No-bake booster bars

 

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These booster bars are simple to make, packed full of goodness and energy and are also sugar free.   The honey and dates provide the sweet hit, the nuts add crunch and the lemon/orange zest give extra flavour.  They are great for trips out and as an after-school snack for ‘starving’ children (their words, not mine).  You can also be flexible with what dried fruit/nuts/seeds you use – see the recipe for more info!

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Allow 15 mins prep plus an hour max to set in the fridge.  The bars will last a few days in a sealed container.

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No-bake booster bars (makes 15 bars)

200g dates, roughly chopped or 200g raisins/dried cranberries
170g roughly chopped nuts (any is fine – I used mixed nuts)
30g seeds e.g. linseeds/pumpkin seeds/sunflower seeds
100g oats
100g honey
85g peanut butter
Grated zest of 1 lemon/orange

Melt the peanut butter and honey in a saucepan on a low heat, then add the other ingredients and mix well.

Line a smallish baking tray with greaseproof paper and spoon the mixture in, patting it down so it is evenly spread and tightly packed. Once cooled put in the fridge for an hour or so to harden, then cut in to bars. Will last a few days in a sealed container.

 

Summer berry and almond clafoutis (10mins prep/40 mins baking)

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Clafoutis is a delicious French dessert, made by arranging fruit in a dish, covering it with a sweet batter and baking until puffed up and golden brown.  It is traditionally made with cherries but you can make it with any fresh or frozen berries e.g. blueberries/raspberries/strawberries/blackberries, and halved and stoned plums also work great.  I used the cheapest frozen mixed summer berries I could find plus 1/2 can of pitted cherries, and added ground almonds to the batter.

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Clafoutis is laughably simple to prepare – just 10 minutes using a food processor, plus approx 40 mins baking in the oven.  And it looks pretty!  Eat it with cream, ice cream or custard.

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Ingredients

Oil or butter, for greasing

350g frozen or fresh fruit e.g. cherries/blueberries/strawberries/raspberries/blackberries/plums.

For the batter

50g ground almonds

2 tbsp plain flour

100g caster sugar

2 eggs

2 egg yolks

250ml double cream

1/2 tsp almond or vanilla essence

Heat oven to 190 degrees/gas mark 5. Oil or butter an oven proof dish (not loose bottomed) and scatter the fruit over the bottom.
Whizz all the batter ingredients in a food processor/blender until smooth, pour it over the fruit and bake for 35-45 mins until slightly puffed and golden brown. Serve warm with cream, ice cream or custard.