Today I want to share a fabulous recipe that I experimented with this week. I was hoping to do a great big post all about sugar, but it seems that I lost my tussle with time, so it will have to wait for now.
As some of my regular readers will know my current fad is reducing the amount of sugar we consume in our diets and this little experiment is nothing short of a really healthy alternative for a snack that is not only filled with good nutrients, but also pretty low of sugar, especially fructose. I know what you're thinking right now, but surely fructose is good for us!! The answer is yes it can be if taken in the right form, but if I am honest I think that generally speaking we are all pretty ill informed about this subject matter. Unfortunately I don't have time to go into any detail tonight, but I promise to shed a little more light on this subject during the next couple of weeks, but for now here is the recipe for anyone interested. I promise you won't be disappointed.
Healthy Fruit, Nut and Oat Bar
1 cup organic puffed rice (no sugar added!)
1 cup gluten free oats
1/2 cup shredded Coconut
1/2 cup walnuts
1/2 brazil nuts
1/2 pumpkin seeds
1 cup dates (I use madjool dates)
1/2 cup coconut oil
1/3 cup nut butter
2-3 tbsp. Rice Malt Syrup
I use a general cup measurement, so there is no need to be concerned about the differences that comes with some interpretation of cup measurements.
Simply measure out all your dry ingredients and process them all together in your food processor. I prefer a fairly processed mixture, but this is really up to your own preferences. I want the kids to eat it, so I don't really want big chunky pieces of nuts and dates peeping through. Then add your dates, as mentioned I used madjool as they tend to be a little softer, but if yours is hard, you can always soak it for up to an hour before you want to make this. Whilst it is processing, melt the coconut oil using a double boiler method, therefore just putting the oil in a bowl hovering over simmering hot water. You loose a fair amount of the nutrients if you melt it directly, so use this method instead. For the nut butter, I use this nut butter which is a blend of peanuts, cashews and hazelnuts, but you can just use peanut butter or any nut butter of your choice, or you can simply make your own if your food processor has the capacity to do it. Add the nut butter to the oil mixture and then add your rice malt syrup. I specifically chose rice malt syrup as it is fructose free. It has the consistency of honey and taste a little like a mild golden syrup with a hint of malt, but it works a dream.
Rice malt syrup is made through cultivating organic brown rice with enzymes in order to break down the starches and then cooking it until it becomes a syrup consistency. It therefore contains carbohydrate, maltose and small amounts of glucose, but no fructose whatsoever, which makes it a really good substitute for honey or syrup.
Once the coconut oil, nut butter and syrup is thin and runny, add it to your dry mixture and quickly process for a minute or so just to ensure that it is all properly combined. Line a swiss roll tin or something similar with some parchment paper and scrape the mixture into your tin and then pop it in the fridge for a good hour or a little longer to give it time to set. Once it has set, you can cut it into the desired size, freeze some and keep the rest in the fridge if you like or in an airtight container outside. Personally I kept mine in the fridge, but I am sure it will be absolutely fine outside. They freeze really well too! I got around 35 slices out of mine, so if you want less you can always half the recipe if you like.
I hope you have fun trying out this recipe, do let me know how you get on please feel free to ask any questions. I would be very interested in your feedback. We enjoyed a few slices during out 'Stitch and Bitch' on Friday and I have to say that this bar has been going down a treat and everyone is enjoying it. Since starting my quest to learn a little more about the implications of sugar to our bodies, I am struggling to find healthier options for the kids for snacks as so many of the so called 'healthy snacks' are loaded with sugar. This makes a pretty scrumptious snack that the kids will enjoy too! As you know nuts are pretty high in fat, so don't indulge in too many at once. I find that one slice gets me through my hunger periods during the day.
The good news is that our new toy (vitamix) arrived on Friday afternoon and we have already been having heaps of fun playing with it. So far we have made some soup, smoothies, and some ice cream, in fact the kids made their own ice cream, so they are loving
my their new toy!
Before I go I just wanted to say thank you for all your lovely comments about the progress on my Spring throw and first quilt. In fact I finally got around to making the binding for the quilt on Friday and it is now waiting to be hand stitched, not my first love, but it will be worth it!
Wishing you all a happy and creative week.