It is hard sometimes to find healthy lunchbox snacks that your kids will eat and that which don’t contain nuts. And ideally something that isn’t processed (I hate giving them things that contain corn syrup – you would be surprised how common that is).
Muesli bars are ubiquitous in Australia. It was something I missed when I lived in Taiwan – they are so handy to have around as a snack food. They are surprisingly dense in calories and also surprisingly sweet, but still super yum.
My homemade one can be made in a jiffy using leftover ingredients in your cupboard. Thanks to a tip from my lovely sister, I have taken to incorporating weetbix as well (being frugal I refuse to through out the crumbly bits at the bottom of the package that my kids will not eat). You can use any other breakfast cereal you have on hand for this, but preferably one that is not too sweet.
Freshly baked from the oven
This recipe works out at just under 30c per bar – and using some quality seeds that only a top of the line muesli bar would incorporate. I like to cut them into bars and wrap them in foil to be eaten later – well, I do cheat and eat them straight out of the pan while warm. But wrapped in silver alfoil they look super duper impressive, just like silver ingots.
I want to experiment with muesli bars to find a lower sugar version, but for now this at least uses some wholegrains and healthy things that kids otherwise might not touch. Or adults for that matter.
1 can condensed milk
2 cups weetbix crumbs
1 1/2 to 1 2/3 cups of rolled oats
1/4 cup dessicated coconut
1/4 cup pepita seeds
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1/4 cup linseeds
Chocolate buttons (for topping)
Put the weetbix and rolled oats into a large bowl, sprinkle on the coconut, pepita, sunflowers and linseed, then pour over the condensed milk. Stir until combined. If the mixture is still a bit runny, add more oats.
Ingredients in a bowl
Mixing in the condensed milk
Grease a square lamington pan and spoon the mixture in. Use a spatula to press the mixture down so that it is smooth and even.
Spoon the mixture into a greased lamington tin, then press down firmly
Dot with chocolate buttons – this isn’t essential and if you are trying to reduce chocolate dependencies go without.
Dot with chocolate buttons
Bake in the oven at around 150C for 20 minutes or until golden.
Condensed milk – $1.85 (or cheaper if you make your own)
Weetbix – free, bottomo of the packet
Oats – 15c
Coconut and seeds – $1 (approx – you can use any leftover dried fruit as well)
Chocolate buttons (for topping, optional) – 50c
In my crazy busy life, I often wonder if I am crazy blogging. I mean, does anyone out there read what I write? Does anyone care? Maybe I should go and watch TV instead. I don’t even know what Game of Thrones is – something on the TV?
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All mine – standing in front of my front door on a cool winter Canberra day, visualising being mortgage free
Sometimes the best laid financial and life plans don’t, well, go to plan. I found myself nearly two years ago suddenly single raising two kids. Nor am I alone. I had a coffee/chai chat with one of my good friends who had just made it through her first year post separation to find out how it had changed her financial situation – and perspective. What she had to say really resonated with me, so with her permission I am sharing.
Almond milk chai latte from the ANU Food Co-op Cafe