I wanted to take some sweet treats into the office this week, but with summer nearly upon us we are all on some sort of pre-summer crusade, be it dieting, gyming or just general healthy eating. So I thought it was time for the Health Bar to make its appearance, and by health bar I mean healthier than what normally comes out of my kitchen.
The great thing about this bar, apart from the delicious taste and semi-guilt free consumption, is that you can adapt it entirely to your own preference and taste. It also keeps really well in a sealed container, so it is the perfect snack to pack with your lunch. And it is seriously easy to make – all you need is a saucepan and a wooden spoon.
The Health(ier) Bar
1 tbs golden syrup
4½ tbs reduced-fat spread (margarine or butter)
⅓ cup brown sugar
½ tsp vanilla extract
1½ cups self-rising bran flour
1½ cups shredded coconut (optional)
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup mixed nuts and seeds (I used macadamias, almonds, pecans, pepitas and sunflower seeds)
1 cup cranberries (or any other type of dried fruit such as apricot, raisins, dates, etc.)
⅓ cup boiling water
1 cup icing sugar
1 tbs lemon juice
Preheat your oven to 180°C.
Combine the syrup, reduced spread, vanilla extract and brown sugar in a saucepan and stir over medium heat until the sugar is dissolved.
Stir in the self-rising bran flour. (I use bran flour to boost the health factor even more, but you can use regular self-rising flour as well. If you have neither you can use standard flour and add 1½ tsp baking powder).
Add the rest of the ingredients except the water and mix well. (The nuts and dried fruit is entirely up to you, you can add more or less of each quantity as well. Alternatively you can add a cup of muesli for the crunch factor).
Stir in the boiling water.
Spread the mixture in a baking tin (I used 28.5 x 19cm) and bake for 30 minutes. (I covered my mixture with aluminium foil and removed it after 25 minutes, leaving 5 minutes for it to brown up nicely. Keeping it covered, helps prevent the nuts and fruit on the top from burning). Let it cool completely.
To make the icing, simply mix together the icing sugar and lemon juice, drizzle over and cut into slices.
…be fearless, and have fun!