If you were to empty out my handbag you’d immediately stop being my friend when faced with the carnage: so many pens and all with no lids (sorry neat people of the world, I’m sure that kills you); two mini packets of almonds and a good handful just floating around in the bottom of my bag (I’m sure that’s killing you also); a half eat packed of cheesy oat cakes, because eating two on the train home doesn’t count as anything in my head; lipbalm/lipstick/liptint/lipshit – you name it I’ve got it; headphones so I can jam out to The Strokes on my way into work while reliving my youth; and dogeared copy of a Stephen King novel.
Moral of the story? I am incredibly messy and get serious post-work hanger. A train ride home with me is like sitting next to an angry rabid possum, but cuter. So much cuter. So to save my relationship, and also my stomach, these energy bars have become a new staple of my bag. Packed full of nuts, fruit and oats these seriously reduce the food pangs and hit a serious satisfying note.
The beauty of bars like this is you can throw in whatever dried fruits and nuts you have lying around. As long as you have peanut butter to bind it all, you’re in business. Don’t like peanut butter? Use any other nut butter, almond butter would go so nicely with this. I like to make mine a bit lighter by adding in fresh orange juice, along with the zest of the orange and a lemon. Because let’s face it, you can’t get enough vitamins and fruit in your life. Unless you’re me and would rather be eating a family pack of crisps.
Ingredients makes 12 bars
2 cups rolled jumbo oats
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
1/2 cup flaked almonds
1/2 cup macadamia nuts
12 apricots, cut into slices
6 medjoul dates
Lemon, zest only
Orange, zest and juice
4 tablespoons smooth peanut butter
1. Line a deep baking dish with grease proof paper, ensuring there’s a little overhang to allow you to pull out the energy bars.
2. In a large bowl place the oats, pumpkin seeds, flaked almonds, macadamia nuts, chopped apricots, and the orange and lemon zest.
3. In a small pan gently melt the peanut butter and orange juice until soft. While the peanut butter is melting blend the dates in a food processor until they form a soft ball. Mix both the peanut butter, orange juice and dates into the bowl of oats and nuts till well combined.
4. Pack the energy bar mixture into your prepared dish, really pressing down as you go. Cover the bars with clingfilm and stick in the fridge until they firm up enough to cut them – a few hours should do.
5. Cut into desired serving sizes – I like mine long and chunky. No joke intended ahem. Wrap up individually and place back in the fridge. Perfect for running out the house/on the go snacking.