Thursday, 19 November 2009

Make Your Own Cereal Bars


Have you seen the price of cereal bars? I know they're not the most exciting foodie must have. But lots of us buy them, they're great for childrens' lunch boxes, and make good breakfast on the run for adults, and like lots of processed food, they're a complete ripoff. For a start, look at the size of them. Tiny. You'd need a whole box of them to make a decent breakfast for a Doyle. And that would be assuming that they contain wholesome tasty ingredients, which they don't.

I suspect people like cereal bars because many of us don't have the time or inclination for breakfast, (the retail market for cereal bars is worth £314million a year) and grabbing a cereal bar on the way out of the door in the morning seems like an improvement on a double chocolate muffin at the coffee shop later. Which indeed it can be, if you make them yourself.

If you have one of these


from the supermarket, you might just as well have the muffin, for all the good it's going to do you.
So I'm suggesting you make your own. It's easy and you can make them as opulent or as  austere as you wish. I tend to make them fairly spartan because they're for breakfast and I like to see them as a healthy start. No matter that it all goes downhill from there, a good start at least shows willing.





This amount makes enough to fill my large Aga baking tray, which is 14" x 10". It's worth making a good quantity once you've established just how you like them, as they keep reasonably well in an airtight tin.

Cereal Bars Recipe

12oz/300g golden syrup
4oz/half a packet butter
half a cup/4 fl oz sunflower oil

Put these to melt over a low heat,while you assemble the dry ingredients, in a large bowl, which can be almost any combination of the following. Quantities are a rough guide, because you can adjust to whatever you like best, frankly I use up what I have half packets of, and what I fancy adding - just try to end up with around 4 pounds of mix in total for the above amount of liquid.


1 lb8oz/ 750g rolled (porridge)oats
8oz/200gr wholewheat flour
8oz/200g dessicated coconut
12oz/300 gr bag of trail mix chopped up or other dried fruit
several handfuls of puffed rice cereal
several handfuls of mixed seedsof your choice such as sunflower, pumpkin, flax,sesame
several handfuls of mixed nuts of your choice brazil, almond, hazel, walnuts chopped
several handfuls of raisins
3 eating apples, grated coarsely, don't bother to peel

Mix your dry ingredients together thoroughly, pour on the contents of the saucepan and stir until well blended. Turn into your tin and press down fairly gently. Bake for about half an hour on the bottom rung of the Aga roasting oven, probably Gas 4 Electric 180  until just tinged golden. Don't overbrown. Burnt raisins are horrible.

Cut into bars and cool on a wire tray. These bars should be reasonably chewy and soft, if you like them harder and more crisp, reduce the amount of apple.

I don't want to harp on about the economy of making your own, lest you should run away with the idea that they're not going to be very delicious, which they are, but I've costed it out roughly and my cereal bars are at least a quarter of the price of the average shop ones. Plus they're jam packed with nuts seeds and fruits, and low in sugar, contain no preservatives or dodgy fillers, and don't leave 30 plastic wrappers and 6 cardboard boxes behind. The recipe above will give you around 25 -30 good size bars (around 4 oz/100gr each) as opposed to the measly 1oz/30gr ones from the shop. Quarter of the price, ten times the quality,you can't lose.

So it's this...                            ...... or this? (It's a no brainer!)                 
                              

13 comments:

Amy Blogs @ River Rock Cottage said...

Of course I'd pick yours! Looks gourmet - like something I'd pick at Starbucks. Thanks for adding the US Equivalent measurements. I'm working on metric with my 11 year old in homeschool, but I'm not THAT good yet!

Gary Jen and Ruby said...

I totally agree with you!
I'm the same when it comes to cakes, which is part of the reason for starting our very own recipe blog!
Glad to have discovered your blog via the comments you left on ours! It's a very good find!

TTFN

Sue, Joe and Michael Webber said...

I make my own now too! You're right it's a no brainer! ;)

The Cottage Garden Farmer said...

Amy I'd like to take the credit for being considerate to US readers, but the truth is I work in the old fashioned measurements myself - I find it much easier than metric, so I try to include the metric equivalent for the sake of the younger generation who learned metric at school! thanks for your kind remarks, Kathy

The Cottage Garden Farmer said...

Gary Jen and Ruby, When you do the maths, it's amazing how much you can save and improve you diet at the same time - thanks for posting, Kathy

The Cottage Garden Farmer said...

Sue Joe and Michael - seems obvious to some of us doesn't it - perhaps we need to spread the word! Thanks for posting Kathy

Jane Boa said...

I can personally attest that these cereal bars are absolutely delicious! (Hint, hint! haha).

Velva said...

You are absolutely right about store bought cereal bars. There is no comparison to homemade-Yours look absolutely wonderful. Thanks for sharing.

The Cottage Garden Farmer said...

Ah thanks Jane, am baking a new batch this afternoon!!
Velva, I hope you enjoy them if you try the recipe, thanks for posting, Kathy

mangocheeks said...

Thumbs up to making your own cereal bars or flap jacks as I like to call them. I try my utmost to make a batch of my own most Sundays for the working week ahead, failing that its home-made muffins (better than shop bought ones honestly).

I liek the simplicity of your recipe. Nice!

Callie said...

The bars look yummy! Reminds me of the cookies I used to make out of trail mix. I love healthy foods. Great recipe.

The Cottage Garden Farmer said...

Mangocheeks, Yes indeed, your home baked muffins will be tons better than shop ones,plus you can't buy that delicious smell can you?Thanks for posting, Kathy

Thanks Callie, I will have to make another batch as all our family visitors over the weekend have stocked up for their lunch boxes for the week! Kathy

Jocelyn86 said...

Your post is so helpful. I have so much extra cereal around our house. I love the recipe but I want to see if I can tweak it to have more cereal like cheerios and use organic honey instead of syrup. ^.^

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