A rectangular burst of energy
I’m absolutely convinced that grains are the very best source of renewable energy available to human beings. I never cease to be amazed by the possibilities and the strength that can be gained from a grain of oat, millet or spelt. Truth be told, I’m a real fan of grains. I firmly believe that there are few things that can do me more good than a combination of nutritious grains with nuts, for example.
Once my daughter Emma is tucked up in bed and the other resident of our home, our little mastiff Norma, is curled up in her basket, I get out my jars and tins filled with cereals, spices, nuts, grains and dried fruits: golden millet, sesame, pistachios, turmeric, cinnamon leaves, linseeds, coconut oil … the possibilities of combining these to create a small energy bar are almost endless.
As fat (butter, olive oil or coconut oil, for example) and a sweetening agent such as honey, agave syrup or maple syrup are added to the dry ingredients (nuts, cereals and other grains), the whole thing comes together just like a colourful watercolour painting. Once you strike the right balance between dry and wet ingredients, the possible variations of the recipe are pretty much limitless. If it wasn’t already so late, I could play with muesli bar mixtures for hours! When the mixture is ready, I transfer it to a baking tray, where it will take just 35 minutes to bake to a golden brown colour on the hot air setting at 130 °C. It’s not long before my apartment is filled with the smell of nuts and spices, oozing a concentrated powerful yet natural aroma.
The reason I actually got started packing the energy of grains into small rectangular bars was my yoga teacher, who wanted to sell muesli bars in his studio. The bars are now a firm favourite not only in his yoga studio but also here at home, where there are always some in the cupboard. Emma loves them as a mid-morning snack or to refuel when she’s out riding her horse. A power source in the pocket of your jeans!
Recipe for muesli bars
150 g honey
120 g butter
70 g almonds, roasted at 160 °C for 9 minutes
40 g sunflower seeds, roasted at 160 °C for 7 minutes
125 g oats, coarse
125 g oats, fine
60 g cranberries
40 g amaranth, puffed
9 g hibiscus, ground
2 g salt
Warm up the honey and butter briefly in a pan. Roughly chop the roasted almonds and mix all the dry ingredients together. Mix in the melted butter and honey mixture and knead together. Spread the mixture 1.5 cm thick on a rectangular baking tray covered with baking paper and press down firmly until it is very compact. Bake on the hot air setting at 130 °C for 35 to 40 minutes. Press everything firmly again, let cool and cut into bars. The bars will keep in a sealed container for a few weeks.