Healthy in a Hurry: Oatmeal-on-the-go Bars

photo (89) How many of you can’t be bothered to wake up a little earlier to have breakfast? How many of you shun the idea of food in the morning?

I’ve heard way too many times of friends and family who skip breakfast simply because they find it too tedious to prepare something to eat, or have no food readily on hand.

I cannot emphasize the importance of eating breakfast. It helps to kickstart your metabolism, and also helps you to focus better throughout the day. Don’t think of it as extra or unnecessary calories, some studies have shown that people who eat breakfast are actually slimmer than those who skip breakfast!

For all you breakfast-skippers and sleepyheads, this recipe is dedicated to you guys. All you have to do is grab it and eat it, since the recipe can make several portions at once!

Here’s a recipe for deliciously healthy oatmeal bars which can be made in advanced and frozen for up to 4 months. These oatmeal bars can be tweaked to your flavour preferences, and are perfect for a grab-n-go breakfast if you pack them into little ziploc bags. These bars are so simple to make, and you can literally add in anything that you have on hand, even chocolate chips if you need some to get you going in the morning!

Oatmeal-on-the-go Bars (inspired by Weelicious)

Ingredients

  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 cups milk (any kind of milk, not flavoured milk though) 
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup raisins + dried cranberries (any dried fruit you like)
  • 1/2 cup almonds (any nuts of your choice)
  • 2 tbsp chia seeds
  • 3 tbsp honey or agave (sweetener of choice)

Preparation

  1. Preheat the oven to 190 degrees celsius/375 F
  2. Mix all the ingredients in a large bowl, stirring the dried fruits and nuts in at the end
  3. Pour the oatmeal mixture into a 7×11 baking dish lined with baking paper (no mess!)
  4.  Bake for 30 minutes or until thickened and golden.
  5.  Cool, cut into squares and serve or store in ziploc bags.
  6. After the bars have been fully cooled, you can pack them into individual servings in small ziploc bags to pack in the freezer. About 3-4 bars in each individual bag. These will keep for up to 4 months!
    Before consuming them, allow to defrost in fridge for 24 hours.
  7. Refrigerating the bars will make them last up to 5 days.

I even did a Tropical version of these bars previously, if you are interested in that sort of stuff. (Cue mangoes and goji berries –  little bursts of sunshine and happiness). What’s more, all the ingredients are easily available, something I took into consideration when I was experimenting with this recipe. So really, you have no excuses. 😛

These bars are also great as a portable snack and I personally enjoy them served with some yogurt as well (You should try this if you have more time for a sit-down breakfast)
photo (90)

Bon Appetit!

#antoliyacooks : January

One of my New Year Resolutions was to cook once a week, so I thought it would be a brilliant idea to share what I’ve cooked at the end of each month! By doing so, I’ll be keeping myself accountable, and also giving you guys ideas on what to make.

I started off January with these really simple, and quick dishes. You know, just warming myself up. I’m still learning, and honestly, I have so much to learn, so do give me your feedback, tips, and recipe suggestions so that I can improve myself! (Contact me at foogo321@gmail.com for just about anything! Even if you just want to say hi.)

WEEK ONE
friedrice
Simple Fried Rice
There isn’t a recipe for this, it’s so simple, you literally just add whatever you have at home. I kicked off the new year with the perennial classic home-cooked dish – Egg Fried Rice. All you have to do is cook rice (obviously) and dice up whatever ingredients you want to add in (frozen veggies, prawns, luncheon meat, anything!). Cook all the individual ingredients separately, and put them in small bowls so that you can toss them in easily. When you’ve cooked all the ingredients, add everything back into the wok, add the rice and stir to mix well. Add the eggs and stir, ensuring that all the rice is well coated in the yellow goodness. Season with soy sauce and salt and pepper to taste.

It’s really that simple! If you like it spicy, add some chilli flakes as well. I was considering adding charsiew sauce into the mix, for a sweetish charred flavour, but decided against it cause the rest of my family may not be accustomed to it. There’s always next time!

By the way, apologies for the atrocious lighting, I made this for dinner, and you know how the lighting is.

WEEK TWO
chocolatecookies

Mini-Chocolate Dipped Viennese Cookies
You’ve seen these babies before in my earlier post, when I shared the recipe. It was well worth the extra effort to pipe these cookies, cause they look so much prettier. The piped lines make the cookies look classier than normal round cookies. I would make these again! In fact, my family is already asking for these again, so looks like it is time to get down and dirty.

WEEK THREEphoto (82)Weelicious Oatmeal-on-the-go Bars
I’m no stranger to this recipe, I’ve made it at least 3 times before, and I loved it every single time. I’m in the process of tweaking the recipe, to make it a little more Singaporean, so stay-tuned for a recipe 🙂 My favorite mix for this oatmeal bars is the blend with dried blueberries and dried cranberries. I love the sweetness and tartness that comes from those two dried fruits. Like the fried rice, you can really add any dried fruits and nuts that you love, and even add in extras like black sesame powder, if you’re a fan of black sesame, like I am.

WEEK FOUR
honeyjoysHoney Joys
I had no idea these were called Honey Joys. I always thought these were called honey cornflake cups or something simple like that. Haha. Apparently these treats were created in Australia? Well, I’m glad they have found their way to Sunny Singapore. I’ve made these time and time again, but this round, the sweetness level was perfect. Perhaps it was because not all the sugar dissolved fully. If you’re interested, I used this recipe, but reduced the sugar slightly. It made about 40 mini cups for me (although the recipe states that it makes 24)

Sheperd’s Piephoto 4 (94)Honey joys aren’t exactly considered cooking, since you just need to melt stuff and stir them together. So, I made Sheperd’s Pie as well! I loosely followed this easy recipe from BBC GoodFood, but chose to add in an extra yellow zuchinni for colour. I also replaced the tomato puree with a fresh finely diced tomato.

photo 5 (76)I was quite pleased with how this dish turned out, even though mashing potatoes are a pain. If I had mushroom soup on hand, it would have made the perfect side dish. Imagine spooning some creamy mushroom soup on top of the Sheperd’s pie to create a flavor explosion. Mmmmm.

So far so good! I’ve managed to cook once a week for January. Fingers crossed that I’ll be able to keep this up in the coming months, even as I start working and go off to university in the later months.

HAPPY CHINESE NEW YEAR 😀

Ooh, I just thought of something fun. I should create a link party so that everyone can join in the fun and link up what they’ve cooked at the end of each month!

Do email me if you are interested 🙂
If I get enough interested folks, I’ll look into setting up a link party.