We went away for a weekend to the beautiful Aloe Ridge self-catering houses located on the Breede River. Each house had 2 big rooms with on-suite bathrooms, a fire place, big open plan kitchen, dining room and sitting room and everything you might require while making your dinner each night. But I digress. I always take something sweet to nibble on and usually take my 7 layer No Bowl slice (meaning you assemble it in the pan you are baking it in).
However with the kiddies now also snacking with the adults, I was seriously worried about the amount of sugar they might get and sugar addled toddlers are a nightmare at best. I knew the consistency a crunchie bar or biscuit requires before it is baked (like wet sand) and the glue is usually either syrup or honey with some oil but as I am not a baking goddess like some people, I adapted a recipe form Weelicious author Catherine McCord I saw in the September issue of Parents magazine 2014 for Chocolate-Cherry Trail mix bars. This time I used rice malt syrup, which has the same consistency as honey, not as sweet but almost, but it doesn't have the same effect as sugar on your bloodstrem. I also used the power house known as coconut oil but because it can be expensive I mixed it with olive oil. You could use either one. I also used oat flour to make it gluten free and ignored any dried fruit as they are complete sugar bombs!
I added dark chocolate chips to make up for the lack off excessive sweetness. Hubby and Little Em loved them but I think I loved them the most as I ate more than half! Hubby had the opinion that they are almost like muesli rusks and therefore used his to dunk into coffee.
I tried cutting them before they were properly cooled but don't! They don't cut as nicely or neatly if still warm. If you allow them to cool completely, they cut into beautiful squares or fingers. I cut small squares for the toddlers but left half as longer fingers for the adults.
What you need:
- 4 cups oats
- ¼ cup oat flour (or any flour)
- ½ cup desiccated coconut
- ½ cup half olive oil half coconut oil
- ½ cup rice malt syrup
- 1 cup dark chocolate chips
- Preheat the oven to 180ºc or 325ºF. Line a baking pan with baking paper (I used one where my bars were 2 cm thick), set aside.
- Combine all the dry ingredients and mix well.
- Melt the coconut oil if it is cold until liquid. Add the wet ingredients and mix well.
- Press the mixture into the prepared pan and bake for 30 to 40 minutes until golden brown.
- Allow to cool completely and then slice with a sharp knife.
If you use the first 5 ingredients you can add in anything you feel like for instance dried fruit (cranberry and white chocolate chips) or a tropical mix (dried pineapple and coconut chards) as long as it adds up to 1 cup.
Enjoy these moreish bites guys.