Monday, May 21, 2012

Breakfast Bars

Summer holidays will start next week! I'm saying that like I've been saying it forever and yet, this is my li'll S's first summer vacation from school.
Here is the bee that is buzzing in my bonnet, what and how am I going to keep S busy with!? 
Swimming classes, crafting classes for pre-k kids, some more indoor activities (yes, ONLY indoor activities, I am not  flinging myself outdoors more than I can help, in the Texan heat). 
All these and the fact that I will want to stuff my scrawny little boy (though M and the pediatrician may not agree on the term scrawny, I am a Mother and to me he is scrawny and needs some fattening up, humph!) with some food.

Like many 4 year olds, S, is picky and fanciful, he likes few things, dislikes anything that is healthy and would willingly run a mile in high heels at the very mention of 'bhaji' (vegetables)- Like Mother, like Son- as the husband puts it, humph

S and I make a awesome team. We both love sweet. I like simple baking and S likes to eat what is baked. And my li'll one is now the age where he stands on a little step stool and offers to help me in the kitchen.
This is such a far cry from the time when he was a few months old, I would sit him in the high chair, in the kitchen , relaxing it all the way and talk to him as I cooked, I sometimes want to rewind life a bit, go back to holding the smiling infant in my arms, sit him in the high chair and just look at him, gaze into his soulful eyes and smile with him, no words exchanged, none needed. 

Much as I want to go back in time, there isn't one minute that I want to lose now! Today we baked these breakfast bars, well, anytime bars, I think! 

I borrowed Nigella Express from the library. Many a times, I just get books by the authors/ chefs, just to look thru the glossy pages , the beautiful pictures. Like reading a novel. But there are many recipes that are Vegetarian friendly and I was  thrilled to try one so simple and kid- friendly! 

So if you have a willing little chef at home, try these bars. Easy to make and good to eat, you will love them! 

Adapted from: Here, with my substitutions ( in bold

Makes 16

1 Can (14 oz) Condensed Milk
21/2 Cups Rolled Oats (not instant)
1 cup Shredded Coconut
1 cup Dried Cranberries
1 cup Mixed Seeds ( pumpkin, sunflower Sesame)
1 cup Natural Unsalted Peanuts

I did not have mixed seeds and I avoid peanuts, I used a mix of Almonds, Cashew and Walnuts. 

I blitzed them in the food processor to make it into a powder, my little one will not eat chunky pieces of nuts. This is a personal choice, you could pulse the nuts slightly to break them or just leave them whole. 

Preheat the oven to 250 F and oil a 9 x 13 inch baking pan. Alternatively, use a disposable Aluminium foil pan.

Warm the condensed milk in wide pan

Meanwhile, mix all the ingredients  together, add the warmed condensed milk, using a rubber spatula to fold and distribute

Spread the mixture into the oiled pan / foil and press down with the spatula or hands ( use latex gloves)
*I  used a flat bottomed steel container (vati) to press down the mixture evenly.

Bake for 1 hour and after about 15 mins. cut into 4 across and 4 down to get 16 chunky bars

Let it cool completely.

Sending these bars to Bake Fest hosted by Priya, originally started by Vardhini.
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  1. Lovely post !! Enjoy the summer with your little one !! They grow very fast ! I was just cleaning up today and found my daughter's 1 st bday dress :( almost a teen now ... It was not to long ago I was shopping for that dress :)))

    1. Thank you T & S, and yes, kids do grow up , way too fast. I miss the infant stage!

  2. Here we still have to wait till the end of june for summer holidays. Love these bars they look so good. Maybe i should make few and send it with Shyama for having them during her exams time.

    1. Finla, my son is almost 4 yrs old and goes to Pre-k, I found this a fun recipe to make with him, no-fuss!
      I am sure Shyama will like these, during exam times, something like this keeps the energy level up as well as relieves boredom!

  3. very quick and so healthy..a must try recipe.bookmarked:)

    1. Yes, Anjana ji,they are kind of quick, I mean upto the mixing part, totally fuss free,after that u need to set it in the oven and let them bake!
      I do hope u will try these. If u do, please let me know how u like them.

  4. so healthy and filling bars...looking tempting

    Hamaree Rasoi

    1. Deepa, they are filling, one square piece was enough for me!
      Makes a good snack.

  5. Nice crunchy breakfast... nice recipe and lovely snaps
    Noel collections

    1. Thanks Reshmi, this is a good breakfast on the go option.
      The bars however are not crunchy, they are soft and chewy.

  6. Hi Manasi, Really like your blog! Would you mind emailing me at Interested in talking to you to see if we could work together. Thanks! Harriet

  7. Wow love to kick start my day with this fabulous bars.

    1. Thanks Priya. Hope u try them and let me know how u like them!

  8. Condensed milk replace hou shakel ka.. mazhe diet mahdye tech basat nahi.. try karte ani sangte tula. in between he parcel keles tari chaltill.
    Love Ash.

    1. Ash, let me look at some options for u, sweetie.
      In the meantime, address email kar............ kharach, I want it in any case.

    2. Ash, I suppose you can use unsweetened condensed milk and add in a sugar substitute, not sure how well it will work out, but maybe..

    3. Sure try karte. Sorry for late reply, things were kind of busy at my end.. Now back to old blog routine, Hopefully.
      Love Ash.

  9. Baking is excellent idea to do with kids at very young age. My son at that age like to roll roti. I use to give a rolling pin and dough and he does forever. Another 2 weeks to go here for Summer break. Alas Don't know how i gonna entertain...
    Looks fabulous ur bars.

    1. Thank you, Cham!
      My son loves rolling rotis, he sed to do that when he was this itty-bitty thing!
      I gave my son some roti dough just yesterday and the cheeky monkey made 2 rotis for himself! I was amazed, he made them well and ate them too!

  10. Delicious breakfast bars. Perfect snacks.

  11. Using condensed milk as the sweetener + glue is new to me. They do look lovely. And what are you saying? You don't like vegetables?! I would never have guessed.

    1. Nupur, it works well. This was the first time I made b'fast bars and I guess, I did not think of other options, just followed the recipe with minor substitutions.
      As for the 'don't like vegetables' thing, sigh! all because of the 'I don't like eggplant and mushroom' thing I have going.

  12. What wonderful bars! Perfect at any time of the day.



  13. Hi Manasi. How are you doing?
    Loved your blog...
    I am a fan of granola bars, and nutty bars. I always have Ritebite bars.. But now that u gave us this wonderful recipe, I will surely try making it at home :) Thanks

    Do visit my space-

  14. I don't know what happened to the comment I wrote so sorry if I am repeating myself . For the instant mango pickle you do have to add water to the masala, heat for a bit and turn the heat off, leave uncovered. You don't want the water from condensation to trickle back into the pickle. Also this is an instant pickle that needs to be refrigerated and used in 3-4 weeks ! It does taste awesome !!

    Loved the granola bars and the story - well in a lifetime we meet all kinds of people and trust me there are some who are so self centered. And the worst part it that we feel bad for people who don't matter .... I think that is what is called sensitive :)))


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