You will need :
Pre-heat the oven to 180°C
Place the dried fruit and orange juice in a small pot over a low heat, until the fruit has softened and most of the orange juice (if not all) has been absorbed. This gives the fruit a soft texture which remains when the bars are finished
Put the Oats, Coconut, Nuts and Seeds in a food processor. Blend them for 15 seconds. Remove and place in a bowl
In a small pan, melt the coconut oil over a low heat. When melted, add in the agave and vanilla extract and stir well. Pour this into the bowl of Oat mixture and mix well.
At this stage you can add in the fruit or you may decide to divide the mixture and add in some other ingredients of your choice to sweeten. In this image I have added some raw cocoa chips into part of the mixture and some fruit into the remaining part. Goji berries are a good choice too 🙂
Cover a baking tray / tin with some baking paper and place the mixture in. Pat it down firmly, ensuring that the layer is the same thickness all over. Cover the Tin with another layer of paper and place in the oven. This stops the top from cooking too quickly.
After 10 minutes remove the top piece of baking paper and leave in for another 10 minutes or until golden brown. Don’t get distracted – keep your eye on them. They can go from pale to well done is a matter of seconds. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. When you are sure the heat has left the tin, gently slide the paper off the tray onto a cutting board and cut into squares. Store in an air tight container and enjoy over the next few weeks – if they last that long.
When cutting the bars, there will be a lot of crumbs. I usually place these in a jar and use as a topping for porridge, yoghurt or fruit salad.
These bars are packed with essential nutrients and minerals. Oats contain beta-glucans, a fibre which has been shown in studies to lower LDL cholesterol (the bad type). They are digested slowly, keeping us feeling full for longer and preventing spikes in sugar levels. Nuts and seeds provide protein as well as essential fatty acids, B Vitamins, Iron and Magnesium. What’s not to love 🙂 In’Joy !