Healthy school snack: Apple and sweet potato energy bar

energy bar feature imagev1

Try this delicious, and healthy, school snack by North Shore Mum and organic foodie and gardener on the Burke’s Backyard team, Rachel Potter.

This fabulous energy bar is jam-packed with wholefoods that will keep your kids fuelled without all the nasties of store-bought muesli bars. They can easily be frozen and pulled out for school lunch boxes.

We’ve supplied ingredient options as well as substitutes for eggs and for gluten-free diets, so that you can experiment with flavours and what’s in the pantry, while considering any intolerances.

Also, some of the ingredients may not be available in standard supermarkets, so below you’ll find a list of stores on the North Shore that sell a great array of diverse food products.

Dry ingredientsbaking tray

1 cup rolled oats
½ cup puffed quinoa or unsweetened puffed rice
⅓ cup sunflower seeds
⅓ cup oat flour (sometimes called oatmeal), or plain spelt flour, ¼ cup coconut flour (gluten-free option)
¼ cup chopped dried sour cherries or cranberries
¼ cup currants
1 Tbsp chia seeds
¼ cup buckwheat groats or pumpkin seeds
½ tsp cinnamon
Pinch sea salt

Wet ingredients

¼ cup (60ml) coconut oil
¼ cup rice malt syrup or honey
½ cup (65g) grated apple with skin
½ cup (1 small) mashed banana
⅓ cup (60g) steamed and mashed orange sweet potato
3 tsp finely grated fresh raw turmeric or 1 tsp powdered turmeric
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 eggwhite (or substitute with chia seed gel – see Note below)

1. Preheat oven to 170°C fan-forced. Grease a 28cm x 18cm baking pan that’s 3-4cm deep and line with baking paper.

2. Place all dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl, stir to combine and set aside.

3. Combine the coconut oil and rice malt syrup in a heatproof jug. Place in the microwave for 40-60 seconds or until coconut oil has completely melted and mixture is runny. Stir well, then set aside. The mixture can also be melted in a small saucepan on the stovetop over medium heat for 1-2 minutes.

4. Place remaining wet ingredients in a medium bowl and stir well to combine. Stir in melted oil and syrup mixture. Transfer to bowl of dry ingredients and stir until mixture is well incorporated.

5. Transfer mixture to baking pan, distribute evenly and smooth the surface with a spatula.

6. Bake for 18 minutes or until golden on top and just firm to the touch. Allow to cool completely in pan before using a sharp knife to cut into 12 bars, or 16 bars for very young children. Serve and enjoy!

Note: Egg substitute: 1 egg = 1 tablespoon chia seeds combined with 3 tablespoons water. Make this the night before or a few hours in advance so the mixture becomes gel-like.

original bar close up

Boost your bar!

Add any of the following ingredients to the dry ingredients for an extra nutritional boost. If adding more than two boosters, add an extra tablespoon of mashed banana or teaspoon of coconut oil to the wet ingredients.

1 Tbsp bee pollen (if not allergic to bees)
1 tsp dulse flakes
1 Tbsp hemp seeds
1 Tbsp slippery elm powder
¼ cup pure raw cacao powder

Tips and health info

  • Bars can be stored in an airtight container for up to 4 days, or in the freezer for up to 2 months. When storing in the freezer, wrap bars individually in baking paper and then place in the freezer. The bars will then be ready to put straight into school lunch boxes.
  • If you can get your hands on fresh turmeric, do so! It is much tastier and more nutritious than the dried powdered version.
  • If you’re transitioning from store-bought snacks to homemade, you may want to add ¼ cup pure raw cacao powder and double the quantity of sweetener to start with, then slowly dwindle it down until the tastebuds adjust.
  • Often called ‘kitchen gold’, turmeric has been proven to be anti-inflammatory, can aid digestion and help soothe tummy troubles.
  • Sweet potato and coconut oil both contain Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCT’s) which increase energy capacity in the body and keep you feeling fuller for longer.

Stores for hard-to-find ingredients

The Source Bulk Foods, Shop 2/183-191 High St, Willoughby. For rice malt syrup and all the dry ingredients except for oat flour.

About Life, 520 Miller St, Cammeray. For some dry ingredients, fresh turmeric when in season, coconut oil and rice malt syrup.

Taste Organic, 25 Falcon St, Crows Nest. For dry ingredients, fresh turmeric when in season, coconut oil and rice malt syrup.

Granny Smith Natural Food Market, 6 Princes St, Turramurra. For some dry ingredients, coconut oil and rice malt syrup.

seeds close up

We’d love to hear how your kids like this bar. Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

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