I posted a pic of these beauties recently on my facebook page and a few people asked for the recipe.
I have to admit it wasn’t really my own. I adapted it from this basic recipe: http://www.goodlifeeats.com/2011/01/molasses-and-ginger-granola-bars.html
It is a great basic recipe to start with, you can add any dried fruit you like, nuts, seeds, your favourite sweetener. Of course to make them healthier you should stick with natural sweeteners. My ideal combo would have been molasses and honey but we didn’t actual have any honey the day I made these so I used all molasses. They were still lovely but more like a breakfast bar than a sweet treat and perhaps not quite as tempting to little taste buds, as the molasses has a strong, distinct taste (but it is very healthy so do get some in there!). Maple syrup would be great too. I used pureed dates as my binder, again just because that’s what was in my cupboard, but there are loads of options.
I made two batches, one with plenty of fresh grated ginger, seeds and cinnamon, and the other with grated apple, dates and mixed seeds. The ginger were my favourite, probably because they reminded me of my Nan’s famous Grasmere ginger’s, and fresh ginger has so many health benefits. Next time I make them I definitely want to include dried apricots. You could also try grated pear, dried cranberries, mashed banana, nuts or chocolate chips for a more indulgent snack.
The recipe uses American cups. Don’t stress about it, I just guessed and went on how the mixture looked, it should be stickyish but dry enough to press onto a baking sheet. If you want them to be stickier use less oats. You can also just stir in the oats for a more textured bar and be careful not to cook them for too long, they might still be a bit sticky when you take them out, but they do crunch up when they are cooled!
They are brilliant lunch box snacks or if you or your child suffer from milk soy protein intolerance then it is vital that you build up a collection of sweet treats and healthy snacks to keep your sanity, as most shop bought snacks and other baked goods are full of butter, chocolate, milk or soy. Don’t worry, plenty more tips on this to come!