Tray of apricot and oat bars
On Monday I was craving a sweet treat and really needed it to be healthy as I’m still going to the gym in earnest. The recipe is from my favourite cookbook that I picked up, by chance, in a discount book shop in Cumbria. I don’t think I’ve ever enjoyed reading a cookbook as much as I do this one. It’s a big claim so I’ll cut to the chase: it’s Coming Home to Eat- Wholefood for the family by Jude Blereau. I’d never heard of Jude before, which is a shame as she’s a bit of an unsung hero as far as I’m concerned. Better than late than never I suppose.
These bars are chewy and really sweet, although they have very little sugar in them. I used Dove’s Farm Gluten Free flour, where Jude uses spelt flour and after tasting the apricot paste added a tsp more lemon juice to counter the super sweet apricots. They traveled well; wrapped in greaseproof paper parcels on one occasion and a tiny Tupperware on another so they were the perfect antidote to my afternoon slumps at work this week.

Apricot and oat bars

280g/ 10oz/ 1.5 cups dried apricots (I used unsulphured)
100g/ 3.5oz/ 1 cup oats
125g/ 4.5oz/ 1 cup gluten free flour (I used Dove’s Farm, as usual)
75g/ 2.5oz/ heaped 1/3 cup brown/ unrefined sugar
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
80g/ 2 3/4 oz unsalted butter melted
lemon juice (2/3 tsp)
1tsp vanilla essence
50g/ 1 3/4oz/ 1/2 cup walnuts (roughly chopped)
  1. Roughly chop the apricots add to a small saucepan and cover with water, when soft mash (or I used my handheld blender)
  2. Line a baking tray with baking parchment (the book says 8″ square – i didn’t have one)
  3. Add oats, flour, sugar, baking power
  4. Add vanilla essence to the butter
  5. Pour butter and vanilla into dry ingredients and stir.
  6. Press half the dry ingredients into your baking tray and cover with the apricot mixture
  7. Mix walnuts with the remaining dry mixture and sprinkle over the apricot. Press in
  8. Bake for 25 mins and leave until well and truly cool before cutting into bars.

These bars could comfortably be vegan if you substituted the butter for coconut oil.