CARROT CAKE GRANOLA BARS

At some point on a Sunday I will set aside time to cook or bake something that means I have something healthy, nutritious and easy to reach for during the week ahead. Often dubbed as ‘smart cooking’ a quick supper or tasty treat will help you stay on track with your wellness food goals.

This week was all about the snacks. These delicious carrot cake granola bars are taken from ‘A Modern Way to Cook’ by Anna Jones. Cook, food writer and stylist, Anna has worked for many years as part of Jamie Oliver’s food team. And for those of you whom I’ve had the pleasure to cook for on a Saturday night - you know I’m a huge Jamie recipe fan!

I love this second book from Anna as it tackles the main issues we have in our week - time! Her chapters are broken down with recipes that can be prepared in under 15, 20, 30 and 40 minutes. Her collection of vegetarian flavour-packed meals make nourishing food realistic.

This particular recipe, a favourite of mine, is perfect as a pre or post workout snack or that three o’clock in the afternoon treat.

CARROT CAKE GRANOLA BARS

INGREDIENTS:

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  • 4 tbls chia seeds

  • 1 3/4 oz / 50g coconut oil

  • 2 cups / 200g rolled oats

  • 5 oz / 150g dried fruit (I used raisins)

  • 1 medium carrot

  • 1 apple

  • 3 1/2 oz / 100g desiccated coconut

  • 3 1/2 oz / 100g pumpkin seeds (I used sunflower seeds)

  • 4 tbls maple syrup

  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon & pinch of ground ginger

HOW TO:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F / 200 degrees C (convection 350 degrees F / 180 degrees C)
Soak the chia seeds in 4 tablespoons of water in a bowl. Melt the coconut oil.

Line an 9 by 13 inch / 30 by 30 cm baking dish with parchment paper. Put the oats into a food processor and pulse until you have a scruffy flour, then tip the oat flour into a large mixing bowl.

Put half the dried fruit into the food processor and process until it is broken down and a little mushy. Scrape into the bowl with the oats.

Peel and grate the carrot and the apple ( no need to peel) into the large mixing bowl and add the coconut, chia mixture, pumpkin seeds, maple syrup, vanilla, spices and melted coconut oil. Mix well.

Spoon onto the lined baking dish, smooth over the top with the back of a spoon, and bake for 40 - 45 minutes, until golden brown. Allow to cool a little on the dish, then completely on a rack and slice into 16 pieces.

HEALTH TIP:

Carrots are an excellent source of vitamin A and the beta-carotene contained in carrots is an antioxidant that helps to protect skin from free radicals that can accelerate ageing!

Photo © Ottilie Wellness




Samantha Warner