Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Fruit, nut & oat breakfast bars

My love of homemade snacks is no secret.  So, when I saw a recipe for breakfast granola bars in Nigella Express, I knew I had to try it.  They are easy to make (I know I say many things are easy, but this is one bowl, one spatula, and one measuring cup easy) but remember that they need an hour to bake and another hour or so to cool and set.  I made a batch on Sunday to have for the whole week.  You know, just in case I have one of those days when I don't want to get out of my warm bed and the thought of walking to work in 20 degree air makes me want to cry, so I stay in bed much longer than I should. Then panic hits when I do the math of how long each part of my morning routine takes and realize that the time I have left isn't enough... yeah.    These bars are perfect for those exact panic moments.  Also suitable for the common 2:30 "I'm so hungry I couldn't have possibly eaten lunch" hunger pangs.

Breakfast (or any other time of the day when you need a satisfying snack) Bars
(adapted from Nigella Lawson's recipe in here)

1 14-ounce can condensed milk
2 1/2 cups old fashioned rolled oats (not instant... they don't have enough substance)
1 cup shredded sweetened coconut
1 cup dried cherries (or other dried fruit of your choice)
1 cup sunflower seeds (or pumpkin, sesame, etc.)
1 cup natural unsalted peanuts

Preheat oven to 250F.  Coat a 9 x 13 inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.  Mix together all ingredients except the milk in a large bowl.

Warm the condensed milk in the microwave or in a saucepan over the stove.  Do NOT boil, merely warm.  Pour over the mixture into the large bowl and fold and distribute using a rubber spatula.

Spread the mixture into the pan and spread evenly, patting down where need be to make the surface even.

Bake 1 hour, remove from oven and cool on wire rack for 15 minutes.  While still in pan, cut into 16 equal bars.  Let cool completely (I let mine sit out for another two hours while I was doing other things around the apartment).  Store in a sealed bag or container for up to two weeks.

Enjoy with a cup of tea... mmmm.

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