I’ve been planning this post for ages, because this recipe is super useful but I keep losing it and have to go searching through my Gmail inbox. It is also going to take a while to type because I’ve just started watching The Wire and I’ve got to keep an eye on the TV screen. I’m on the episode where Omar appears for the first time and it is hard not to smile. Not because he isn’t threatening (he is), but because my cousin called the dog after him. This is the dog in question:
Anyway, back to my recipe spiel. I’ve made these energy bars a few times now for the girls to eat on the side of the pitch at GAA tournaments and for some crazy folks who walked 100km in 30 hours for charity. I also made them for my first ever 10km race, in Dendermonde in March last year. We are going back again this year and when I went to register, guess who was on the front page?
I thought it was amazing enough that I had the ability to run a 10km, but then in October, I managed to do the Brussels half-marathon (click here to see me *(pink) and Heather (green) crossing the line in the Grand Place, around 28 seconds in). Amid all the emotion, I did wonder if we would have done it in an even better time if I had made these energy bars beforehand. Martha on her Martha-thon 2013 blog would have a better analysis of pre-marathon nutrition, but I fear that she would not approve of the amount of butter in these energy bars.
Jane introduced this recipe to me originally, suggesting the addition of more oats to avoid the mix getting too wet. It is actually based on a Weight Watchers recipe, but I’ve added bits and pieces to it over time. Feel free to add anything else you might like. As with most things in life, the fruitier and nuttier, the better.
210g porridge oats
100g light brown sugar
Pinch of salt
70g dried apricots, chopped
70g dried dates, chopped
50g dried cranberries
25g almonds/hazelnuts, chopped
30g sunflower seeds
30g pumpkin seeds
50g desiccated coconut
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees (160 degrees fan oven).
Grease and line a 23cm square baking tin with baking parchment. Leave a bit hanging over the edges so that it is easier to remove the bars.
Melt the butter with the honey in a large saucepan over a low heat. Bring to the boil and cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from the heat.
Mix together the porridge oats, sugar, salt, dried fruit, nuts, seeds and coconut. Add to the saucepan and stir together until completely mixed.
Tip the mix into the prepared tin and level the surface with the back of a spoon.
Bake for 25-30 minutes, until it is golden brown. Cool for 30 minutes, remove from the tin and cut into bars. Cool completely on a wire rack and then keep in an airtight container. I suppose they will keep for about a week like this, but they’ve never survived that long.
Update: Martha has given her seal of approval and suggested subbing in coconut oil for butter and some agave for the sugar.