Nigella’s brilliant breakfast bars

breakfast bars

These breakfast bars are really clever. They’re a bit like flapjack but instead of combing the dry ingredients with butter, sugar and syrup, they simply use a tin of condensed milk. There is still some sugar (about 14 grams per bar), but a lot less fat and a good amount of calcium from the milk. Plus there are wonderfully healthy nuts, seeds and oats  (I’m avoiding using Jamie’s ‘superfood’ buzz word because that’s just annoying),

Breakfast is the only meal of the day where I can entertain the concept of eating ‘on the go’. Even then it’s only because the mornings are terribly chaotic now that I have children to herd off to school. But whilst I allow myself to eat breakfast standing up, I will not eat and walk because I’m a complete snob about that.

I love Scarborough, but I’m disgusted by the sight of people strolling along the seafront eating cartons of fish and chips, dropping a few on the pavement as they go. Even when we buy ice cream from a van I make the children find a nice place to sit first.

Rant over.

These bars aren’t just for breakfast, they also make a good mid-morning/mid-afternoon snack too (just make sure you’re sitting down nicely though before you tuck in). I’ve been making them for my husband to nibble on (do men nibble?) when he’s bored in the shop or when he’s driving around in his van delivering furniture. They are slightly more wholesome than chocolate orange digestives (his current obsession) which don’t feel at all satisfying unless you eat at least four.

Breakfast bars (From ‘Nigella Express’)

Makes 16 large bars

  • A 397g tin of condensed milk
  • 250g of jumbo rolled oats
  • 75g of shredded coconut
  • 100g of dried fruit (Nigella uses cranberries but I use sultanas because they’re cheaper and I don’t like cranberries anyway. But I’ve also had good results with chopped, dried apricots or dates)
  • 125g of mixed seeds (pumpkin, sunflower and sesame)
  • 125g of unsalted, unroasted peanuts (or other nuts that you like)

Preheat the oven to 130oC.

Line a 23 x 33 x 4 cm baking tin with parchment, making sure that it goes all the way up the sides, and grease with oil or margarine.

Warm the condensed milk in a large saucepan, then tip in all the other ingredients and stir well to combine.

Tip the mixture into the tin and press down firmly either with a wooden spoon or with damp hands (which is what I do).

Bake for 1 hour, then remove and leave to cool for 15 minutes.

Cut into squares with a very sharp knife. Make them as big or small as you like (Nigella cuts hers four down and four across to make 16).

Leave to cool completely before storing in an airtight container.

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