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I find that muesli bars a a quick way to satisfy a rumbling stomach. The only problem is, with the amount of sugar in some of the commercial muesli bars, they should be classified as candy bars. Having said that, I’ve eaten my fair share, and I can’t believe it has taken this long to dawn on me that I should make my own. However, after seeing this recipe, I was enlighted, and proceeded to make healthy, delicious muesli bars without any artificial flavourings and ingredients which I don’t know how to pronounce. These are great for breakfast and as a snack any time of the day.

My recipe is based on Laurie’s
recipe on Carpe Season. I have adapted it to suit what I had in the pantry.

Homemade Chewy Granola Bars

Makes 8 square bars

INGREDIENTS
1 1/3 cups rolled oats
1/3 cups corn flakes
1/3 cup plain flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup raw sugar
2 tablespoons flax meal
1 cup chopped nuts (I used almonds)
1 cup dried fruit ( I used dried apricots and dates)
1/3 cup sunflower seeds
1/4 cup maple syrup (I’m a fan of 100% pure maple syrup)
1/4 cup peanut butter (I used natural peanut butter – ie 100% peanuts)
1/4 cup water

INSTRUCTIONS
Preheat oven to 180c.

Line a square baking tin with parchment paper. Set aside.

In a large bowl, combine all of the dry ingredients, including the nuts and dried fruit. Mix with a spoon.

In a separate bowl, mix together the maple syrup, peanut batter and water. If the peanut butter is a little stiff, heat the mixture in a saucepan until melted. Pour the wet ingredients over and dry and stir with a wooden spoon.

Pour the granola mixture into the prepared baking pan and press it down with a spoon. Place into the oven and bake for about 30-40 minutes.

The granola bars will keep for a couple of days in the fridge.

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I recently bought a packet of linseeds from the supermarket, so on the Queen’s Birthday long weekend, I decided to include it in the cake to see what the taste will be. I had never seen linseed in baked goods before, except in bread, so it was interesting to experiment. I didn’t know much about linseeds, except that it needs to be ground in order for the goodness to be released. After intense session of research some googling, I learn that it contains abundant levels of omega 3 oils (which is usually found in fish) and also high dietary fibre.

As I was baking it, an alarming thought crossed my mind – if the oil component of the linseeds was so high, would that change the flour-sugar-fat ratio of the loaf? Images of the loaf pooled in oil flooded my mind. To my relief, it was just my imagination going overboard, and I can happily continue to substitute the flour components of recipes with ground linseed without worry!

For those who are unfamiliar with linseeds, it is important to grind the linseed as you use it, as ground linseed can easily become rancid (because of the omega oil content). Ground linseed should be stored in the fridge/ freezer for a maximum of 6 weeks.
Whole linseed last for 1 year when stored in a dark, cool and dry area.

Berry and linseed loaf
Makes 1 medium sized loaf

½ cup EVOO
½ cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 cup berries (any berry is fine)
½ cup soy milk (plain milk is fine)
1 cup wholemeal SR Flour
1/4 cup ground linseed

1. Preheat the oven to 180c. Line the base and sides of a loaf pan with baking paper.
2. Mix all ingredients together.
3. Pour mixture into prepared pan.
4. Bake for 1 hour or until cooked when tested.

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