Um, yum. Gingery, soft with crunchy bits, sweet and sesame, these whole food muesli bars are a definite winner.
A few people have asked me for a healthy muesli bar recipe lately. More specifically, for a home made muesli bar that their men-folk would be happy to take to work in a packed lunch. In my house, a man-friendly muesli bar means no fruit and that it can’t taste TOO healthy. If you know what I mean.
Well I think these fit the bill. I calculated their nutritional profile and compared it to the selection of open boxes of muesli bars in our pantry. These bars fall somewhere in the middle, with generally higher protein and fibre than their supermarket compadres.
The most interesting thing was the ingredient lists though. These man-friendly muesli bars have nine ingredients. The ingredient list on some of the pantry muesli bar boxes runs halfway down one side of the box, and I lost count at 30, yes 30, ingredients on one of them. And I’m sure you can guess that those 30+ ingredients aren’t a superfood hitlist. They’re not all bad, but they’re not that great either. Do we really need all those weird additives in a muesli bar?
Man-friendly muesli bars, per serving: 10g fat, 19g carbs, 4g protein, 3g fibre.
Puffed amaranth is the basis of this recipe. Amaranth is an ancient grain which is high in protein, lysine and magnesium, as well as being a good source of iron and calcium. It’s low GI and gluten free to boot. You can buy it puffed, just like the cutest teeny weeny little popcorns. I buy packaged Ceres Organics puffed amaranth, and have occasionally seen it available unbranded.
So take a trip to your local Bin Inn or bulk whole foods store and stock up. If these ingredients aren’t usually in your pantry it may seem a bit of a financial outlay on the puffed amaranth, tahini and coconut oil, but consider that just one batch of these bars is equivalent to nearly three supermarket boxes. And you can also make other great stuff like cinnamon muesli, home made hummus and fruit and nut cacao cups, on the regular.
I’ve used honey in this recipe as it’s nice and thick and works well as a ‘glue’ to hold these bars together. I’m sure you could make a vegan version by replacing it with maple syrup or brown rice syrup, but I haven’t tested this. Let me know if you try it.
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- 1/2 cup honey
- 1/2 cup tahini
- 2 tbsp coconut oil
- 2 cups puffed amaranth
- 1/2 cup buckwheat
- 1/2 cup flaked almonds
- 1/3 cup rolled oats
- 2 tbsp buckwheat flour, or flour of your choice
- 1 tbsp sesame seeds
- 1 tbsp ground ginger
- Preheat oven to 180° fanbake.
- Put the honey, tahini and coconut oil in a saucepan and melt together over a low heat.
- Put all dry ingredients into a large mixing bowl. Pour the melted honey mixture over the dry ingredients and stir to combine well.
- Press the mixture into a lined slice tin using the back of a spoon or a drinking glass to get a smooth and even finish.
- Bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes or until golden brown.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool and firm up a bit before removing from the tin. Cool completely, then cut into bars and store in an airtight container.
- Makes 16 bars.