Tuesday, 17 March 2015

How To Make Muesli Bars...

*This post is brought to you in collaboration with Flora.

We seem to be forever spending cash on lunchbox foods for kids these days, despite baking fairly regularly to try and keep the expenses down and the healthy choices up. Occasionally, we run out of time for such things, (okay, make that often) and the packaged varieties are thankfully there to pick up the slack.

I've been really looking to find alternatives to consumables we seem to be buying too frequently.

Muesli bars have been under the spotlight in particular. As you well know, buying these convenient treats is quite an expensive outlay; they're usually sold in boxes of 6 bars and when you've exactly 6 kids consuming them, you can imagine that the cost of these on a regular basis becomes quite a high one.

A healthier and cheaper alternative has been long overdue.

After a bit of hunting around, I found a recipe scrawled long ago in one of my favourite recipe files for these tasty alternatives. This muesli bar recipe is not technically muesli at all - more of a homemade version featuring oats and flaxmeal and you can add whatever dried fruit you prefer. (This recipe contains chocolate chips.)

Making your own bars for your kids is such a satisfying bake. Now, not only am I saving precious dollars, but the homemade alternative is packed full of healthy goodness too. The addition of flaxmeal in this recipe adds the health benefits of Omega 3 and the Flora margarine, (I prefer margarine for baking), has the added benefit of Omega 6 - perfect for lowering cholesterol.

 What is cholesterol? It's a natural substance found in our blood and it's vital for health but too much of the wrong sort can be damaging to our health.

Nothing beats the fresh taste of homemade and my kids love these bars! I should also mention that the smell of this in the oven is one of the loveliest baking aromas my kitchen has ever produced! They're worth making just for this experience alone.

The muesli bars featured in this post are a version made with just choc chips but you can add whatever it is you prefer.


Homemade Muesli Bars

1 cup of plain flour
1 tbsp. flaxmeal
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup of brown sugar (granulated)
1 and 3/4 cups of rolled oats
1/2 a cup of Flora margarine (or your preferred substitute) melted
1/2 a cup of chocolate chips or raisins / chopped apricots or a blend of all.
1 cup of puffed rice cereal
2 tbsp. honey
1 tsp. vanilla essence
Hot water to soften mix if required (a couple of tablespoons if needed).

 
Preheat oven to 180 degrees C.
 
In a large mixing bowl, combine dry ingredients and mix well. Add the rice cereal last to preserve its puffiness.
 
Melt honey and margarine together and add to the dry ingredients along with the vanilla.
 
Mix well by hand (or use your dough hook if using a mixer). If the mixture is a little stiff, add a tiny amount of hot water to aid mixing, remembering that it should be quite sticky so that the mixture holds together well in the end result.

 
Spread the muesli mixture evenly into a slice or a square baking tray which has been lined well with baking paper. You will later need to lift the cooled slice out of the pan so prepare it well.


 


Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes. The slice should be slightly golden (like toasted muesli) but not brown. It will be soft when it is removed from the oven, (ideal) and will harden as it cools.
 
Remove from the pan when the mixture has cooled and slice the slab into muesli bar sized portions.
Depending on the tin in which it was baked, this recipe should yield around 12 good-sized bars, all for a fraction of the supermarket price...

Variations:

Feel free to adapt this recipe to your needs: If your kids suffer allergies, you can easily make these gluten free, dairy free or even egg free by using your regular preferred alternatives. Alternate the choc chips with other dried fruits or carob chips to make a huge variety of bars from this basic recipe.

 
Do you bake your kids' lunchbox treats or buy them?
Have you tried making muesli bars before?
 
Recent posts on Six Little Hearts you may have missed:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Linking up for IBOT

30 comments:

  1. Jody these Muesli bars look delicious!
    I need to restock our homemade lunch box treats for the kidlets, at the moment our stocks are zero. I'm thinking these little treasures of yours might have to make an appearance in my kitchen, thanks for the motivation.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! Your kids will love them and they're so versatile.

      Delete
  2. I try to bake the kids treats as much as I can because I know what is in them and it is far cheaper. And an added bonus is that I can choose what size to cut them into! This recipe looks great!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree. One batch of these is far cheaper than a week of muesli bar purchases.

      Delete
  3. Yum! I love homemade muesli bars. Sadly we aren't allowed them at Kindy so I haven't made any for a while, because my little girl misses out.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Do they have those odd restrictions in place? Maybe these are a good treat for when your Daughter gets home from kinder instead?

      Delete
  4. These sound and look delicious! I must admit I'm getting my bake on a whole lot more recently so I'll have to try these. I agree the shop bought varieties are a huge expense, especially if you have a large family. Thanks for the recipe!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Buying these things constantly is such a hassle too. Lugging bags full of additionals on top of the needs is just too much.

      Delete
  5. I was only thinking today that I would like to make more snacks - this will be perfect!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Let me know what you think when you make them!

      Delete
  6. These look delicious. Homemade muesli bars remind me of my childhood. My mum used to make them all the time. She never put choc chips in them though!! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Okay, the chocolate chips are for the modern child (and Mum who likes to enjoy such things too)!

      Delete
  7. Oh these look lovely, not a fan of cinnamon but I might try this one, as they look so amazing

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am not a fan of cinnamon as well so either lower the quantity or omit altogether. A tiny amount of this spice does add a nice depth of flavour though.

      Delete
  8. Your son looks so excited that you made these bars, they look so good!!!
    Thank you for stopping by OMHGWW this week!

    Have a great week!
    Karren @Oh My Heartsie Girl

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My kids get very excited when they hear the pots clanging in the kitchen. Usually the aromas attract attention!

      Delete
  9. These look delicious. I love recipes that include oats, makes me feel healthier for some reason. lol
    #twinklytuesday
    www.multiculturalmotherhood.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think so too! I think it's the fibre content. :D

      Delete
  10. I love the photos of your little helper - the same thing happens here! I've also been making my own muesli bars and they boys seem to go through a ridiculous amount of them each week. Thank you for linking up with us for Fabulous Foodie Fridays, I hope you have a lovely weekend x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love having a little helper Lauren - so sweet. It's so worth baking your own isn't it - lots of dollars saved.

      Delete
  11. They really aren't the cheapest are they... It all adds ups. These look great! I'll have to try them on my little man.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We are loving these - please let me know what your boy thinks!

      Delete
  12. This is such a great idea! The shop bought ones are so expensive! Might have to try this recipe out! Thanks for linking up with #twinklytuesday

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Once you've made them - you can't go back...

      Delete
  13. Yum!!! These look great! I agree - nothing beats the smell of freshly cooked homemade muesli bars! I'm such a muesli bar addict, so will definitely be trying these! Thanks for joining Fabulous Foodie Fridays!! x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh the smell - wow! I wasn't expecting that!

      Delete
  14. Yum!! And healthy, reckon Celeste enjoyed them then?!

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for taking the time to stop by and visit my blog! Your comments are appreciated. I read each and every one and do try to respond when I can. Spam will be deleted immediately.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...