Soft and Chewy Granola Bars with Sweet Potato

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Healthy chewy oatbran granola bars.  Photography by CJ Baldacchino during a live tv show

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‘These dense, moist and chewy granola bars can be made using your favourite cereal and putting in them exactly what you like.  They are loaded with seeds and I bind them by using a mix of dates and sweet potato.  The chocolate and nut topping is optional.  If you prefer a crunchier texture, cut the granola bake into bars when it cools down and bake them in a hot oven for 12 minutes on each side in the same way you would do with biscotti’

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You will need:

300g dates
150g sweet potato
400g oatbran granola
1 teaspoon mixed spice
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 vanilla pod
50g gogi berries
50g sunflower seeds
50g cocoa powder
100g pumpkin seeds
100g linseed [flaxseed]
30g Chia Seeds

Preheat the oven to 170C.

Spray a baking tin [20cm square or similar] with cooking spray and line it with baking paper.

Remove the stone from the dates and roughly chop them up.

Peel the sweet potato and roughly chop it.

Place the dates and sweet potato in a saucepan and cover with cold water.

Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat and simmer for about 7-10 minutes until the potato is soft and the dates are mushy.  Make sure that there is enough water during this process.

Remove from the heat, puree by using a hand held blender and allow to cool.

In a large mixing bowl mix the granola with the gogi berries, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, linseeds and chia seeds.  Add the mixed spice, vanilla and cinnamon.

Mix well so that the mixture is consistent.

Add the date and sweet potato mixture to the granola and seed mix and combine by mixing well.

Place the mixture in the prepared baking tin and use a spatula to press the mixture down.  Then use your clean hands to press down tightly.  Bake in a preheated oven for 25 minutes.  Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely.

Optional topping:

300g dark sugar free chocolate
1 tablespoon olive oil
250g mixed nuts

Chop the nuts roughly and use a very hot pan to dry roast them.

Melt the chocolate in a bain marie or in the microwave.  Add the olive oil and stir until it is smooth and glossy.

Pour the chocolate on to the granola bake and scatted the nuts on top.

Allow to cool and then cut into bars or squares.

You can store them in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks and in the freezer for up to 3 months.

        I use Oat Bran Granola by Mornflake at Rimus Group, nuts, spices and seeds by Good Earth, olive oil by Costa D’Oro and sugar-free, lactose-free chocolate by Valor

Easter Biscuits with Oatbran and dried blueberries

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Easter Biscuits with Oatbran by #Mornflake, photography  CJ Baldacchino during a live tv show

You will need:

200g butter
150g raw cane sugar or 1/2 cup stevia
2 egg yolks
300g plain flour
100g oatbran
150g dried blueberries
1 teaspoon mixed spice
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
vanilla
1/2 teaspoon grated lime zest
water if needed to bind the dough

Preheat oven to 170C.

Line an ovenproof dish with baking paper and use a cooking spray to lightly coat it.

Place the butter and sugar into a food mixer and beat until the mixture is light and fluffy. Add the egg yolks and mix again. Sieve the flour twice and add the spices, oatbran, vanilla, lime zest and a pinch of salt. Add to the mixing bowl and use a low speed until the mixture forms a dough. Add the blueberries and pulse the mixer a few times to combine them into the dough.

Lightly dredge a clean surface with flour and use a rolling pin to roll out the dough to a thickness of about 4 cm. Use a cutter to cut into rounds and place the biscuits on the baking tray. Brush with some egg white and spring some more caster sugar and mixed spice. Bake in a preheated oven for 20 minutes until they are a pale gold. Allow them to cool before removing them from the baking tray.

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Lea’s Good Food Everyday is available via Midsea Books

Trade Enquiries: Mornflake Oatbran Products are available from Rimus Group