I am not a morning person. In fact, I usually wake up hating the world and everyone in it. (My husband loves mornings and not infrequently walks around singing and whistling, which doesn’t help.) Anyway, this can lead to a predicament in that as a support worker, sometimes I stay at other people’s homes overnight, and all of that hatred needs to be gone the moment I get out of my bedroom door. My solution to this problem is a tasty breakfast that I can eat before necessarily getting out of bed. I’ve adapted these handy bars from smitten kitchen. I’ve simplified them somewhat so I could put them together faster and avoid using corn syrup. You can adapt them as you like – I don’t like mine too sweet.
170g jumbo rolled oats
30g regular porridge oats (you don’t need to use the 2 different oats, I just like to use jumbo oats but had some leftovers)
100g brown sugar
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
200g mixed dried fruit (I used raisins, prunes and cranberries)
1/8 tsp orange extract (optional)
50g smooth peanut butter
100g maple syrup
1 tbsp water
Makes 8 bars
Takes 5-10 minutes to put together, and 30 minutes to bake
Stage one: Preheat the oven to 170C, and either line a 20x20cm tin with greaseproof paper or whip out your silicone tin. Put the dry ingredients in a bowl and mix together well – that’s the two types of oats, sugar, cinnamon, salt and dried fruit.
Stage two: Add the orange extract to the bowl, and then the peanut butter, and mix around by hand. Then add the maple syrup and water (I gave the measurements to you in grams because at this point I only had one non-granola-covered hand, so it’s easier to just weigh it). This will give you a crumbly mixture, which you should press into the baking tin.
Stage three: Pop in the oven for 30-40 minutes, until the top is browned. Don’t worry that it doesn’t feel firm and set, that’s going to happen as they cool. You should leave them for 20 minutes or so until taking them out of the tin, but make sure to cut into bars as soon as they’re out of the oven. If you wait, they’ll harden and then crumble while you try to cut them up! I don’t mind a bit of crumble – in fact, I’m probably going to eat half of them as bars, and then crumble the rest to use as cereal.