Saturday, March 24, 2012

Baking can be healthy AND tasty

The only downside of baking is that mostly it involves using ingredients that aren't particularly good for you. Of course, homemade recipes of even the naughtiest of treats are generally better for you in some ways than shop-bought ones, mainly because you know exactly what's in them (none of those long scientific names of additives that we don't have a clue what they are). But for the rest, the amount of sugar and butter that is used is not worth thinking about if you're watching what you eat! I've tried to choose some breakfast recipes that are a bit healthier, just because it's breakfast and I feel like you should start the day as you mean to go on, but most of them I wouldn't like to guess at the calories! The amount of patisseries I've eaten since I've been in France just doesn't bare thinking about, so I decided to set myself a challenge of searching for a healthy recipe of some kind that still tastes good. 

I came across this recipe for Oatmeal Bars the other day and decided to give them a go. Considering that they contain no sugar or butter, they taste pretty amazing! And they're surprisingly moist as well. They probably contain about two of your five-a-day in one bite too! I'd say they're the perfect little snack to keep you going between meals. They might even be nice for breakfast, if you're not a cereal person or you're in a bit of a rush. For those of you after a healthy treat, give these little beauties a go: so easy to make, bursting full of fruit and great for on-the-go! You wouldn't even guess they're healthy, I promise! What's not to love?

Banana and Apple Oaty Bars     makes about 16 bars

2 Cups Porridge Oats
1/2 Cup  Dessicated Coconut
1/3 Cup Raisins
2 Large Ripe Bananas
2 Apples (peeled and finely grated)
1 tsp Vanilla Extract

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees and grease a baking tray.
  2. In a large bowl, mash the bananas.
  3. Add the grated apple and vanilla extract and stir well.
  4. Add the oats, coconut and raisins and stir again until all ingredients are well combined.
  5. Put the mixture into the baking tray and press down well with the back of a spoon.
  6. Bake in the oven for about 30 minutes until the edges start to crisp up.
  7. Remove from the oven and when cool enough cut into squares.
  8. When you're feeling peckish eat and enjoy!

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