Sunday, 29 March 2009

Two lovely oaty recipes

I often find that a bowl of regular cereal isn't quite enough to see me through until lunchtime so I've been on the lookout for some healthy snacks that will keep me away from the chocolate. I came across this first recipe when flicking through Nigella Express and it sounded like just the thing.

Breakfast Bars
(adapted from Nigella Express by Nigella Lawson)

1 x 397g can condensed milk
250g rolled oats
75g shredded coconut
100g dried cranberries
125g mixed seeds (pumpkin, sunflower, sesame)
125g natural unsalted peanuts

1) Preheat the oven to 130c and grease a 23 x 33 x 4cm baking tin.

2) Warm the condensed milk in a pan

3) Mix the dry ingredients together, add the warmed condensed milk and mix

4) Spread the mixture into the tin and even the surface.

5) Bake for 1 hour and remove from the oven. Leave for 15 minutes before cutting into squares.

These get a big thumbs up from me. They taste great, are easy to make and are pretty healthy too.

While I had the oats out I remembered a favourite recipe from Jamie Oliver. When the weather starts to brighten up and hot porridge becomes less appealing I like to make this for breakfast instead.

(adapted from The Return of the Naked Chef by Jamie Oliver)

8 large handfuls of porridge oats
2 large handfuls of ground bran
1 handful of chopped dried apricots
1 handful of chopped dried dates
1 handful of crumbled walnuts
1 handful of chopped hazlenuts, almonds or brazil nuts

This part can be made in advance and kept for ages. Mix together and store in an airtight container.

You can, of course, put pretty much whatever you want into this. My combination today included oats, bran, sunflower seeds, pumkpin seeds, linseeds, chopped prunes and chopped apricots.

The night before you need it put some of the above in a bowl (once made up this will keep for two or three days so you can put a few portions in), cover with milk and mix in 1/2 a grated apple per portion. Place in the fridge.

In the morning remove the bowl from the fridge. The mixture will have softened and thickened up so you might want to add a bit more milk. Serve with honey, yoghurt, chopped banana, strawberries, raspberries...whatever you fancy really.

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