have you got anything to eat?”… that’s what I hear pretty much every day at school pick up – and not just from my own children. I’m sure we’ve all been there and resorted to giving them something you’ve quickly grabbed from the ‘treat drawer’ on your way out of the house or from the local shop.
The problem is by the time you get home they are hungry again. As a result you then hear yourself say (again) that you must look for a healthier snack to give to them that will satisfy their hunger for longer.
So with that in mind, when City Kids asked me for this issues recipe I thought; it’s a new school year, lets start as we mean to go on. I had a play around with one of my Flapjack recipes and a healthy granola recipe to create these fruity, oaty bars that are packed with slow release energy from the oats and dried fruits. They are much lower in fat than traditional flapjacks, refined sugar-free, don’t contain nuts and better still get the thumbs up from my two children who can be very fussy at times.
Makes: 8 bars
Takes: 40 minutes
- 100g porridge oats
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 225g pitted dates
- 75g honey or agave syrup
- 100g tahini (sesame seed paste)
- finely grated zest ½ orange
- 40g pumpkin or sunflower seeds (or a mixture of the two)
- 75g dried fruit (i.e cranberries, cherries, raisins, sultanas, chopped apricot)
Heat the oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 4. Line a 20cm x 20 cm square cake tin with greaseproof paper or baking parchment.
Mix together the oats and cinnamon. Spread onto a baking tray and toast the oats in the oven for 10 minutes, shaking the pan halfway through so they evenly toast. Remove from the oven and tip the oats into a bowl.
Put the dates in a food processor and blend until they form a sticky paste. Transfer to the bowl with the oats. Add the seeds and dried fruit.
Heat the honey or agave syrup, tahini and orange zest in a saucepan until hot but not boiling. Pour into the bowl and mix everything together.
Transfer to the prepared tin and bake in the oven for 20 minutes until the top is golden.
Leave to cool in the tin for 10 minutes before turning out and cooling completely. Cut into 8 rectangle bars and store for up to 2 weeks in an airtight container.