Chewy granola bars

Preparation: 15 minutes | Cooking: 5 minutes | Makes 12 slices | Suitable from 1 year | Not suitable for freezing

Ingredients

  • 200g porridge oats
  • 50g whole almonds
  • 1tbsp desiccated coconut
  • 75g sesame seeds
  • 75g puffed rice
  • 100g coconut oil or butter (melted in the microwave)
  • 2 tbsp apple or orange juice
  • 5 dates
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 70g dried cranberries or apricots
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • Optional extra: 75g dark chocolate, chopped

Method

  • In a large, heavy bottomed sauce pan, spread the oats, sesame seeds and almonds and dry toast them for a few minutes until starting to turn golden. Set aside to cool
  • Line a 26cm/10in square tin with baking parchment, leaving some overhanging on either side
  • Tip the cooled oats and seeds into a processor and pulse until broken up
  • In a large bowl tip the pulsed oat mix along with the puffed rice cereal, dried fruit, and cinnamon. Mix everything together
  • Place the coconut oil or butter, dates, maple syrup and juice, and heat gently for a few minutes until the oil or butter has melted and the dates have softened. Remove from the heat and mash the dates with a fork then pour over the oat mixture, stir until everything is well combined. Allow to cool for a few minutes, then stir through the chopped chocolate if using
  • Tip the mixture into the prepared tin, spread it out into an even layer then pack it down very firmly; use the base of a glass to help you to press it down. Place the tin in the fridge to chill for about an hour until completely cold.
  • Use the overhanging parchment to lift the slab out of the tin then cut it into twelve slices using a very sharp serrated knife Wrap each bar individually in baking paper and store in the fridge for a couple of weeks