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Good to the grain

Amaranth, quinoa, coconut, buckwheat, spelt. Doing so much baking I've been trying to incorporate different grains into the cookery mix. Not only to add a different flavour dimension but to up the nutritional stakes. I figured this book was a good investment as a guide to the myriad of grains available. Written by a pastry chef with chapters on twelve different grains it's an in depth source of baking "healthy" treats for the peeps.

So far, my favourite recipe is the for granola bars. Totally delicious. Really chewy. I'm afraid not too many make it to the lunch box. I've played around slightly with the recipe, made it dairy free and used ingredients that I have on hand. I like to mix it up a bit you know. The original ingredients are in brackets.

120 g melted coconut oil (butter)

Dry mix
2 cups rolled oats (I used a combination of oats, rye and barley flakes)
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon of flaxseed meal
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup cranberries (raisins)

1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon treacle or you could use golden syrup (molasses)
1 teaspoon salt

1. Preheat oven to 180. Generously grease a 9 x 9 inch baking tin

2. Melt the coconut oil in a heavy bottomed pot that will hold 2 cups of oats with ample room for stirring. Adjust the flame to medium and stir the oats for about 6 minutes. The oats need to be about two shades darker than they are raw; keep a few raw oats on the counter next to you as a reference point.

3. Pour the toasted oats into a large bowl. Wipe out the pot and set it aside to use again for the syrup. Ad 1/2 cup flaxseed meal and the cinnamon to the bowl.

4. Toss the cranberries with the remaining flaxseed meal and chop finely (tossing the two together stops the cranberries from sticking to your knife). Add to the oat mixture.

5. To make the syrup measure the honey, sugar, treacle and salt into the reserved pot. Place it over a medium flame to combine and cook the syrup until evenly boiling, about six minutes. Resist the temptation to to remove it early - boiling the syrup gives these granola bars real chew.

6. Pour the syrup over the oats making sure you use a spatula to scrape every last bit out. Then use the spatula to coat every flake with syrup. This means going over and over, tossing and scraping the oats together. Scrape the granola mixture into the prepared pan.

7. To form the bars, butter your hands and press the oats firmly and evenly into the pan.

8. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through. the outer edge of the granola bars should be darker than the rest and the bars should have a beautiful sheen. Remove from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes. Cut the contents of the pan into sixteen bars. Remove the bars from the pan and let cool before eating.

9. They can be eaten the day they are made or kept in an airtight container for up to 3 days (apparently).


  1. I love the apparently good for 3 days. I will have to give it a try with my fussy food kids. At least I can eat it if they don't - loks delish

  2. Wow! They look delicious. I have been looking for alternatives to the prepackaged morning tea treats for my daughter to take to school.
    I will try these this afternoon!

  3. Mmmm I just recently came across this book on farmama and am dying to get my hands on it! thanks for the share! xo m.