As a busy medical student I am always looking for a reasonably healthy and portable snack. Ideally, this means making it at home but the few muesli bar recipes I have tried have been quite time-consuming and involved. Not this one. A virtually no cook recipe, that makes firm and delicious muesli bars that freeze beautifully when individually wrapped and can easily be grabbed on the way out the door!
Peanut butter maple syrup muesli bars
Adapted from sproutedkitchen.com
- 1.5 cups rolled oats
- 1 cup rice bubbles/rice puff cereal (essential for crispiness)
- 1 cup brown rice puffs (to make it a bit healthier!)
- Heaped 1/2 cup roughly chopped mixed nuts – I used equal parts almonds, walnuts and pecans
- 2 tbs flaxseeds
- 14 pitted dates
- 1/3 cup your choice of sweetener – I used equal parts maple syrup, golden syrup and agave but you could use any combination of liquid sugars (I think brown rice syrup would work too)
- 1 cup natural peanut butter (I used half Kraft peanut butter to keep costs down and it still worked fine)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- Pinch of sea salt
- 50g dark chocolate
Preheat the oven to 180˚ and line a 28×28 baking pan. Toast the oats on a tray for 10 minutes and set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, combine both types of rice puffs, chopped nuts, flaxseed seeds, oats and mix. Chop the dates into something resembling a chunky paste (could be done in the food processor).
Gently warm the sugars, peanut butter, cinnamon, salt and stir to mix. Leave to cool for a minute or two. Pour the warm mix and dates over the dry ingredients and squish everything together, breaking up the date clumps with your hands to break them up. Be careful as the sugar-peanut butter mix can be quite hot, make sure you’re not going to burn yourself and then get stuck into it and make a big sticky mess.
Press the mixture into the lined pan in an even layer, using the bottom of something flat to push the mixture down tightly as possible. The tighter it is squashed, the better the bars stay together.
In a glass bowl over a pot of simmering water, melt the chocolate until smooth. Drizzle the chocolate over the pan of bars, you will probably have some chocolate left over but I prefer a light drizzle. Chill in the fridge for at least an hour before cutting. Keep covered in the fridge where they last around 5 days or wrap them individually and store in the freezer ready to grab on the go.
I am planning on trying a few variations on this in the next couple of weeks. I’m thinking:
- Dried apricot, date and macadamia with white chocolate drizzle
- Dried cherry, pecan and dark chocolate
- Almond butter, apple and cinnamon with no chocolat