Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Peanut & Honey Breakfast bars

We find these breakfast bars a great alternative to morning cereals. The recipe is from Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall but I've made a few changes. There may seem to be a lot of simple sugars but I've amended it from the original by reducing sugar & honey. The oats bring the whole bar into a lower GI (glycemic index) bracket and two of these will keep you feeling full late into the morning.

Fresh from the oven
  • 100g unsalted butter
  • 50g soft brown sugar or light muscovado sugar (I use some Perfect Sweet sometimes though the jury is out)
  • 125g no-sugar-added crunchy peanut butter (Meridian is good but Whole Foods is better)
  • 50g honey, plus a little more to finish (I use some Agave Nectar but can't say it's kind to the BG levels)
  • 2-3 eggs
  • Finely grated zest of 1 orange
  • Finely grated zest of 1 lemon - if it feels very dry, I add some of the lemon or orange juice
  • 200g porridge oats (not jumbo) - I use Mornflakes. For the gluten-free option I use 50g Barkat Porridge Flakes (i.e. rice flakes), 50g buckwheat (try Tesco) and 50g gf cornflakes, crushed. Or 120g Oats, 50g Buckwheat and 30g cornflakes.
  • 150g dried fruit, such as raisins, sultanas and chopped apricots, prunes or dates, either singly or in combination - I use whatever is handy
  • 120g mixed seeds, such as pumpkin, sunflower, poppy, linseed and sesame. I add in some Linwoods ground seeds too.
1. Grease and line a baking tin, about 20cm square. Put the butter, sugar, peanut butter, honey and grated citrus zests in a deep saucepan over a very low heat. Leave until melted, stirring from time to time.

2. Stir the oats (or buckwheat), dried fruit, seeds and eggs into the melted butter mixture until thoroughly combined. Spread the mixture out evenly in the baking tin, smoothing the top as you go.

3. Place in an oven preheated to 150°C/Gas Mark 3 (fan oven) and bake for about 30 minutes, until golden in the centre and golden brown at the edges.

4. Leave to cool completely before trying to cut. I usually get about 30 small bars from an 8in X 6in tray. I wrap these individually in squares of tin-foil, place in a tin and they keep for a week easily.

I generally allow about 15g carbs for each bar. I've found they don't spike BG levels and certainly keep you feeling full. The gluten-free version doesn't have as good a GI though.

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