So our Very Hungry Kiddo had bacterial tonsilitis last week and was living off of milk and refusing all food– even cheese! –except Organix soft oaty bars.
He loves these things and when he gets hungry, by default, he runs to our pantry, reaches up towards the shelf they live on (top shelf, because if it were any lower, we’d find him scaling it, throwing down the spoils and sitting in the corner inhaling the pack) shouting “baaaaaaar!”.
Now guys, these things are PRICEY. We refuse to buy them until they are on offer/sale for £2 or less for a pack of 6. Don’t get me wrong, these things are lifesavers for toddlers and we’ll still probably buy them as long as he enjoys them. But, being the keen cook that I am, I couldn’t help but think that I could totally make them for less.
Cook being the word to describe me. I’ve never been much of a baker for three reasons:
- I am very lazy and impatient when it comes to measuring ingredients exactly.
- I tend to inhale baked goods in only one or two sittings.
- I often go off piste on recipes and do my own thing.
But needs must! So I got to it. I Googled the brand’s name plus recipe and found this recipe, which was a great starting off point that I based the recipe below on: Organix Goodies oat bar recipe!!
From there, I knew that we still had a few carrots that needed to be eaten up, so instead of going down the raspberry route or apple only route, I decided to commit the baking sin of doing my own thing in the recipe. I added probably 1.5 – 2 grated carrots which came to 1 cup, just enough carrot to get the flavor and nutrition and not so much that it tastes of nothing but carrot. I also threw in 1/2 tsp of cinnamon. Then the kiddo and I took turns mixing the ingredients to incorporate all of the yummy goodness evenly.
The result? Super soft oaty bars with a lovely, balanced flavor, carroty goodness AND… a good dose of fat. Why is that important?
“They are important as concentrated sources of energy for young children who are growing rapidly and are physically very active. Fats are also needed to aid the absorption of certain vitamins including vitamins A, D, E and K. There are some fats which are essential in your child’s diet for a healthy immune system and for normal brain function.”
The Brit is a Type 1 diabetic, so I’m very cognizant of the fact that fat also helps stabilize blood sugar as well, so these have a good dose of coconut and butter and no added sugar other than minimal apple juice as a binder/sweetener so that these as a snack don’t send the little one’s blood sugar sky high. The original Organix oaty bars lack the coconut and only have sunflower oil as a fat.
These are a massive hit in our house. I wasn’t sure if he’d be that into them because our normal will-eat-anything-and-everything-foodie is easing into The Fussy Eating Phase. I was worried he wouldn’t take to them because they weren’t in a wrapper. But I’m sure the fact that he helped mix them worked in our favor.
Proof that they’re good? The munchkin now runs to the fridge shouting “baaaaar!” at snack time instead of the pantry, so we must have done something right!
So, without further adieu, here is the recipe, which again, is adapted from Baby-led weaning:
Carrot cake soft oaty bars
Yields: 12+ bars
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 12 minutes
Total time: 27 minutes
Preheat oven to 200C/400F
- 3 cups of oats
- 2/3 cup of (unsweetened) dessicated coconut / coconut flakes
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1 cup of grated carrots (approximately 1.5 – 2 medium sized)
- 1.5 cup raisins or sultanas
- apple juice to bind (absolute maximum of 5tbsp, probably more like 2-3tbsp used)
- 130g (4.5oz) of unsalted room temperature butter
- Grind up the oats and coconut until they resemble a powder-like substance using a blender or food processor.
- Tip the ground oats and coconut into a mixing bowl and add the cinnamon, mix.
- Grate the carrots using a box grater or the grating attachment on a food processor and add them to the bowl.
- Put the raisins into the food processor or blender with 1-2 tbsp of apple juice then whizz them up! It should resemble a paste when you’re done, it’s okay if it’s a bit lumpy. Add them to the mixing bowl.
- Add the butter to the mixture in the mixing bowl and mix it up with a wooden spoon or whisk until evenly distributed.
- Grease a 9″x13″ baking dish (I used a Pyrex one) and using a spoon, scoop out the mixture and press it into the baking dish.
- Bake for 12 minutes or until golden brown.
- Let cool completely or even refrigerate prior to cutting so they don’t crumble.
- Store loose in a container in the fridge or wrap individually in tin foil and freeze in a container or plastic bag. Defrost to room temperature prior to eating.
Notes: I think these are much softer than the originals, so they’d be great for baby-led weaning too, definitely for 9 month olds+, possibly for even younger babies.