Carrot Cake Oat Bars
These delicious, soft and sweet Carrot Cake Oat Bars are our current favourite after-school car snack. I find that if I have something to feed the children the SECOND I pick them up from school / playschool, it really helps keep those afternoon emotional meltdowns at bay!
Bought granola bars are a handy back up, but I find the portion size of these is more geared towards an adult, whereas these bars can be cut any size you want. This recipe does contain sugar (You can choose whether to use maple syrup, brown sugar or any sugar or syrup of your preference), but with the small portion size (I usually make 32 bars per batch) and the added goodness of oats, fruit, vegetable and seeds I find them to be a good balance between treat and healthy snack, and one that my children are always happy to receive!
These keep really well in a sealed container in the fridge, so one batch made at the weekend should keep you well stocked for the whole week!
350g Porridge Oats (gluten free if you are coeliac)
1 medium carrot, finely grated
1 medium banana, mashed
3 tbsp seeds (flax, sunflower, pumpkin all work well)
1 level tsp cinnamon powder
1/2 tsp mixed spice
200g Real Butter or Margarine (NOT a spread)
150g Maple Syrup (or replace with honey, dark brown sugar, golden syrup or other sugar of your choice)
3 or 4 squares of chocolate for drizzling
Swiss Roll tin approx 20 x 30cm
Note on seeds: If your children find seeds off-putting, I'd suggest blitzing them in a blender for a few seconds. You'll still get all the goodness, but the seeds won't be visible!
Preheat oven to 180C. In a mixing bowl, add the oats, seeds (blended or whole), cinnamon and mixed spice. Stir. Add the butter and syrup or sugar to a microwave proof bowl and melt on high for approx 2 mins until fully melted. Alternatively, this can be done in a small saucepan on the hob. Add the butter and sugar mixture, the grated carrot and the mashed banana to the oats and mix very thoroughly
Add the mixture to the swiss roll tin and smooth out evenly using the back of a metal spoon. Once you have a nice flat, even texture on top, place the tray in the middle of your preheated oven and cook for 25-30mins until golden brown.
While your golden carrot cake oats are still warm, but into bars in the tin. I usually cut into 8 even lines along the narrow edge, and four even lines along the long edge, to create 32 small bars. Leave to cool for 30mins or so in the tin before removing to finish cooling on a wire tray.
If you like, you can finish off the bars with a small drizzle of melted chocolate in dark, milk or white chocolate - or a mix of all 3!
When fully cooled, stack in to a large sealed container and store in the fridge for up to one week.