Oat Squares Recipe from www.anewu.ie
Shop bought breakfast bars are loaded with sugar and preservatives. Homemade can be just as cost effective, if not cheaper, and they are simple to make. There are many recipes available on the internet, including no bake ones, so try out as many as you wish. This is a recipe I have modified from Odlums. The original recipe calls for 4oz of sugar, but I feel that is too much considering the use of dried fruit, which has high sugar content anyway. I also add desiccated coconut which adds to the sweetness. This recipe makes about 25 good sized squares.
Oats are so inexpensive by comparison to other sugar loaded cereals, are low GL (unlike processed cereals) which means they release their energy slowly and keep you fuller for longer, while they also pack some serious nutritional benefits. These include b vitamins, important for energy metabolism, antioxidants important for heart health, aid lowering cholesterol and aid the stabilisation of blood sugar and weight loss. Check out The World’s Healthiest foods information on oats for more in-depth information.
Adding protein from the eggs and nuts, seeds will aid blood sugar stabilisation even further, as they reduce the digestion rate of carbohydrates. They also supply extra vitamins, minerals and brain healthy Omega 3, while adding texture and flavour. Seeds can be anti-inflammatory, have vitamin E (great for skin) magnesium (essential for energy and relaxation) and selenium. Find out more at whfoods.com
I keep enough for 1 week in a lunch box in the fridge and I freeze the rest, taking out enough for the following week on a Sunday night. This means I only need to bake them once or twice a month and they are so quick and easy to make, and if you have children I recommend getting them involved. This gives children a sense of responsibility around their food, and helps them to see that not all food needs to come from the supermarket in a box with 25 ingredients including E numbers and added sugars.
- 12oz Porridge Oats
- 4oz butter
- 4 tbsn coconut oil
- 2oz unrefined brown sugar (Optional-try to reduce or omit if you are diabetic or watching weight)
- 4oz dried fruit (cranberries/raisins/chopped apricots)
- 2oz mixed seeds (pumpkin/sunflower/sesame)
- 2oz desiccated coconut (add chopped nuts here if you do not like coconut)
- 2 free range eggs (beaten)
- Dark chocolate (Optional/70-85%)
- Preheat oven to 160/300/gas 2. Line a large roasting tin or 2 swiss roll tins with parchment paper
- Put butter, coconut oil and brown sugar in a bowl and melt in the microwave (or melt on the hob in a pan until the sugar is almost dissolved)
- In a bowl combine the oats, seeds, dried fruit and desiccated coconut
- Pour in the melted butter/oil/sugar and combine well
- Finally add the beaten egg and mix
- Transfer to the tin and spread out evenly, pressing down firmly
- Bake for 25-35 minutes until golden brown
- Remove from oven and allow to cool in tin. Cut into bars or squares when cool
An optional topping is to drizzle melted dark chocolate over the slab before cutting. I recommend only dark chocolate with a very high cocoa content, such as 70-85%. This means that there is reduced sugar and the added benefits of the flavinoids and magnesium.
These bars pack some nutritional benefit such as omega 3 from the seeds/nuts, protein from the egg and seeds, fibre and b vitamins from the oats and they will keep you going until lunch as an eleven’s snack. And they taste pretty good too!
Contact Regina at anewu.ie 086 3866372 to make an appointment for a dietary assessment and start your journey to a new you!