Oatmeal in Granola out

Huge fan of super oatmeal cookies, I always stock a bag or two in our pantry if not for cookies than it would be porridge or yoghurt-muesli for breakfast. Crazy enough if you buy Granola or Muesli bars as a healthsnack in between meals, your often to be disappointed being overly sweet. If you want to keep your sugar intake and make fibre and proteins your best buddy you have to check the ingredients list, without accidentally crushing down the health factor.

For weeks a pack of oatmeal was screaming ‘healthy & nutritious” from the kitchen counter, yesterday I did just right for the cookie jar. While preparing Ciabatta bread and feeding my sourdough starters, in between I just threw al ingredients together in a bowl for Home-baked Granola bars! (A short video will be added later to show how easy it is to mix everything together, the sound needs to be re-edited first)

In all fairness I have tried quite a few recipes but the bars keep falling apart, leaving me with more muesli crumbs than bars. Dozen attempts later and building up annoyance I found out by coincidence how to guarantee to make packed bars. While preparing the oatmeal layer in a brownie pan which I first lined with waxed baking paper (cut larger size than the pan), fold down the excess wax paper and press down with another brownie pan use a heavy object, but bodyweight should do the trick. Press the mixture evenly and surely sticking it all together. Don’t over-bake otherwise they’ll turn out as bricks, your teeth won’t like it but our dog did (at least somebody was happy with my mishaps too 🙂 )

Granola bars

Granola bars for the cookie jar or tin

As for recipes ingredients some extra steps, toast your nuts for extra crispiness. I prefer to use honey, maple syrup and consciously try to avoid those which uses (high-fructose) corn syrup, there is a difference between corn syrup and High-fructose corn syrup. Ever since I was drawn into a discussion about high fructose corn syrup I learned more about this topic. The main concerns centres around excessive sugar intake and its contribution to obesity, type-2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and cardiovascular disease (source: Wikipedia). Read for more information the highlighted article links posted on Eco-watch and Huffington Post “Why to avoid intake or using high-fructose corn syrup at all”.

Granola bars cut when cooled down completely

Granola bars cut when cooled down

This recipe is my basic go-to, all ingredients can be replaced or substituted with almost everything. In the images shown here I’ve used dried sultanas and raisins, during other bakes I’ve used cranberries, blueberries, dried orange peel and the list goes on. The same for the nuts, although peanuts and almonds are most used basically a combination of various seeds or a mix combined with nuts. As for the binding liquid I used vegetable oil, honey and vanilla essence. Use at least two or three dried fruits otherwise the sweetness will drop and you’ll have to add sugar for balance, which isn’t necessary. Again press it down firmly.

Binding liquid; vegetable oil, honey and vanilla extract

Binding liquid; vegetable oil, honey and vanilla extract













AppleBerry Oatmeal bake recipe

Over the weekend I received a request by @Erdbeervogel from Australia on my Pinterest pin for my home-made Apple Blackberry Slice recipe on “What’s for dinner – Home Creations” board. On the Creations bar, you can click on our social media Pinterest icon for a direct link or here.

Keeping my promise to bake and write down the recipe I checked my ingredients and only had frozen strawberries, raspberries left. However, I had a last punnet of fresh cranberries waiting to be used so I substituted these instead for the filling and changed the title to AppleBerry Oatmeal Bake. My photos are not complete while doing the layering I totally forgot to shoot, but the instructions are easy to follow. Apologies for that will upload and add the missing steps with my next bake :).

It seemed more befitting since this base can be filled with any fresh and frozen berries, single or mixed (very nice, especially in the summer), the final bakes always came out right.  So I am adding the recipe for my Cranberry-Orange fruit preserve here according to the featuring photo as shown, which I cooked off the cuff. After preparation, I initially thought it would be too tart but the family and guests were nicely surprised with the end result.

Apple varieties: I used Granny Smith, Braeburn, Cox Orange (autumn harvest), Dutch Golden Reinette (goudreinet), Fuji. But having tried once with a sweet apple berry filling, let’s say it didn’t ignite any spark to repeat again. Grate the apples as last otherwise sprinkle some lemon juice to prevent discolouration.

Serving suggestions: Warm AppleBerry Oatmeal Bake by itself is a treat, for a brunch or dessert you can serve together with vanilla ice-cream, or a dollop of Greek cream (fat) yoghurt to make it special. When cooled down and firmed up nicely, the taste is even better and a light custard sauce or half-whipped cream will go down easily with the crowd.

Note: I stumbled upon the original Slices recipes in Better Homes and Gardens magazine June 2005, a quick bread recipe easy to assemble with cupboard ingredients. Have substituted and experimented with various berries and even adaptation to the flour-oat mixture by adding quinoa and flaxseed recipe variation will follow soon.