On Monday morning my husband and I are getting as far away from this horrible weather as we can and heading to St Lucia… and I can’t wait. The requirement for some sunshine is long overdue, the vitamin D quota is depleted and my hair is not nearly as blonde as it should be, I need some serious tanning time.
If you could transport yourself to far flung parts of the world in seconds, that would be ideal, but as technology hasn’t quite developed that far, the jumbo jet awaits. This means a day eating five times your quota of calories due to boredom and pushing round tasteless aeroplane food on your fetching plastic tray.
I’m not entirely sure why plane food really hasn’t improved much over the years. I did watch the programme where Heston pledged to improve plane food by trying to satisfy all your senses in attempt to make the food taste of ‘something’, but I think even this challenge might have been a step too far for him. Unfortunately, there isn’t much we can do about high altitude and the effect this has on our sense of taste and smell.
In the last few years, we’ve got into the routine of getting to the airport earlY enough to sit down to a proper breakfast that’ll keep you full at least through most the journey and then stocking up from one of the ‘fast food’ shops i.e. Pret, Eat etc. with plenty of salads and sandwiches to keep us going through the latter half of the flight. At least we can be safe in the knowledge that we can turn down the tray of delightful food that is wafted under your nose just when you want to get up to stretch your legs.
With my mind turning to a sunnier climate and what might be a nice snack on the plane but with some sort of nutritional value, I’d been looking at a number of breakfast oat bar recipes but I wanted to include one of my favourite fruits, mango. There are many recipes out there using dried mango, but I had a couple of fresh mangos in the fridge that needed to be used up this week.
I came across a number of sites all using this recipe but I had a go at omitting some of the sugar and instead used some honey and golden syrup as a combing agent that also gave the bar some sweetness.
The result was a tasty oat bar with a hint of mango layered on top. I liked the combination of soft subtle mango on top of sweet moorish oats interspersed with crunchy hazelnuts. The walnuts give an additional texture and flavour that makes these oat bars just a little bit more interesting than your average flapjack recipe.
I ended up cutting them up into little bite sizes, a bit like what you might pick up when you can’t quite help yourself when you line up looking at all the sweet treats on offer when you visit your high street coffee shop. But I have to say, I think these might be a little bit superior and I look forward to munching through more than a few bites on the plane.
I’m passing my blog over to my mum and sister for a couple of weeks and I’m already excited to read about their baking adventures.
Time for some much needed sunshine!
Mango Oat Bar
Makes about 16 bars (or 32 bit size pieces)
2 large mangos, peeled, pitted and pureed
2 tbsp golden syrup
4 tbsp runny honey
150g salted butter
200g rolled porridge oats
50g oat bran
25g flax seeds
50g desiccated coconut
50g chopped hazelnuts, don’t worry if some go in whole though.
1 tsp cinnamon
75g chopped walnut
Preheat the oven to 180C
Place your pureed mango in a saucepan and simmer over medium-low heat for about 25 minutes, stirring frequently, until excess liquid has cooked off and mixture is very thick but still moist. Keep an eye on it as you don’t want it to totally dry out.
Grease an 8 inch by 6 inch baking tray. You can of course use a different size but this will affect the thickness of the bar.
Mix your oats, coconut, oat bran, flax seeds, hazelnuts and cinnamon.
Put your golden syrup, honey and butter in a large saucepan on a low heat and gently melt whilst regularly stirring to ensure it is well combined. Take off the heat.
Stir through your dry ingredients into the liquid and mix thorough so that all the oats are well coated.
Pour / Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and press it down gently into an even layer.
Pour over your mango puree so that it’s evenly distributed over the oat bar.
Sprinkle on your chopped walnuts.
Bake for about 25-30 minutes, or until it looks a golden-brown colour.
Score the bars into pieces while still warm and allow to cool in the tin before turning out and cutting into bars properly. If they are a bit crumbly, leave in the fridge to firm up before cutting.
Store in an air tight container or in the fridge. Consume within 48 hours.