While I’m never going to be one of those people that shuns sugar altogether (moderation in all things), I am trying to eat less. I’ve had several attempts at this recipe now and finally think I’ve got the it just right – a healthy, nutritious, sugar free, low GI granola bar. I’ve also upped the quantities of nuts and seed. Don’t discount butter when you’re trying to eat a healthy diet – proper butter (organic if possible – not the spreadable stuff) is full of vitamin A, D and K (great for your bones), and rich in short- and medium-chain fatty acids too. Also, divide the 150g by 12 portions and that’s less than a tablespoon of butter per slice – probably about the same as you’d spread on a couple of slices of toast.
When you have teenagers, you spend a large percentage of your day alternately yelling ‘but you haven’t eaten anything…!’ as they rush out the door or ‘good grief, child, stop eating!’ when they come back and start raiding the kitchen like a plague of locusts. For both these eventualities (and because they will easily scoff a whole pack of biscuits in one sitting), I try to have something relatively healthy and home made lying around.
Clarks sent me some of their lovely maple syrup (we’re massive fans – we eat rather a lot of pancakes) and also some of this Organic Blue Grade Agave Syrup, which is low GI, organic and completely natural.
Here’s how I got on. You will need:
125ml (half a cup) Blue Agave Syrup
350g rolled oats (I used these Mornflake organic oats)
70g mix of nuts and seeds – I used almonds, brazil nuts (full of selenium!), sesame seeds and cashews
50g desiccated coconut (if you don’t like coconut you could use seeds, or just more rolled oats)
Melt the butter with the agave syrup on a low heat, then just stir in the rest of the ingredients. Make sure you really stir it well so everything is well coated in the butter and syrup mixture.
Press really well into a buttered baking tin (I’m LOVING my new Wilton baking tin with lid because it’s got a lid and it’s really non stick, so when it’s cooked you can flop the granola out of the tin, cut it, then just pop them all back in and stick on the lid. They also do springform ones with lids (available in the German store, meincupcake.de) and just plain baking trays, and they’re all brilliant – completely non stick and really nice and chunky.
Where was I? Oh yes, bake for 20 minutes at 180 degrees C/gas 4 until golden brown. Allow them to cool completely before slicing, otherwise they’ll crumble. Youl should get 12 unless you cut them really big!
This new updated version is sugar free, really nutritious, low GI and should provide you with a great start to the day, keeping you going until lunchtime. Great for lunchboxes and afternoon snacks too. It’s never going to be as sweet as sugar-laden granola bars or flapjack, but if you have a sweet tooth, think about adding some sultanas or other dried fruit into the mix for a pop of sweetness. Yum.