Friday, 4 April 2014

Sweet Oat and Seed Thingamabobs

oat bars

Apologies for the title of this post - it could have been entitled 'Flapjacks' or 'Energy Bars' but I don't think that either entirely sums up what these oaty bars are about.

They have so much more in them than would usually be found in flapjacks  such as seeds, tahini and honey. And yes they are high in energy but anything called an Energy Bar sounds to me like it would only be eaten by someone who is about to run a marathon and these are lovely to have while sat firmly on the sofa with a cup of tea in hand. So, bereft of any other ideas I've decided to call them Sweet Oat and Seed Thingamabobs!

The inspiration for these came from my sister who gave me a similar recipe that included bananas and golden syrup. At the point I decided to make these I realised that I didn't have any bananas or syrup so had a look around my cupboards to see what I could use instead. After a bit of rummaging and research on the internet I decided to try replacing the golden syrup and bananas with honey and tahini. It was a bit of an experiment - I hadn't used tahini in this way before. Tahini is a paste made from sesame seeds that is sold in jars and it, along with the honey, acted as a binding agent to help bring all the dry ingredients together which meant that I could use a bit less butter than the original recipe called for and it gave the bars a lovely nutty flavour. 

I have to say that the finished result was lovely - a nice sweet, oaty, seedy, nutty treat. 

Notes: I have detailed the basic recipe below. When I made mine I added 1tsp ground ginger and some chopped crytsallised ginger but it would be great with any dried fruit such as chopped dried apricots, dried cranberries, raisins or sultanas - or just as it is. I also used unrefined demerara sugar but good old caster sugar would work well too!

Sweet Oat and Seed Thingamabobs

Makes approx 10 35g bars

50g butter
4 tbsp clear honey
3 tbsp tahini
30g sugar
25g pumpkin seeds
25g sunflower seeds
25g sesame seeds
150g porridge oats
Dried fruit or ground spice (see note above)

1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/ 350°F/ Gas Mark 4

2. Line a shallow baking tin approx 20 x 25cm with greaseproof paper.

oat bar mixture
Once all the ingredients have been combined the mixture
will be quite sticky.
3. Gently heat the butter, honey, tahini and sugar in a saucepan until the butter has melted and the sugar dissolved. Don't allow to boil.

4. Mix all the remaining ingredients together (seeds and oats plus fruit and spice if using) and add to the warmed butter, tahini, honey and sugar mixture in the saucepan. Mix well to combine.

5. Spoon the mixture into the lined baking tin and pop into the oven for approximately 10 minutes.

6. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely in the tin before cutting into bars with a sharp knife.

oat bar
Allow the baked mixture to cool in the tin before
cutting into bars

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