I am forever trying out new ingredients in search of a good muesli bar. I have long hailed them as one of my top snacks; full of nutrients, easily transportable, filling and, not to mention, delicious! More oaty goodness…what’s not to love?
I knew that I wanted to make a muesli bar for the Mad Hatter Picnic last Saturday. I knew this for two reasons: 1) I think they represent myself and my blog well, as they are a healthy yet yummy baked good, and 2) I have been unwell and a bit faint, and so reverting back to something that was familiar was comforting. It made the task of making something for bloggers I hold in high esteem less intimidating.
And so I floated into my kitchen on Friday afternoon, popped on my apron and looked to the muesli bar Gods for inspiration. After looking in my fridge, I found I had accumulated an unusually large number of carrots…interesting. My attention then turned to my nut butter line-up. Ordinarily I use a natural peanut or almond butter as a binder in my muesli bars. This time, however, my eyes locked in a loving embrace with my beloved coconut butter, as I recalled Heidi Swanson’s recipe for Carrot Oatmeal Cookies. With my mind set on bars, I adapted the recipe (using ingredients in my cupboard/fridge) and came up with these Oaty Carrot Bars. I think they were meant to be. The process was an absolute pleasure. They together so beautifully, and I now hold them dear in my heart as one of my favourite muesli bars.
A subtle hint of coconut, and sweetened only by maple syrup (with the help of sultanas, carrots and coconut butter), they are substantial yet light, sunny and healthy. They would be perfect fuel for a hike on a sunny Autumn day. I hope you enjoy them.
3 cups oats
2 cups grated carrot (2 large carrots)
¾ cup sultanas
1 cup walnuts
3 egg whites
2/3 cup real maple syrup
1 tablespoon unrefined coconut butter
½ cup almond flakes to sprinkle on top
* Notes: I would like to add in some pepitas next time, for flavour, nutrition and colour! Other nut combinations would work also. These bars are on the crumbly side, so perhaps an extra egg white may be in order, especially if your eggs are small.
Preheat oven to 180 Degrees Celsius. Line a baking tray (I used a deep tray that was 21cm x 32cm and 8cm high) with baking paper.
In a large bowl combine oats, grated carrot, sultanas and walnuts.
Separate eggs (save the yolks for another baking adventure or a yolky omelette) and add the whites to the bowl with oats. Stir ingredients to combine.
In a small saucepan place the coconut butter and maple syrup. Heat and stir over low-medium heat until the coconut butter has just melted. Add this to the oat mixture and stir to combine.
Pour the mixture into the baking tray and spread it out evenly. Using a piece of baking paper, press down firmly on the mixture so it is firm, even and flat. Top with almond flakes.
Bake for 20 minutes (watch it though, as your oven may be more powerful than mine). Remove from oven and allow to cool completely before cutting into bars. Keep in an airtight container, or wrap individually in glad wrap and freeze (take them out the night or morning before eating, to allow them to defrost).
Makes 18-24 bars, depending on how large you like your bars.