Saturday, 10 December 2011

Gf fruit n nut health bars!

One of the problems I find with being a coeliac is the lack of variety of snacks! I know there are some delicious biscuits and yummy chips, but when you are trying to be healthy and keep an eye on your weight, they aren't the most ideal snacks.

Also I love baking, obviously, as I wouldn't have started a food blog! But I have a habit of making delicious, sweet tasting treats! I end up eating way too much of this food! Again not so good for the waste line, particularly as my injuries very much limit my ability to exercise and burn off the calories I have digested.

So I set out to make a healthy snack bar, like a muesli bar, something that I can eat, without worrying too much on the calories. My first attempt was based on the popcorn pudding recipe that features on the deserts page, this was tasty but not a success for what I was after (I think the milk had something to do with it!).

My second attempt was a few days ago, inspired to create something delicious and healthy for my new readers and followers on twitter (which has been a large success, and given me amazing contacts!), I flicked through my gf cookbooks for inspiration.

What I created was based on a recipe from The Gluten Free Bible, but I made a few changes. Firstly the original recipe asked for a block of dark chocolate to be swirled across the top, sounds very delicious but didn't quite meeting the healthy treat I was aiming for.

To give the bars a bit extra flavour I added some golden syrup, which was the best decision, it really blended well with the rice flakes, chopped walnuts and cut up raisins, sultanas and dates, I also added some coconut! The only thing that I would change next time is the amount of butter. The original recipe, which I was using as a base called for 1/2 cup melted butter, it made the bars taste delicious and almost had the cornflake patty like taste that my gran used to make as a child, but it also gave it that buttery bottom, on each bar. So instead of 1/2 cup of butter, particularly if like me, your aim is for a healthy treat I would add 1/4 cup of butter, with the golden syrup it should still blend in quite well! I also cut the bars after they were set into long rectangles, you could also cut in half again and they would make great lunch box treats, which would look the same as all the other kids bars, but gluten free!

Without further ado here is the recipe,

GF Fruit & Nut Healthy Bars


3 cups of crushed gf riceflakes or gf cornflakes (whatever is in the cupboard)
2/3 cups finely chopped dried fruit (I used sultanas, raisins and dates, that's what was in my cupboard, you could also use apricots, apples or cranberries, whatever is in your cupboard, if you have to buy something the remainder will get eaten)
2-3 tablespoons of finely chopped almonds (or other non salted nuts you have in your cupboard)
1/3 cup desiccated coconut (my addition)
1/3 cup icing sugar
1/3 cup melted butter
1 tablespoon of golden syrup (be generous, let it overflow a bit!)


Crush riceflakes or corn flakes (I put them in a bowl and used the back of the spoon, it worked quite well, don't blend as you don't want it too fine). Mix in finely chopped nuts fruit, nuts, icing sugar, coconut, melted butter and golden syrup, mix well.

Line a slice tray with baking paper and place mixture into the tray, use the back of a wooden spoon, to ensure that it is all flat and even.

Place bars in the fridge until set. Once set, cut bars into long rectangular shapes, then cut in half. This makes it easier for lunch box treats. Store in tray or airtight container in the fridge, depends how quickly they get devoured!

Note; if you are making these for your child to take to school, ensure that it is not a peanut free school, just ask their class teacher. If this is the case and your child can eat nuts, save them for afternoon tea treats! However if your child is allergic to nuts, simply add some pumpkin or sesame seeds to bulk it up, the same amount as the nuts. If you want to use the whole 1/2 cup of butter, these would also make great treats in patty or cup cake liners, refridgerate after putting them in their liners, for Christmas you could always use the Christmas cupcake liners! Let me know how it goes!

Also don't forget about the amazing competition at delicieux , the food blogger is running, you can win fantastic bottles of De Bortlio wines, it's also packaged in amazing Bohemia art boxes! Makes for great Christmas gifts!

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