Almond, Cranberry and White Chocolate Chip Muesli Bars

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

When I was in school, I was always really excited to go away on school trips - especially camping. Not because I love camping (I do) but because I was allowed to buy whatever I wanted for snacks, and it would be that single, rare occasion where I would be allowed to buy all sorts of junk food/unhealthy treats that I wouldn't usually ever be allowed to have. 

Instant cup noodles? As many different flavours as I liked! Pringles? Why not! Marshmallows! To make s'mores, of course! It was fantastic. I also used to get Uncle Toby's Yoghurt Topped muesli bars when I went camping. Strawberry. And I really loved them, but they were, very decidedly a "treat". So once every year (or maybe twice, if I was lucky) I could have all these treats and it was a really exciting moment for me. 

Strangely, even now that I am an adult, I avoid all these "treats" (except, they're not, really) unless I am going camping. Or on a road trip. I seriously just bypass them in the grocery aisle, although it is one day my desire to go to an Asian shop and try all the flavours of instant noodles. 

I guess it's because I just prefer making my own food (cooking for me is ultimately the best form of procrastination. Because you have to eat, so why not do it in the most excessive way possible? .... Right?) and maybe a little bit of classical conditioning due to my mom's strictness when I was little. 

Anyway these muesli bars are definitely not a "treat", but they are a treat! Super easy to make and very delicious, and customizable! This batch is almond, cranberry and vanilla, but you can use whatever nuts and dried fruit you like. They are also no-bake, which is always nice. So once they are set, you just slice them up, and then grab them whenever you need. I love them for breakfast on the run, or with steaming cup of tea for an afternoon snack.

Almond, Cranberry and White Chocolate Chip Muesli Bars

- 1 1/2 cups old fashioned oats, toasted*
- 1/4 cup desiccated coconut, toasted*
- 1 cup whole almonds, toasted*
- 2 tablespoons sesame seeds, toasted*
- 1 cup pitted dates
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- 1/4 cup goji berries
- 1/4 cup chia seeds
- 1/4 cup white chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1/2 cup peanut butter 
- 1 vanilla bean or 2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste or vanilla essence
  1. Heat the honey, peanut butter and vanilla in a small saucepan on low heat until it is runny. Set aside to cool.
  2. Put the oats, coconut, almonds, white chocolate chips, chia seeds, sesame seeds, goji berries, and cranberries into a large bowl.
  3. Pulse the dates in a blender until it can be shaped into a ball.
  4. Mix the dates with the remaining ingredients in a bowl and then press loosely into a slice or brownie pan lined with baking paper. 
  5. Pour the honey mixture over and then let it set in the fridge for 4 hours or overnight.
  6. Cut into bars and wrap in baking paper. Store in an airtight container for up to a week. 
*I just throw the oats, coconut, sesame seeds, and almonds onto a baking sheet and put it in the grill for about 5-10 minutes, shaking the pan occasionally, or I put them into a large frying pan and heat. 

xx gee 


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