Homemade Oats and Nuts Energy Bars

Why buy energy bars from store when you can make perfectly healthy and yummy ones for yourself at home. Store bought energy bars have tons of sugar and additives. By making these at home you know what goes into your energy bar and your body.
I have adapted this recipe from thekitchn.com and have made few changes of my own. Since this is an energy bar, i decided to ditch honey and instead used jaggery as a sweetener. Jaggery is known for its high fiber and mineral content. Also unlike sugar it provides energy slowly and for a longer period of time. Far better than any form of sugar. And so works perfect as a pre workout snack. I wasn’t sure about the quantity of jaggery but thankfully the amount i decided to add worked perfectly. This bar is very lightly sweet, cakey and chewy in texture. I have used the quick cooking rolled oats for this recipe and mainly nuts. You can also use traditional oats with any nuts or fruits of your liking.

Makes around 14- 15 medium sized bars.
Ingredients:
2 1/2 cups of quick cooking rolled oats
1 cup of applesauce (since I was out of applesauce quickly made one at home)
1/3 cup of jaggery (here you can substitute the jaggery with 2 – 3 tbsp of honey, maple syrup or any other sweetener of your choice)
3 tbsp of creamy peanut butter ( I used the organic salted one)
1/4 cup of melted coconut oil ( I used organic virgin coconut oil)
1/2 tsp of vanilla extract
1/4 cup of ground flaxseed
1/2 cup of chopped walnuts
1/2 cup of slivered almonds
1/3 cup sunflower seeds
1/3 cup of pistachios roughly chopped
1/4 tsp of cinnamon powder
A little less than 1/4 tsp of salt
Method:
1) Preheat the oven to 325F. Line a 8″x8″ baking pan with parchment paper.
2) In a large bowl combine the oats, nuts, cinnamon powder and salt. Keep this aside.
3) In a saucepan add coconut oil, peanut butter and jaggery. Heat it on a low flame and cook until jaggery is melted and everything is combined. Remove from heat and add the the applesauce, vanilla extract and ground flaxseed.
4) Add the wet ingredients (that is the coconut, peanut butter, applesauce mixture) into the oats and nuts mixture. Mix well until everything is nicely combined.
5) Transfer this mixture onto the baking pan. Press down the mixture evenly with your hands.
6) Bake at 325F for 45 minutes until it is lightly brown in color. Lift and remove from the baking pan and let it cool completely on a wire rack. Cut them into bars of your desired size and store them in an air tight container in the refrigerator.
Note: For the applesauce I used 1 large apple. Peeled and chopped. Added it in a saucepan with 3 – 4 tbsp of water and cooked it for 15mins or so until it was tender. Mashed it using a fork. And thats it homemade applesauce is ready. Applesauce is mainly used for binding and is way to replace fat in the recipe. 

Oats, Banana and Blueberry Pancakes…..Healthy and Yummy

So the other day i was randomly scanning through my pantry to check if there was anything that i bought and have absolutely forgotten about. Yes that happens quite a lot with me. I buy stuff with the intention of making something and then i forget :P. 
To my surprise i couldn’t find anything. I was just about to close the door of the pantry feeling good about the fact that this time around i wasn’t so absent minded after all. And then i saw it, sitting at the very far corner of the pantry, darn it!!!. I saw a box of  our very own old fashioned quaker oats staring at me. Hubby and I had bought it few months back and we did try it once but somehow didn’t like it. And i had also made cookies with them. I liked them but hubby didn’t. Sigh…..So how do i make him eats these oats?

Not wanting to throw it away, i started wondering what can i possible do with it. Oats is an ingredient which you can be easily incorporated in your daily breakfast or meals. I wasn’t in a mood to experiment too much so i just emptied the box onto to baking sheet, toasted it for 5 mins in a preheated oven at 350F, put it in a blender and made oats flour. Now this flour can be used in many possible ways. But i made very easy breakfast dish out of it. Oats pancakes. Just substitute the all purpose flour in your pancake batter with oats flour. 

Here is my recipe for healthy, yummy and fluffy oats, banana and blueberry pancakes:

This recipe makes around 7-8 small pancakes

1 cup of oats flour
1 large egg
3/4 – 1 cup of milk
2 ripe bananas (the ripe bananas gives sweetness to the pancakes and also flavor)
1/4 tsp of baking powder
Pinch of salt
Butter to grease the pan

1) In a bowl first mash the bananas with a fork. To this add the egg and whisk.

2) Now add the oats flour, milk, baking powder and pinch of salt.

3) Add milk gradually and check for consistency of the batter. It shouldn’t be too thick or too thin.

4) Heat a non stick pan or griddle. Grease it with little butter and spoon out the batter onto the pan. Make it as much big or small as you desire.

5) Add blueberries on top of the pancakes. Now flip the pancakes after 3-4 mins and cook it on the other side.

Serve warm with a drizzle of maple syrup (not too much :P)

The best part….once you cut into it, the blueberries will also be cooked slightly and it will give out all the juices creating a yummy jam for your pancakes.

Do try this recipe and let me know what you think. My hubby loved it and so did i.

Until then happy cooking 🙂