This week I think I’ve been channelling one of my favourite food bloggers, Frugal Feeding (worth checking out for good dinner inspiration), and finding alternatives to excessive spending.
I’m blaming the currency transition from pounds to Australia dollars, which I’ve recently done moving back to Australia, but dang food seems expensive at the moment. And $5 for a pack of five muesli bars, which I could see were mainly just oats and glucose syrup, is not cool.
So off to my favourite pick-n-mix store I went and bought lots of oats, seeds, nuts and dried fruit. Obviously my initial outlay of at the pick and mix store was a few dollars more than the store bought muesli bars. However I use these ingredients for bread making and muffins, so feel it’s justified. And I have heaps leftover for more muesli bars!
Now I have 30 muesli bars. I estimate these cost me around $4 to make. So I’ve made $14. This is plenty enough to go to the pub this sunny afternoon and have a couple of beers. Which by my math, are now free! Free beer I tell you!
Budgeting whizz kid. That’s what they call me.
These are dead simple to make and I was impressed how perfect they worked for a first time try. I’ve put notes below about switching out ingredients, making them gluten-free etc. I’m keen to experiment with flax seed to substitute out some of the butter, and will update when I have.
½ cup (125mL) honey (or half half honey and peanut butter)
¼ cup caster sugar
3 cups rolled oats (see note for GF)
1 cup rice bubbles
½ cups sultanas
½ cup dried apricots
½ cup dried cranberries
½ cups almonds
¼ cup pepitas (pumpkin seed kernels), sunflower or sesame seeds (I used a combination of all three)
- Preheat oven to 180°C
- Grease and line a slice tray (mine is 25 x 38cm cookie tray) with baking paper
- Combine honey, sugar and butter in a saucepan over medium heat
- Cook, stirring, for 2-3 minutes until butter melts and sugar dissolves
- Bring to the boil and cook for 2 minutes or until syrup thickens slightly
- Remove from heat
- Combine remaining ingredients in a large bowl
- Pour hot syrup over dry ingredients and stir to combine
- Spoon into prepared pan and press firmly to make sure the mixture will stick together, I used baking paper to press down so it doesn’t stick to your fingers
- Bake in oven for 10-15 minutes or until golden. To help them stick together I get some baking paper, put it on top of the cooked slice, then stack another tray on top and load it up with some weight for a couple of hours. I use dictionaries and the like.
- Cool and then refrigerate until well chilled and cut into 18 – 24 slices
Quantity: Makes 30 bars at about 9cm x 3cm. Cut to the size you like.
- The mixture has a total of 1½ cups of dried fruit – use whatever combination you prefer
- You can substitute in desiccated coconut for the almonds if you need to be nut-free
- You could use half honey, half smooth peanut butter in the ‘syrup’
Healthy: With the ingredients I used they are 163 calories if you cut it into 24 bars, or 130 if you make 30. Which is good compared to commercial stuff.
Gluten free: To make these muesli bars gluten free, use 2 cups of crushed cornflakes and 2 cups of rice bubbles (as long as your corn flakes are gluten free). Otherwise use gluten free oats.
Storage: In an airtight container these will keep well. Or you can freeze them.
Source: Recipe created by Melissa Hughes for Kidspot.