Growing up gluten-free in the 1980s, I got pretty used to missing out on all sorts of things. My mother did a great job dreaming up lunchbox ideas for me but, from quite a young age, I was certainly aware that I was missing out on all sorts of exotic treats.
Muesli bars were one of those luxuries. It doesn’t seem like a big deal now, but muesli bars seemed so special and forbidden. These days there are plenty of gluten-free muesli bars on the market, but I find most of them to be far too sticky and sweet. I find store-bought gluten-free muesli is generally uninspiring – either soggy when wet, sickly sweet, or spiked with things like oats or buckwheat which also give me grief. I spotted Kez’s new cereal in the supermarket the other day, and I must say that it’s very tasty and nicely crunchy. Not exactly healthy, but yummy nonetheless.
Anyway, I decided that Elena and I might try our hands at making some gluten-free, oat-free muesli slice. I found this recipe on taste.com.au, but some of the comments noted that the bars didn’t hold together very well. If I’m feeding this to a toddler it needs to be robust. I don’t want to be finding bits of it everywhere for the next month!
This is actually a great toddler cooking project (if you overlook the sugar) – lots of measuring, none of which needs to be particularly precise, some stirring and something yummy to munch on at the end.
This is what I call living on the edge – leaving Elena in charge of the mixing while I take a photo!
I adapted the recipe, and this is what we came up with. It’s too sweet to make the grade as a regular snack, but it’s right up there as a treat. This version’s not dairy-free, and I’m not sure if it would work with a non-dairy spread, or something like coconut oil. That’s something I’ll experiment with another day. If you chose a nut-free muesli, then this would be nut-free too (Kez’s cereal is NOT nut-free). The original recipe also contains sunflower seeds – I only left them out because I didn’t have any in the pantry.
You could add all sorts of fruit and nut combinations into the mix, and I guess dark chocolate chips would be really tasty too. Just a note – keep a good eye on the mix as it’s cooking. Mine got away from me a bit and it’s a little more brown than I’d like. It will seem very soft when it comes out of the oven. Give it a good half hour to an hour to cool and it will become much crunchier.
Muesli slice (adapted from taste.com.au)
3 cups muesli to suit your dietary requirements (I used Kez’s Free Cereal with Fruit)
¼ cup dessicated coconut
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
¼ cup pepitas
1 tablespoon gluten-free cornflour
100 grams butter
¼ cup golden syrup
¼ cup honey
Extra dried fruit and nuts to taste
Preheat oven to 180°C, and line a 20x30cm baking pan with baking paper.
Combine dry ingredients in a bowl. Heat honey, golden syrup and butter together until bubbling (either in the microwave or in a saucepan), and stir through cereal mixture.
Press firmly into pan (I used the back of a spatula) and bake for 30 minutes or until golden. Remove from oven and allow to cool in pan.
Remove from pan and cut into bars/slices as desired.
Looks rather yummy. Making museli bars is a winner in our house too. Chocolate cake is our favourite though.
I think chocolate cake is *everyone’s* favourite!
Those look really good! I want to try this. Pinned and tweeted!! Thanks for linking up!
I’d love to hear how it goes if you make it! It is very yummy.
Thanks for the recipe Ruth. I’ve used a similar recipe from the same site. The first batch was brilliant but I got a bit too carried away adding in extras for the second batch and ended up with a tray of crumbs. Can’t wait to try yours, it looks much better and with less sugar too.
I bet they were yummy crumbs, though! I hope this lot work out if you do try them 🙂 I think the pressing is a pretty important part of the process.