O thank my lucky cows it's oats for calcium bars
These are born from a realisation that I might not always be able to breastfeed as much as Zahara needs and also trying to refrain from giving her cows milk to drink – don’t get me wrong I love cows milk and do drink it but I think calcium is best sourced from a variety of places, especially if you are a growing child. Also, Zahara won’t drink neat milk, she’s fine with it in food and on cereal, but as a drink, she turns it down every time – and I am not going to start putting in mashed up fruit (smoothies – teeth rotting) or milkshake powder (artificial vitamin laced sugar) just to get her calcium intake up. These oat bars do have cows milk in them, but they also have oats, dates, almonds and chia seeds – all of which provide a calcium super whammy! They are similar to British flapjacks, but are softer so that it’s easier for little ones to gum/chew. Flapjacks are referred to in Shakespeare’s time, but it wasn’t until 1935 that flapjack was used to describe oat bars. I have opted for a carrot cake flavour, which works really well and also means I can get a little more veg in her! I have tasted these and they are delicious and perfect snack for the whole family. Even more amazing is that they are freezable, so you can batch cook, freeze, and then defrost in fridge overnight.
Makes 14 bars
135g rolled porridge oats
2 tbsp flaked almonds
4 tbsp chopped dates
1 tbsp chia seeds soaked for 15-20 minutes in 3 tbsp whole milk
1 carrot (approx. 130-150g)
300ml of whole milk
1 beaten egg
4 tbsp plain flour
½ tbsp honey (if under one use maple syrup or agave or no sweetener)
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp cinnamon
20g unsalted butter
1. In a blender place the carrot, oats, almonds, dates and spices and blend.
2. Put oat mix in a bowl and add the soaked chia seeds mixture (it should look like frog spawn – gelatinous), milk, honey and egg and mix well. Leave for 10 minutes to allow the oats to soak up the liquid.
3. Add the flour and stir.
4. Greece an oven proof dish liberally with the butter (surface area around 500cm2 – I used a dish that was 20cm x 25cm – basically it needs to be big enough that when your pour in the mixture it is about 1cm deep up the dish). Pour in the oat bar mix and evenly spread across the dish with the back of a spoon.
5. Place in a preheated 180C fan oven for around 1 hour. Remove dish and place the whole dish on top of a wire rack to completely cool. Then using a knife carefully run it around the edge of the oat slab, and with a fish slice carefully work you way under to help it come away from the dish. Cut into fingers, squares, size if your choosing – I did mine in fingers around 7cm long and 3cm wide. If your worried that it’s too difficult to get away from dish in one slab, then cut into smaller pieces in the dish and carefully prize them out Individually.
These oat bars do have cows milk in them, but they also have oats, dates, almonds and chia seeds – all of which provide a calcium super whammy! They are similar to British flapjacks, but are softer so that it’s easier for little ones to gum/chew. To freeze, place them on a baking paper lined tray in the freezer, once frozen put in freezer bag/container. To defrost out the, in the fridge overnight.
Flapjacks are referred to in Shakespeare’s, but it wasn’t until 1935 that flapjacks was used to describe oat bars.