• Lara Flanagan

Raspberry Muesli Bars

I have never been a fan of food that claims to be healthy when it is not. Muesli bars for example. Get over yourself. Have you checked out the ingredients in a muesli bar? Ultimately if you eat well, eat real foods, do not eat too much, avoid processed crap and exercise then you will be well.

But instead so many of us will go after a secret pill, a diet drink, fat-burning keto magic, a paleo recipe, a no carb week, a low-sugar formula, anything but admitting we simply need to eat well, eat less and move more.

Eat well, eat real foods, do not eat too much, avoid processed crap and exercise. Pretty simple really.

Despite my dislike of muesli bars, I woke up yesterday with an overwhelming craving for something resembling a muesli bar. I am not pregnant, and I am not likely to be chosen for the mother of the next immaculate conception, so I would put my craving down to isolation and working crazy hours and a complete week of sleepless nights.

My craving for something resembling a muesli bar began a two-day project with my little sous-chef Rissie. There were a couple of times when I was going to chuck my craving in to the bin. I am so glad I persevered. The result was divine. It was like the crack-cocaine of muesli bars.

Raspberry Muesli Bars

Use a 9 x 9-inch square tin and you will get 16 very generous pieces.

Line your tin with baking paper and pre-heat fan-forced oven to 180-degrees Celsius.

Pastry Biscuit base:

2 1/2 cups flour

4 tablespoons sugar

1 cup olive oil

1 tablespoon almond milk

Pulse all the ingredients together in a kitchen whizz.

Be warned this is not a roll out pastry and it will be very moist and crumbly.

It will almost resemble a wet cookie dough.

If the mixture holds together when you press it, it is of the right consistency.

Then press into the tin until evenly distributed over the base and around the edges.

Bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown

Coulis jam:

2 cups raspberries

2 cups sugar

2 cups water

Put all ingredients into saucepan and bring to a simmer.

Allow to simmer for 60-minutes.

Then allow to cool, mixture will thicken as it cools.

When it is cold, spread over biscuit base.

Crunchy muesli topping:

2 cups rolled oats

1/3 cup dried apricots – roughly chopped

1/3 cup dried cranberries

½ cup olive oil

¼ cup maple syrup

3 tablespoons golden syrup

3 tablespoons brown sugar

½ cup raw almonds

½ cup raw cashews

½ cup raw walnuts

½ cup pitted, dried dates

Pre-heat fan-forced oven to 180 degrees Celsius.

Process the almonds, cashews, walnuts, and dates in a processor until turned into a chunky crumb.

Add the crumb to a fry-pan with all other ingredients.

Stir over a medium heat until well-combined.

Pour the muesli over the jam and biscuit base.

Cook until golden brown for 30 minutes.

Allow slice to completely cool before turning out and cutting into 16 pieces.

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