No-bake cereal bars

No-bake cereal bars

no-bake cereal bars pieces

Happy Tuesday, boys and girls! I hope your week is peachy? We are excited as we are finally moving to our own (rented but still…) house this week. Duncan found a job he is very keen on and his health is tip top again, which is a massive load off our minds.

I never talked about this on the blog as it was too raw and painful at the time, but Duncan has not been well since April this year. We did not think much of it at first, but as the days and weeks were going by and he was not feeling any better, we both started to feel the brunt of this mysterious illness and found it really difficult to cope.

He had an extensive blood test done to rule out any deficiencies and the results came back well above the average. We were relieved but stupefied at the same time. The symptoms were chronic tiredness, dizziness, sneezing and intermittent tingling and numbness in his arms and subsequent depression caused by his inability to go about his day-to-day life.

We both really struggled mentally and felt quite lonely and helpless with it all. Duncan spent hours on the Internet trying to match his symptoms to an actual illness and the only thing that made any sense to us was mould poisoning.

As the house we lived in was facing a cold weather front, it has always had a mould problem on the walls overlooking the sea during the cold and wet winter months. The mould got cleaned off and Duncan slept in the guest room (that has seen no sign of mould anywhere) for several months, but things weren’t improving much – whenever he felt like he made some progress, he seemed to have gone back to feeling the same or worse within the next few days.

This was one of the reasons that pushed us to leave Paros. As gorgeous as the island is, being so far away from any advanced medical facilities becomes very frustrating when you suddenly become ill with something that is difficult to pin down and constant trips to Athens become very expensive and often pointless.

Our final glimmer of hope was that moving out would allow Duncan’s body to heal and it did just that. After about 2 weeks of living at Duncan’s cousin’s house, all the symptoms have completely disappeared. We are so happy and we sort of wish we had done it sooner but it’s always easy to do things better in hindsight. It is so nice to have the old Duncan back, full of enthusiasm, joking around and running in the rain or shine 🙂 .

Speaking of running, I made these easy no-bake energy bars for Duncan a while ago and he loved them, so I thought you might appreciate them too. They do require refrigeration so I would advise against sticking them into your pocket on a hot day, but if you are going on a winter hike, for example, they will definitely be perfect as a lunch treat on the top of a mountain. Enjoy!

no-bake cereal bars uncut

no-bake cereal bars cut

makes
8 bars
PREP
15 min
COOKING
0 min
makes
8 bars
PREPARATION
15 min
COOKING
0 min
INGREDIENTS
  • 240 ml / 1 cup smooth almond butter*, or any smooth nut butter or tahini
  • 90 ml / 6 tbsp maple syrup
  • ½ tsp fine sea salt (optional)
  • 2-3 cups rolled (or quick) oats
  • ¼ cup raw buckwheat groats
  • 2 tbsp unsweetened dried cranberries
  • 2 tbsp pumpkin seeds
METHOD
  1. Place almond butter, maple syrup and salt (if using) in a large bowl. Stir well (I used a wire whisk) until you obtain a uniform mixture.
  2. Add oats and raw buckwheat and mix them all in. You can use a wooden spoon, initially, but once the mixture becomes thick it’s best to use your hands.
  3. Add cranberries and pumpkin seeds, reserving a few for decoration. Knead the mixture until everything is well incorporated. The mixture should be quite crumbly and dry – a bit like shortbread dough – by the time you are done adding things, but it should still bond easily once you exert some pressure on it.
  4. Line a rectangular container or a baking tray with a piece of baking paper so that the bar is easier to remove. I recommend a container with a lid so that it keeps fridge smells out.
  5. Spread the ‘dough’ in the paper lined container. Sprinkle a few cranberries and pumpkin seeds on top of the mixture and press the mixture down really well so that there are no gaps / air pockets and the bars hold together well. Use a piece of baking paper with a flat-bottomed glass on top to be able to pack the mixture better. Pop the container into the freezer for about 2 hours to set.
  6. Remove from the freezer. If the mixture is very frozen, allow it to thaw for a minute or two before you start cutting into it. Cut into equal size pieces with a sharp knife (I found that a serrated knife works best). Store the bars in the freezer in an airtight container.

NOTES
*I recommend roasted almond butter for a richer flavour. To make your own at home, you’ll need about 450 g / 3 cups of almonds. Here are the detailed instructions with step-by-step pictures for making a nut butter at home.

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NUTRITIONAL INFO
calories
353
18%
sugars
12 g
13%
fats
20 g
28%
saturates
2 g
12%
proteins
11 g
22%
carbs
38 g
15%
*per bar
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5.0
2 reviews, 13 comments
REVIEWS & QUESTIONS
Izzycamper:
I'm looking for treats to make while campervanning. Do you think setting in the fridge instead of a freezer would still work?
Also, Duncan's symptoms sound very similar to how my own started. It was years before I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia and then more years before I had a huge relapse and got diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. Its relapsing remitting so symptoms come and go. If he gets any loss of function, including sight issues, ask for an MRI.
I was diagnosed 5.5 years ago. I don't take the drugs. I control my stress exposure, get lots of exercise, eat carefully and take a lot of supplements (ginko biloba made Abigail difference to the pins and needles!).
Sounds like you guys are already on the winning track of a healthy lifestyle. I hope you both stay happy and healthy!
    Ania
    Ania:
    Hi Izzy,
    I haven't tried setting them in the fridge, I think they will end up a little soft. Perhaps this kind of bar would be better.
    I'm sorry to hear about your health issues, but I am glad you found out what it was (not knowing is a killer!) and are managing your symptomps. Duncan's symptomps went away shortly after we moved out of that house.
    x
    Ania
Anne:
Hi it sounds good. But would it help to soak the buckwheat. They are rather hard little nuggets.
    Ania
    Ania:
    Hi Anne,
    I think you may be thinking of roasted buckwheat, raw buckwheat is pretty soft. Hope that helps! Ania
Alissa:
These look delicious! Question: should I leave out the syrup if I only have sweetened cranberries, or will that change the consistency/binding of the bars?
Thanks!
    Ania
    Ania:
    Hi Alissa,
    No, I would not recommend it as it will change the consistency completely (your instinct was correct). Hope that helps! Ania
      Alissa:
      Thanks! So I realized I bought oat groats, not buckwheat groats! Do you think these will still work?
        Ania
        Ania:
        Hi Alissa,
        Sadly, I don't think so as (unless I am mistaken) oat groats cannot be eaten raw. You could use more oats though, rice puffs or puffed quinoa or any other cereal that can be eaten without cooking. Hope that helps! Ania
          Alissa:
          Thank you!
Sally:
Wow! I hope one of your followers with a medical background can come up with a diagnosis for Duncan's mystery illness.. so glad that the move has worked so well. Keep it up.
    Ania
    Ania:
    Ha ha, yes, that would have been useful at the time. Luckily the illness seems to have moved on so all good. Ania
Pamela:
I am glad that Duncan is feeling better!
Thanks for your blog and all the fabulous recipes. I follow you from Canada! <3
    Ania
    Ania:
    Thanks so much for your kind words, Pamela! That's so nice to hear!! Ania
Dee:
Hello, Ania! So pleased that Duncan's health is on the mend. Our bodies have an amazing way of healing, especially when being nourished with your healthy recipes! Happy holidays from America!
    Ania
    Ania:
    Thanks Dee! Yes, human body is amazing given the right tools. Hope you'll have nice holidays too!
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