Oaty Bites With Extra 3 pm Zing

The original recipe for these oaty bites came from a nutritionist via a friend. I titivated it a bit to suit us and they developed into a staple family snack. They are brilliant when we are travelling as they are handy to carry in a Tupperware, relatively crumb free and sugar free too.
Then when I got Suzan Jane White’s book, The Extra Virgin Kitchen, and I read one of her recipes I had an idea to add a bit of sparkle to an old favourite. The general idea is that this will give me a boost at 3 o’clock without resorting to excessive amounts of bread, biscuits or other refined sugar based baddies. Then I can get through homeworks, quarrels about who sits in the armchair and splashing in the bath antics. And the kids have loads of energy to test its effectiveness out!
So this is a Recipe Trees hybrid and shows how you can tweak recipes to suit what you have and what you need.

Ingredients
For The 3 pm Zing (or dried fruit paste)
2 1/4 cup of mixed dried fruits, we like dates and apricots
For The Oaty Bites
2.5 cups oats

3 tbsp chia seed

1/2 cup of ground flax

1tsp cinnamon

1tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

1.5 cups almond milk

1/2 cup maple syrup

2 tbsp almond butter

1 chopped banana

1 tbsp vanilla extract

Method.
1. Preheat the oven to 180c and line an 8in square pan with greaseproof paper.
2. First of all make your jam. Put the dried fruits in a pan with a little water so it is just under the top of the fruit. Put this on a low heat till it is simmering. When the fruit is very soft use a stick blender to whizz into a paste. Put this to one side.
3. Use your stick blender to blend 1 cup of your oats (don’t forget to wash it first) into a fine oat flour.
4. Out this oat flour into a bowl with the rest of the oats, chia, flax, baking powder, salt and cinnamon.
5. In a large jug add the rest of the ingredients and whisk together, then add to the dry ingredients.
6. Mix to make a thick batter, it will be thick and gloopy so don’t worry.

7. Spread half of this batter into your lined tin and smooth.
8. Smooth over your dried fruit paste.
9. Tip in the rest of the batter and smooth again.
10. Bake for 35-40 minutes until they are slightly golden brown and boingy to the touch. Allow them to cool before you slice into about 16 squares.

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