Oat and Almond Breakfast Bars recipe
I’m back from quite the extending Christmas blogging break, mainly spent coughing and blowing my nose, in between eating and drinking far too much. I seem to be lurching from one cold to the next, so I have decided it’s time to start eating properly, with breakfast being a good place to start. These Oat and Almond Breakfast Bars are easy and quick to make and even quicker to eat.
Breakfast is not my favourite meal of the day; it’s usually a couple of cups of black coffee and a packet of oat cakes. With a bit of forward planning, a batch of these breakfast bars can last you all week and keep you going throughout the day. They’re packed with oats and almonds, a quick toast in the oven is optional for extra flavour, and laced with sticky sweet dates. I thought I had more dates left over from the Christmas cheese board, so bulked my bars out with dried apricots, which worked beautifully. Peanut butter and maple syrup hold these together with a wonderfully nutty sweetness. You don’t even have to cook these treats, just press them into a tin and chill until set. Thank you to The Minimalist Baker for the breakfast inspiration.
Cut your oaty tray into bars and they’re ready to be popped into your handbag as you hurtle out of the front door.
Minus the seeds, this is a 5 ingredient special. As I mentioned, I was shy of the required amount of dates, so ad libbed with some dried apricots, which I love. They worked brilliantly, but do give them a little soak in some boiling water first, to soften them up if they’re a bit dry. My peanut butter was crunchy, use smooth if you have it. The mixed seeds are optional, but I’m going for maximum health, so added them.
Start by lining a 20cm square-ish tin, or equivalent, with baking paper. Next, pre heat your oven to 160℃ and briefly toast your almonds and oats until just starting to colour, for about 10 to 15 minutes. This is optional, but the toasty flavour you get, makes it worth the little effort it takes.
Now, if your dates/dried apricots are looking a little dry, give them a 5 minute soak in some boiling water, then drain.
Once drained, process the dates and/or apricots until you have a sort of dough like texture. Think pulverisation.
Scrape this into a large bowl and mix in the toasted oats and nuts. Give them a really good stir to combine all the ingredients.
Warm the peanut butter and maple syrup, or honey, to soften, either in the microwave or in a pan on the stove.
Stir, then pour into the oats and give everything another bloody good mix to combine.
Press this sticky, wholesome mixture into your lined tin and press down to level the top.
All that’s left to do it to chill your breakfast bars until they’re set enough to cut. I would suggest about an hour, or overnight, if you like.
I went for 10 generous squares, then hid them, for fear of the rest of my family mugging in on my healthy eating programme.
Please marvel at my homemade blueberry Kefir *I really am embracing gut health*
At this time of the year when effort and enthusiam are low, these Oat and Almond Breakfast Bars are a simple, portable and super tasty. They may even give you the energy to get through the rest of January.
Oat and Almond Breakfast Bars recipe
Update on recipe – I would definitely recommend a brief 5 minutes soak in boiling water for your dried fruit to ensure these hold together
Makes 8 to 10, depending on size
You will need a mixer or blender and a bowl and a small lined tin (approx 20cm x 20cm)
150g oats, mine were porridge oats
175g dates, I used a mixture of Medjool dates and dried apricots. If yours are a little on the dry side, soak in boiling water for 5 minutes and drain before using
120g almonds, roughly chopped
80g peanut butter, mine was crunchy, but either smooth or crunchy works
60ml maple syrup or honey
2 tablespoons mixed seeds, optional
Line your chosen tin with greaseproof paper. If your dates aren’t plump or you’re using dried apricots, give them a 5 minute soak in boiling water before you start, then drain.
This is an optional extra, but if you would like to toast your oats and nuts, pre heat your oven to 160℃ and line a baking sheet. Spread your oats and almonds out into a single layer and bake until they’re just taking on some colour, for around 10 to 15 minutes. Leave to cool slightly.
Using a food processor or powerful blender, process the dates and/or apricots until they’re broken up and starting to form a sort of sticky dough. Scrape this into a large bowl.
Either in a small bowl in the microwave or in a saucepan on low, gently heat the peanut butter and maple syrup or honey, to just warm them through.
Tip the toasted oats and nuts into the dates/apricots and stir well to distribute the fruit and oats. If you’re adding the seeds, tip them in now. Pour on the warmed peanut butter and maple syrup or honey and give everything a good mix to combine.
Press the mixture into the lined tin and level the top, using the bottom of a glass helps with this. Put into the fridge to chill for around an hour, or until the bars are set. Once they’re chilled, cut into 8 to 10 pieces and try not to eat them all at once.
These keep in the fridge for a week or so, or freeze for up to 3 months.