These sweet, chewy morsels are packed full of nutrients and make the perfect perk-up mid-morning or late afternoon, and they can be made even if you don’t have an oven. I adapted them from Olive magazine’s “No-bake breakfast bar” recipe; after the addition of the apricot filling they’re perhaps a little too sugary to be eaten in bar-size as breakfast, but one small square is just right for healthy-ish snacking and will give you better sustained energy than it’s shop-bought counterparts. The sunflower seeds provide a hearty source of magnesium and vitamin E, and the pumpkin seeds give great protein as well as omega-3 and A and B vitamins. Linseed and chia are both packed with omega-3 and fibre, and be sure to include at least one of these smaller seeds as they will help hold the mix together.
- Whole rolled oats – 225g
- Cinnamon – 1 teaspoon
- Honey – 4 tablespoons
- Peanut butter – 2 tablespoons
- Dried apricots – 280g
- Sunflower seeds – 3 tablespoons
- Pumpkin seeds – 3 tablespoons
- Brown linseed or chia seed – 3 tablespoons
- Place the apricots in a shallow dish and pour over boiling water to cover. Set aside.
- Heat a large frying pan. Mix the cinnamon in with the oats. Toast the oats in the pan a few minutes until fragrant. Set aside
- Toast the seeds in the same way, for a few minutes until just beginning to brown. Place the seeds and oats in a large bowl and set aside.
- Mix the peanut butter and honey together, and heat gently in a small pan or in the microwave until smooth and combined.
- Drain off the excess liquid from the soaking apricots. Mash with a fork until a rough purée is formed – you may need the help of a hand blender if the apricots are still a little tough.
- To your oats and seeds, add 100g (or just less than half) of the apricots and the peanut butter honey mix. Stir well to combine. This should form a fairly dry, stiff mixture; if the mix still feels wet (too wet to press into a tin with your hands), you may need to add some more oats.
- Line a small baking tray or shallow container with baking parchment. Take half of the mixture and press well into the bottom.
- Take the rest of the apricot and spread in an even layer over the oat mix in the tin. Chill 10 minutes.
- Now gently place the other half of the oat mix over the apricot layer. Spoon small blobs of the mix evenly over the apricot to reduce the amount of spreading required, so as not to disturb the apricot layer too much. Press firmly with your hands until the top is even. Top with more seeds or some chopped apricot if desired. Chill for at least 1 hour.
- Cut into bite-size squares and keep stored in the fridge.