This post is for healthier granola bars. But it comes with a different message to my usual ramblings. A message full of emotion. Today I received the most wonderful parcel from the most wonderful lady. For no reason other than she thought I deserved it. Because “I’m a lovely girl who makes beautiful food, and it’s just nice to be nice and to make nice people smile”. Her kind words coupled with the kindest of gifts made me feel ridiculously emotional. I’m grateful for every single parcel I’ve ever received, I really am. Social media can lead you to believe that this is ‘the norm’ and that it’s an everyday thing for companies, brands etc to send you freebies. It’s not. It’s a privilege and one that I don’t ever take for granted, and hope I never will.
But usually it’s for mutual benefit with the reason to help promote a brand; to show how their products can be used in different ways, to concoct recipes etc. This parcel was different. It was sent to me ‘just because’, for just being….me. And that is something I still find very difficult to accept; that people are willing to send me gifts, spend money on me. It, unfortunately, instils pangs of guilt in me.
I know I’m not alone in this, and it’s something I’m trying to work on. I shouldn’t feel guilty for being treated. I know this. But it all comes down to a term that’s been thrown around on social media and in the press recently; self love. That, is something I have very little of. I preach that other people should love themselves, take care of themselves, be kind to themselves and have respect for themselves. But it’s something that I fail to practice myself. I admit that. I don’t practice what I preach. Again, this is something I’m working on. I had a little sob, failing to understand and grasp why someone would send me such a thoughtful and amazing gift.
It’s times like this is when I practice a bit of mindfulness. I take the time to work through why I feel so undeserving. Why I struggle with things like this. I also get given a pep talk by my dear old Ma, whether I like it or not… *insert rolling eye emoji*. It helps (the thinking, not always the pep talk, sorry Mum), and aids me to work through the overwhelming emotions that (so kindly *insert rolling eye emoji* again) come along for the ride. As I say, a work in progress; not an overnight solution or an instantaneously solved problem. It’s something that, I personally at least, have to re-teach myself. Because somewhere along the way, any self love I had, got lost. But for now, a huge thank you to Danny, and I’m just going to enjoy the contents of my parcel, which I sandwiched one of the raspberry and white chocolate coated marshmallows between these Healthy Granola Bars. So without further ado or nonsensical rambling from myself, the recipe:
- 45g quick oats
- 7g (1 tbsp) oat flour
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon*
- 7g (1/2 tbsp) vegan spread (or coconut oil)
- 2 tsp agave nectar
- 1 tsp coconut syrup
- 1/2 tsp date syrup
- Preheat oven to 175C.
- Gently melt the spread or coconut oil. Add the agave, coconut nectar and date syrup and mix to combine. Add to the oat mixture and mix to combine it all. Tip into a loaf pan and press down as best you can. Using something flat to press it down makes it easier.
- Bake for 20 minutes. Cut into the size or shape of bars you want when it’s still hot – it’s not as easy once it’s fully cooled! If it does end up cooling completely, use a serrated knife and a sawing action to cut it – or snap for a rustic effect.
- In place of the cinnamon, try lucuma powder or maca powder for a different flavour hint.
- Try adding in dried fruit or chopped nuts for a bit of extra texture.
- If you haven’t got the different syrups, don’t worry. Agave and date syrup are widely available in shops. Coconut syrup is a bit harder to find – most good health food shops stock it, but it’s a very thick sticky syrup somewhere in-between treacle and malt extract – not as dark or as strong of a flavour, and not quite as thick as treacle, and not as insanely sticky as malt extract! I would imagine using all honey or all agave would be fine – the blend of the different syrups just adds a different flavour. I wouldn’t recommend using all date syrup or all coconut syrup, though. The granola bars will likely catch and burn.
- The vegan spread I’ve used in these is the avocado spread from Tesco. You may use butter, another spread or coconut oil.