Courtesy of the lovely Tai Bake Cook
One of the key parts to my life that makes me able to stay healthy while finding time to exercise and having a full time job (not in food!) is being prepared. I am the first to admit sometimes i try to fit too much in to my day and end up worn out and not getting the balance right. I am slightly obsessed with fitness and very obsessed with food! I find waking up early gives me a little head start so i am able to work out, go to work and have my evenings free to socialise, or most of the time to spend in the kitchen!
Breakfast is by far my favourite and the most important meal of the day, I just don’t understand when someone says they skipped breakfast, for one I wouldn’t be a very nice person to be around in the morning without something in my belly! If you have to have breakfast on the go or even at your desk, having something in your fridge to grab in the morning makes a huge difference, be that a muesli pot or energy ball.
I don’t know if its the same in every office, but in my office there is a constant supply of sweet treats which for a lot of people are hard to resist, but if you have something to hand that is even tastier and much more satisfying you can stay away from the cakes and biscuits. You probably think healthy snacks can’t be as tasty, but trust me, they are even better and you won’t be hungry an hour later!
I have developed the recipe below for all you busy bees, I tend to make snacks like these on a sunday and freeze them for later in the week. Then no matter how time poor you are there is always a healthy treat to hand.
These are my Monday to Friday Bars, designed to take you through the week, perfect as a breakfast bar on the go, afternoon sweet fix or a pre/post workout energy boost. The ingredients are designed to keep you full, the chia seeds are packed with protein which is great for anyone who exercises, the nut butter and coconut oil are full of healthy fats and the maca is great for keeping energy levels high. As with any of my recipes the combination of nuts is up to you, just keep the quantities the same and you’ll have a delicious bar. The addition of cacao powder to half of the mixture means that you have 2 bars in one, so if you don’t fancy something chocolatey in the morning but you do after lunch this is the perfect combination.
1 tbsp maple syrup
3 tbsp coconut oil
3 tbsp cashew or other nut butter
1/4 cup sultanas
1/2 cup almonds
1/2 cup cashews
1/4 cup flaxseed/sesame seed/linseed
1/4 cup pistachios
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1 cup buckwheat flakes/porridge oats
tbsp chia seeds
2 tbsp raw cacao powder
What to do…
Heat the nut butter in a saucepan over a low heat with the coconut oil and maple syrup until the ingredients melt and combine, then remove from the heat.
Soak the sultanas in a bowl of boiling water for a minimum of 10 minutes so they plump up and become juicy.
In a food processor combine the almonds, cashews, seeds and pistachios and pulse until crumbled. You want the nuts to still be chunky to add texture to the bars, so not completely ground.
Transfer this mix to a bowl and add the buckwheat flakes, maca, chia seeds and the coconut oil mixture. Drain the sultanas and add these too. I find it easier to use my hands to bring these ingredients together as its quite sticky.
Line a baking tray with a piece of greaseproof paper and tip half of the mixture onto the tray, compress it down to about 2cm thick, it should only take up half of your tray.
Add the cacao powder to the remaining mixture and mix again. Tip this mixture to the other half of the tray and compress it down, as before until it is about 2cm thick.
Place your tray in the fridge to set for roughly an hour. You can now cut your bars into smaller more portable bars, wrap them in greaseproof paper and store in the freezer. This way they are easy to chuck in your bag and will be ready to eat on the go!