Why aren't rolled oats sold in smaller packets, say, 250g? I mean, how much oats can one person eat? I'm not a horse.
All right, I know I'm complaining about nothing really. Although I sometimes do have a problem using up half a kilo of rolled oats. Especially since I tend to forget it's there.
Today, I took the day off work since I worked last weekend. I woke up really hungry and since I didn't have anywhere to go – I love staying at home and don't leave it unless I absolutely have to! – I looked through the food store and fridge for something to eat and found a number of things.
On their own, each one was not breakfast material. But put those bits of nuts, chocolate, dried fruit and rolled oats together, and here was something I could pour milk on and eat like muesli. But even better, muesli bars or flapjacks! Something I could keep for those mornings when I am in no mood to butter my toast.
Pureéd dates are the glue that holds these bars together and rolled oats form the bulk. There are no eggs or flour, so the mixture can be eaten raw. I put in whatever I thought would taste good in the mix, hence the everything-but-the-kitchen-sink reference. I didn't add any kind of sweetener since the dried fruit were sweet enough for me. These bars are chewy and crunchy too from the nuts and seeds.
Still have about two cups of rolled oats to use up though. Any ideas?
|Chewy and crunchy breakfast bars|
Makes 20 (roughly 3cm by 6cm) bars
1 cup pitted dates
1 cup rolled oats, toasted
1 cup dessicated coconut, toasted
½ cup mashed banana
½-⅔ cup miscellaneous ingredients (a combination of seeds, chopped nuts, chocolate, dried fruit)*
½ tsp ground spice*
Liquid sweetener to taste (honey, agave nectar, jam etc), if required
Preheat oven to 180°C. Line base and sides of a 21cm square pan (or equivalent size) with greaseproof paper.
Pureé the dates with a tablespoon of warm water. Transfer to a mixing bowl and add oats, coconut, banana, miscellaneous ingredients and ground spice. Stir together until the mixture clumps together. Taste; add sweetener, if required. If mixture is crumbly, add a little more pureéd dates, sweetener, or a neutral-flavoured oil (or coconut oil).
|The mixture should clump together. Press firmly into a tin before baking.|
Tip into the prepared pan and press down firmly with your palm or the back of a spoon to level the surface and compact the mixture. Bake for 25-30 minutes until golden. Leave in the tin to cool slightly, then score into bars. Cool completely before storing in an air-tight container.
* My miscellaneous ingredients were: walnuts, white chocolate, crystallised ginger, candied winter melon, toasted white sesame seeds, flax seeds and black sesame seeds. I used allspice in the mix, and sprinkled some cinnamon on top before baking the flapjacks.