Tropical Granola Bars

 There’s something so handy about a cereal or granola bar, the can fit into so many situations – breakfast on the run, a quick pre-lunch snack, a picnic staple, or a post-workout refuel. As people are heading back into offices, these could be the perfect accompaniment to a sandwich in a packed lunch.

 When I used to go into an office regularly I always felt super pleased if I had a homemade packed lunch addition, rather than an additive filled less superior shop bought bar; hopefully these will make you just as pleased too 😊

This recipe is loosely based upon Yotam Ottolenghi’s Granola Bar recipe form the original ‘The Cookbook’, so you know they have good pedigree, and they have to taste delicious.

 

Tropical Granola Bars

(dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, soya-free, sesame-free, vegetarian and vegan, can be gluten-free if use gluten-free oats)

 Makes 8 large bars

 

22g dried cranberries or sultanas

22g dried mango, chopped

22g dried pineapple, chopped

120g oats

22g sunflower seeds

15g desiccated coconut

50g dairy-free margarine

50g golden syrup or honey

50g demerara sugar

½ tsp salt

½ tsp cinnamon

 

  1. Place the dried fruits into a bowl, cover with hot water and leave to soften for ten minutes. Then drain.
  2. Preheat the oven to 160 degrees Centigrade
  3. Line a 2lb loaf tin with parchment
  4. In a bowl, mix together the oats, sunflower seeds, drained dried fruit and coconut and set aside.
  5. In a large saucepan melt together the margarine, syrup and sugar until the sugar has totally dissolved.
  6. Fold in the oat and fruit mixture, adding the salt and cinnamon. Make sure the mixture is well combined.
  7. Tip the mixture into the lined loaf tin, press down and level off.
  8. Bake for 22 minutes until starting to turn golden around the edges.
  9. Remove from the tin and cool completely before cutting into bars.
  10. These bars keep well for up to a week if placed in an airtight container.

Tropical flapjacks

Sunny days call for not just food for outdoors but also bright tropical flavours, hence the inspiration for these deliciously lush oaty bars.

Flapjacks are one of the best packable foods- they’re sweet and delicious and stand up to be lugged about in a hot backpack, and even in the worse case scenario of them getting squashed they still make a rather delicious crumble. Besides they’re energy giving qualities are legendary and not surprising once you see the quantity of sugar and syrup they contain!

The tropical flavours are provided by a good dose of desiccated coconut, a handful of dried mango and a smidgen of pineapple juice, all topped with a optional squiggle of pineapple icing. It may be optional but it certainly looks nice!

Another of the beauties of flapjacks is that they freeze brilliantly. I often make a batch, portion them up and then freeze most wrapped in parchment. When it comes to making picnics or packed lunches you simply pop a frozen flapjack into a lunchbox first thing in the morning and by lunchtime you have a delicious fresh homebred treat.

Tropical Flapjacks

(dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, soya-free, sesame-free, can be gluten-free if use gluten-free oats, vegetarian and vegan)

200g dairy free margarine (I use Pure soya or sunflower)

200g demerara sugar

180g golden syrup

2 tbsp pineapple juice

400g oats (preferably not giant oats)

1/2 tsp salt

50g dried mango, chopped

50g dessicated coconut (optional)

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees Centigrade
  2. Line a 30×20 cm (approx.) baking tray with parchment
  3. Melt together the dairy free margarine, sugar, syrup, pineapple juice and salt
  4. When the sugar has dissolved mix into the oats, coconut and dried mango
  5. Spread into the lined baking tray
  6. Bake for 15-20 mins until golden
  7. Cool well before cutting into bars/squares.
  8. Serve plain or top with a squiggle of pineapple icing (125g icing sugar mixed with 1 tbsp pineapple juice)

Totally Tropical Cupcakes

The sun is shining (at last) and it seems like summer may be here, so what better cupcake to make for the last birthday party of the school year than one with a totally tropical vibe – banana and coconut sponge topped with either mango or lime icing.

The combination of banana and coconut transports you straight to Caribbean – a kind of tropical fruit punch in cake form! Chocolate icing would work well, but the addition of lime cordial/juice or mango juice to the icing sugar adds an extra little sunny kick. I think these might become our summer favourites!

Totally Tropical Cupcakes (dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, sesame-free, soya-free, vegetarian and vegan)

makes 12

  • 2/3rds cup pureed/mashed banana
  • 1 1/4 cups plain flour
  • 1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup sunflower oil
  • 1/2 cup oat milk
  • 3 tbsps desiccated coconut

– Preheat the oven to 180 Degrees Centigrade/Gas Mark 4

– Line a cupcake tray with pretty cases

– Sift together the flour, bicarb, baking powder and salt. Stir in the sugar and coconut.

– In a separate bowl, whisk together the banana puree, oil and oat milk.

– Whisk the wet ingredients into the dry, until well combined.

– 1/2 to 2/3rds fill the cupcake cases.

– Bake for 20 minutes, or until a knife comes out clean

– Cool on a wire rack.

Lime or Mango Icing (dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, sesame-free, soya-free, gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan)

makes enough to ice 6 of each fllavour

  • 8 tbsps icing sugar, sifted
  • lime cordial/juice
  • mango juice

– Put 4tbsps icing sugar in a small bowl, add a small amount of lime cordial/juice and stir until smooth and thick. If too thick, add more juice/cordial. If too thin, add more icing sugar.

– Repeat with the mango juice.

– Ice 6 cupcakes with each icing.

– Decorate as desired.