Updated: Jun 24
Over the past months, as we've been spending more time at home than usual, food has become a great source of enjoyment and focus - the three constant activities that bring structure to our day (breakfast, lunch and dinner). In fact, many discussions in our household are now around what we will be eating for the next meal, (and often whilst we are eating the current meal.) What are we having for breakfast? for lunch? for dinner?
It's only natural though, now that we are spending more time at home when we are bored between meal times, we find ourselves heading to the fridge. How many times have you opened the fridge and just stared at the contents, not because you're hungry, because you're bored? Us too..
If this happens to you:
1. close the fridge and try drinking a big glass of water. Did you know we often misinterpret hunger for dehydration? What you are feeling may not be hunger at all, you may infact just be thirsty.
2. Ask yourself, am I hungry or bored?
If you are bored, find an activity you can get absorbed in. We love to get our trainers on and head outside for a brisk walk or run.
If you are hungry, healthy snacks have become a lockdown saviour. They'll keep you satisfied between meals, and they're also a fun activity if you find yourself at a loose end. You can even make some for a friend or neighbour who could do with cheering up!
This muesli bar recipe from our friends at Organic Merchant is one of our favourites, made with natural cacao and is easy to make at home; not to mention is incredibly delicious. Have a go and let us know what you think!
TIP: If you go light on the butter / oil this recipe also makes a delicious granola.
Cacao Muesli Bar / Granola Recipe Ingredients:
1/2 cup (100g) coconut oil or butter
1/2 cup rice syrup or honey
1/4 cup coconut sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups raw rolled oats
1/2 cup sesame seeds
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
½ cup pumpkin seeds
1 cup sultanas
1/3 cup (40g) flour
2 cups puffed grains – rice or quinoa or amaranth
Preheat the oven to 160°C (fan-forced) and line a baking tray with baking paper. This is optional, but it helps with getting the finished muesli bars out in the end. We used a 28cm x 20cm baking tin.
Combine the rice syrup, coconut sugar and coconut oil in a saucepan over low-medium heat. Cook, while constantly stirring, for 5 minutes or until the butter melts and the sugar dissolves.
Bring to the boil and cook for 1-2 minutes or until syrup thickens slightly, then remove from heat.
Combine the oats, sultanas, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, Cacao Dust, vanilla extract, salt, flour and puffed grains in a large bowl. Mix everything together, then pour over the hot syrup and stir thoroughly to combine well.
Spoon the muesli bar mix into pan and press down firmly.
Bake in oven for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown and crisp. Remove from oven and set aside in the pan to cool completely. This may take a couple of hours.
Once they are completely cooled down and hardened, cut them into rectangles (5cm x 9cm) to serve.