Wow. I have a blog. That’s a scary thought. To be honest, I am super excited to be sharing parts of my life with you all. I think that is amazing, that people on the other side of the planet are interested in, and can cook, my food.
You know what else is pretty amazing? The complete lack of healthy snacks that are offered when you are living under dietary constraints. And what is on offer, is not really all that good for you. It seems to me that producers think that by removing a certain ingredient, gluten for example, its necessary to replace it with nasty stuff, like sugars, bad fats, added flavours and thickeners.
Here’s a tip: the easier an ingredient list is to read, the less processed it is. Even better, if a child can pronounce it, you’re on the right track. Have you ever tried to find gluten, soy, fructose and lactose free foods with a completely easy-to-read ingredient list? This means no numbers and no crazy artificial chemicals, but what about sugars, salts and fats? There are hundreds of words for each of these! Glucose, fructose, sucrose, maltose, corn syrup, fruit juice concentrate, high fructose syrup, rice bran syrup, honey, golden syrup… They are all words for the same thing, a thing you want to avoid, and a thing which is usually within the first three ingredients, and then repeated two, three or even four more times. Even though it may be labelled as ‘all natural’, ‘low fat’ or ‘healthy’ doesn’t make it good for you.
Do you know what would solve this problem? Making my own snacks! Duh! The result of a healthy school snack mission? Oat Bars. And oh my, aren’t they satisfying. The main ingredient is oats, so these bars are low GI and high in fibre to keep you fuller for longer. Coconut oil provides good fats (AKA lauric acid) and the main sweetener is banana – which is also bursting with potassium. Plus the addition of spices adds important micronutrients (that means vitamins and minerals!).
This recipe is inspired by one of my all time favourite smoothies that I used to love when I was younger: Banana Chai. Oh so creamy, sweet, spicy… and unhealthy. I took those flavours that I love and I made them into muesli bars. And now that I have, there’s no going back. They. Are. Amazing… ly addictive! But it’s okay because this is a snack that is good for you.
- 1 cup oats (gluten free if necessary)
- 1/2 cup buckwheat groats
- 1/3 cup desiccated coconut
- 2 tablespoons rice malt syrup
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
- 2 bananas, chopped into chunks
- 1 tablespoon psyllium husk
- 1.5 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 0.5 teaspoon ground cloves
- 0.5 teaspoon ground cardamom
- Grease and line a 20cm square baking tin with baking paper. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
- In a food processor, process all ingredients until well combined. For a smoother texture, process to a fine paste. For some crunch, leave it roughly pulsed.
- Spoon the mixture into the pan, spreading and flattening with a spatula. Bake for 20 minutes, or until golden brown.
- Allow to cool completely in the tin before slicing into squares. Store in the fridge or freezer.