When I used to work from home, I always had time for a leisurely breakfast on weekdays. Not so now – I either quickly shovel something down my throat before I leave the house or I grab a bowl of muesli at my desk.
The important thing is that I do eat something. There’s no way I could survive until lunchtime without a proper brekkie, even if it is a little rushed.
That’s why I make a batch of these breakfast bars as much as I can. It’s handy to be able to reach for one to eat on the train or at my desk if I’m not going to have time to prepare anything else.
They come in at around 180 calories each, so I often find that one is enough to sustain me until midday. They’re also great for a mid-morning snack with a cup of coffee or tea, or to pack in your bag for some energy on a long walk or cycle. (There’s probably a bit too much fibre in them to make them suitable for running.)
The best thing about these breakfast bars is that they’re actually nice, and when can you say that about the bars you can buy in the shops? They’re bursting with fruitiness, with a soft, springy texture that is easy to chew first thing in the morning. Actually, when I made some to take to the office on my birthday, they were more popular than the cakes.
This recipe makes about 10 bars, depending on how many you cut them into when done. It’s based on this breakfast bar recipe.
These measurements are approximate – you can play around with the amounts depending on which of the ingredients you prefer.
- 100g dried apricots
- 100g fried figs
- 50g dried mango
- 50g sunflower seeds
- 50g almonds
- 50g porridge oats
- 60g wholemeal flour
- 80ml apple juice
- 3-4 tablespoons runny honey
Stick the oven on and set to 190C/gas mark 5.
Slice the dried fruit into small pieces. (You could use a food processor but I find that the fruit is too sticky for my cheap processor.)
If you have whole almonds, put them in a sandwich or freezer bag and give them a good bash with a rolling pin.
Mix the fruit and almonds with the flour, sunflower seeds and oats in a bowl. Use your fingers to make sure everything is mixed up nicely.
Add the honey and apple juice so the mixture binds together. Use a touch more apple juice if it’s not sticking.
Line a baking sheet or tray with some greaseproof paper and spread the mixture out evenly in a flat rectangle about 1cm thick.
Bake for about 20 minutes until golden brown. Then remove from the oven, leave to cool and slice. They’ll keep for a week if you store them in an airtight container.