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25.10.2017

Apple and Almond Soaked Oat Bars

Always a popular breakfast choice, oats are a great source of slow release energy and soluble fibre, and they provide good levels of vitamins and minerals for energy production – such as B vitamins, manganese and magnesium.

As someone who mainly follows a modified paleo approach - minimal grains, rather than none - oats tend to fall off the radar sometimes. In fact it was just when I was listening to a recent podcast reminding me about the benefits of soaking oats that I wondered if I could adapt some of my oat recipes…

First things first, what’s the deal with grains and why would we want to soak them? Many paleo enthusiasts avoid grains partly due to the relatively high content of phytates, regardless of whether or not they contain gluten. Phytates can block the absorption of certain minerals and are sometimes referred to as anti-nutrients. They are generally broken down in cooking, but soaking them helps to break them down even more. Added to that, soaking the oats is said to make them easier to digest.



Usually oats are soaked with some kind of acidic liquid – such as milk; but as I wanted to adapt my dairy free apple and oat bites recipe, I went for some apple cider vinegar instead.

The original apple, almond and oat bites recipe was crunchy, but with the soaked oats, the recipe has evolved into a chewy breakfast bar recipe, with more apple flavour, thanks to soaking in the mix of apple juice and cider vinegar.



I am sure I will play around with the recipe more in the future; but for now, here it is….Enjoy!

Apple and Almond Soaked Oat Bars


(Makes 12 bars)

Ingredients:

• 2 cups gluten free oats
• 1 ¼ cup apple juice (315ml)
• ¼ cup apple cider vinegar (65ml)
• ½ cup ground almonds (50g)
• 2 tbsp ground flax seeds
• 1 large pinch sea salt
• ¼ cup almond butter (65ml)
• 3 tbsp agave syrup
• ¼ cup unsweetened apple sauce (approx. 100g)
• 1 tsp vanilla extract
• Coconut oil (if needed for greasing)

You can buy unsweetened apple sauce from many health food shops, but here I’ve gone for organic baby food as an individual serving is usually around ¼ cup.



To make:

• Place the oats into a large bowl and pour over the apple juice and cider vinegar. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
• In the morning preheat the oven to 180C (160C if fan assisted)
• Grease a 20cm by 20cm baking tin with some coconut oil or line with baking parchment.
• Add the ground almonds, flax seeds and sea salt to the soaked oats (all of the liquid should have been absorbed).
• In a separate bowl or blender, mix the remaining ingredients together until smooth.
• Pour the mixture of wet ingredients into the bowl of the oats and mix thoroughly.
• Pour the contents of the bowl into the tin.
• Bake for 35 minutes until set.
• Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
• Once cooled, cut into 12 bars.

Bars can be refrigerated for a few days or frozen for future breakfasts or snacks.



Nutritional info per serving (not including any coconut oil for greasing): 654kJ/156kcals, 7.7g fat/0.7g saturated fat, 15.4g carbs/6.1g sugars, 3.2g fibre, 4.5g protein, 0.16g salt





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