Almonds pair perfectly with apricot, so here’s my recipe for soft, crumbly almond and apricot breakfast bars – they’re lower in sugar than most cereal bars as I used Sweet Freedom fruit syrup instead of refined sugar.
Here’s what to do.
Reduced sugar apricot and almond breakfast oat bars
A healthy breakfast alternative to store bought cereal bars.
- 200g (7 oz) butter or 200ml ground nut oil (plus a little extra for greasing)
- 200g (7 oz) Sweet Freedom (fruit sugar syrup)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 100g (3.5 oz) chopped dried apricots
- 100g (3.5 oz) chopped almonds
- 400g (14 oz) jumbo porridge oats
- 1 square baking tin (7x7ins)
- Preheat the oven to 200C/390F (180C/355F fan assisted)
- In a saucepan, melt the fat, vanilla and syrup over a low heat until completely dissolved
- Stir in the apricots and heat for a further minute, then stir in the oats and nuts
- Transfer the mixture to the greased tin and press down gently
- Bake for 15 minutes, then leave to cool
- When almost cooled, tip out and cut into 16 squares with a sharp knife
Let me know if you try them!
Why I’m eating more almonds
Over the last few weeks, I’ve been taking part in The Almond Board of California’s Snack Happy + challenge, eating 30g of almonds every day to see if it has an effect on the way I feel.
Almonds are believed to lend all sorts of health benefits when eaten as part of a balanced diet:
- Heart health – the thiamine in almonds supports proper function of the heart, while the linolic acid and plant sterols are thought to help maintain healthy blood cholesterol levels. Almonds are also low in saturated fats and naturally sodium free.
- Energy – almonds are packed with protein, carbs and unsaturated gat. They’re also high in calcium, copper, magnesium, manganese, phosphorous and riboflavin and contain iron, niacin and thiamine to support a normal, energy-yielding metabolism. Finally, folate, iron, magnesium, niacin and riboflavin in almonds help to reduce tiredness and fatigue.
- Other benefits – the nutrients in almonds support antioxidant activity in cells, help maintain healthy skin and support normal psychological and nervous system function. Almonds are also naturally gluten free.
Personally, I’ve found my three weeks of daily almond consumption to be a really enjoyable experience. They seem to give a gentle energy boost and are surprisingly filling, probably because of the high protein content.
Of course, I’m a foodie, so while I’ve enjoyed eating a handful of almonds every day (they’re super convenient as a snack on-the-go to keep in your handbag or in the car), it’s cooking with them that I’ve enjoyed the most. Do let me know if you try the oaty bars!
This is a commissioned recipe for the The Almond Board of California