Last week of the school term, and it’s been hard finding space for Muesli Bar Challenge recipes in amongst everything else. But this week is the non-planting week by the lunar calendar, and though I don’t follow it very religiously, it is also a bit too wet for planting (ironically – mostly I complain about it being too hot and dry for planting, but I avoid stepping too much on very wet soil to avoid compacting it).
I have been waiting for apple season to post this recipe. It is, like all the Muesli Bar Challenge recipes, fast and easy enough to knock up on a weeknight, and low fat, low sugar, low GI enough to belong in everyday school or work lunch boxes. Apples are right in season now, and there’s good evidence that the polyphenols in apples (especially in the skin, and missing in the juice) are protective against a big range of diseases, including a heap of different cancers. This recipe also features oats, which are a superfood – a low calorie, low GI carbohydrate, with good amounts of B vitamins and several minerals, and a kind of fibre that is really effective at stopping cholesterol being deposited in your arteries.
Makes 8 slices (You need a shallow baking dish of 8 slice capacity, like a pie dish but preferably square).
Pare or thinly slice 3 green apples. The wide blade on my grater is a good tool for this, but you could use a mandoline or just a knife.
Put them in a pot with:
- 1 teaspoon butter
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 1 dessertspoon sultanas
- 1 dessertspoon lemon juice
- Good pinch of cinnamon
- Little pinch of cloves
As soon as the apples start cooking they will release juice, so you want just enough water to start them off. A wet saucepan should be enough. Cook over a fairly low heat, stirring frequently, for 5 or 10 minutes till they are soft and starting to caramelise.
While they are cooking, in a food processor, blend together:
- 1 cup rolled oats
- 1 cup wholemeal self raising flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 40 grams butter
- 2 dessertspoons honey
- 4 dessertspoons low fat plain yoghurt
You should end up with a soft biscuit dough.
Take half the dough and press it into the base of a greased baking dish. It should be about 1.25 cm (half an inch) thick. Spread the apple mixutre on top of the base.
Put a little flour on your bench and roll the other half of the dough out with a rolling pin to fit on top. Press it down so that it is touching the apple mix. Prick decoratively with a fork all over. You can also sprinkle a teaspoon of raw sugar decoratively on top if you like.
Bake in a moderate oven for 30 minutes until golden. (I forgot these and cooked them just a bit too long – they are a little darker than I would like.)