If you have been reading my posts regularly, I am sure you have noticed how much I love food. I do eat a fair share of fruit and vegetables, but am not too worried about having a strict, healthy diet. I just enjoy eating too much for that! However, if I am making treats for Jumpy, I have to be careful as she has quite a few allergies.
I have a lovely cereal bar recipe but it is not suitable for my allergy baby. I had been thinking of adapting it for her but had done nothing about it since she quite enjoyed her shop bought ones. However, as I was chatting to a mum whose little one is allergic to nuts last week, she pointed out that the factory where the free from cereal bars I generally buy for her handles nuts. As a consequence, the ‘Oaty Bites’ she loves could contain traces of nuts. Oh dear, I had never seen that on the packet. I have just checked and it is clearly stated there. I really have to start reading labels more carefully.
That was my cue to start working on those new homemade ‘Oaty Bites’. I surprised myself as they ended up tasting delicious despite the fact they do not contain flour, eggs, oil, nuts or butter! The melted sugar, coconut oil and honey do a good job binding the mixture together and those little treats do not require baking. You can then cut them into 30 cubes (perfect for a toddler) or 12 cereal bars for an adult-sized treat. I have made three batches this week and they have been very popular with the children (and me!). This also made me realise how overpriced the shop bought ones were. Now that is a win, win situation!
If you are not a fan of coconut, dark chocolate or dried apricots, you can substitute these for whatever takes your fancy, really.
Here is the recipe:
Apricot and Coconut Oat Cubes
- 1/3 cup extra virgin coconut oil 50g if solidified 50 ml in its liquid form
- 1/4 cup set honey 85g
- 1/3 cup dark brown cane sugar 50g
- 2 teaspoons vanilla sugar 8g
- 1 ½ cups oats 150g
- 1 cup crispy rice cereal 50g
- ½ cup desiccated coconut 40 g
- 1/3 cup dried apricots 50g, chopped
- 1/3 cup free from dark chocolate 50g, chopped
In a small saucepan, melt the coconut oil, honey and sugars over a medium heat. Reduce the heat as soon as it starts bubbling and simmer for two more minutes.
In the meantime, mix the oats, rice cereal and desiccated coconut in a large bowl.
Pour the contents of the saucepan over the dry ingredients, and mix well to ensure the oats and cereal are coated in the sticky mixture.
Add the chopped dried apricots and stir. Leave to cool slightly for 5 minutes and add the chopped chocolate.
Pour into a 22 x 17cm (8.5x6.5 inches) rectangular dish and pack the mixture down as tight as you can so that everything sticks together.
Let it set in the fridge for fifteen minutes and give it another hour at room temperature.
Cut into cubes or bars.
They can be stored at room temperature in an airtight container.
Recipe NotesTo ensure your treats are gluten free, use certified gluten free oats. You can replace coconut, dark chocolate and dried apricots with anything you like. These healthy treats are perfect for lunchboxes! They can be frozen individually for later.