Friday, November 09, 2012

Stupe's Homemade Muesli Bar

Everyone love Muesli bar. Or at least those that try to eat healthier will take Muesli bar as meal replacement. If you may notice, those bars you get outside are actually laden with sugar and processed food ingredient - how else would they last months, if not years in condition like that? Driven by needing a cleaner and less sweet muesli, myself and wifey have successfully made a few batches.
The older ingredients, then. 
The challenge here is obviously to use better ingredient and less things. One of the biggest thing we removed was the usage of butter, or any form of oil in this new recipe.
Previous recipe which has butter and sweeter, but still less than what you can buy outside.
What You Need
This will be simple and the aim is to keep things simple so that all of you can also make it. Recipe is thanks to my wife's ingenuity.
3 cups dried fruits - basically whatever you can find in the fridge. We have raisins, blackcurrants, cranberries, apricots and prunes.
How many can you recognise?
Apricot, sliced
1.5 cups nuts and/or seeds - chopped. As we have an assortment of walnut, almond, sunflower seeds and chia seeds (which we used to sprinkle on top), they all went into making this super muesli. Do CHOP them instead of doing like what i did aka BLEND them. The nuts became too fine.
Suggestion is to just use a cleaver to smash them into pieces
1/3 cup flour - this will "hold" the ingredient together when it is being baked. We use organic flour.
1/8 teaspoon baking soda or a pinch - baking soda or pure sodium bicarbonate will "raise" the mixture giving it a bit more volume. A pinch is sufficient, but if you do not have, it is ok. Can skip.
1/4 teaspoon salt - again, this is optional. We placed it here as this food is meant as a "race" food or "recovery snack".
1/3 cup brown sugar or blackstrap molasses - together with the flour, it will act to hold the ingredient.
1 egg - to act as the "liquid" to the ingredient. Moreover, a bit of protein doesn't hurt.
All In and ready to roll, literally.
We mixed this with hand (washed, of course) and a metal thong to ensure proper mixing and distribution. Typically, mix the items until you do not see anymore flour,sugar, molasses and it all resemble some sort of...mix.
Gluey Sticky Muesli
Place the mixture on a flat pan (any shape, but square would be best). Distribute the mixture evenly and press it down to compact it. This is to ensure that the muesli when cut, will not fall into pieces. We placed ours on a 10inches by 10inches by 1inch baking pan.
Press Press Press.
As mentioned, the chia seeds were sprinkled on top of the pressed mixture.
Chia seeds everywhere...
Toss the pan with mixture into a oven pre-heated to 160degree C and bake it for 40minutes. Once done, take them out and let it cool down. 
The mixture "raised" up slightly. 
Once the (now qualified to be called) muesli cool down, cut it into pieces according to your preferences. You can cut them into STAR or TRIANGLE too, up to you. We divided the mixture into 15 pieces of muesli, and wrapped up in microwave wrap.
Keep the muesli in the fridge and it will harden a bit more and will hold up better. Now, you have made your own muesli bar and this is good to be eaten whenever you want. This variant is not sweet, chewy, nutritious and above all made at price much cheaper than what you can buy outside. There is no branding, but hey, you can call it Stupe's PowerMuesliBar!
Good Stuff!
The muesli was my primary fuel in Powerman Putrajaya race. I had one in the morning (rush) and half and half in Transition 1 and 2. It worked wonder apart from giving me the taste of real food.
Powering through Powerman!
Estimated energy value/bar (1.5inches wide by 3inches long by 1/2inch thick) is about 180kcal - sufficient energy for a 30 minutes activity!