As I type I’m struggling to think of what to write tonight. I’ve only been at work for the afternoon but I didn’t get home until 7.30pm. The traffic was absolutely awful. Now I’m sat on the sofa, with a cup of tea and my iPad balanced on my lap. I don’t think it’ll be long before I’m in bed tonight.
This morning I had a few jobs to catch up with at home. I also had to sort out some notes from a teaching course I was on recently. This week I have been covering some shifts in a day nursery and have to be at work early. I love it but it is exhausting work looking after under fives and I’m always hungry. At 4pm when I have my ten minute coffee or tea break I always have the munchies. With that in my mind, I thought I needed something filling that contained fruit, sugar and carbs!
Looking through all three of my Eat Well For Less books I found a recipe for Berry Crumble Bars in the most recent copy. Using frozen berries is a much cheaper way of baking with fruit and also they don’t go as soggy when cooking. I remembered having some berry fruits in the freezer but I couldn’t remember what. When I looked, I found half a bag of frozen raspberries and another half bag of mixed summer fruits. There was also a whole bag of frozen blackberries but I only needed 500g for the whole recipe.
The Summer Fruits bag contained a mixture of raspberries, blackberries, black currants and redcurrants. I’m glad there weren’t any strawberries in the bag. Not that I don’t like them, far from it but they are very watery when frozen. The original recipe suggested using all frozen blueberries or even adapting the recipe to put apple in the filling.
To make the filling I weighed out rolled oats, brown sugar, plain flour and some cinnamon into a large mixing bowl.
Next, I needed to add some oil in order to bind the oat mixture together. The recipe was meant to use a mixture of coconut oil and rapeseed oil but I just used rapeseed. The rapeseed was a cold pressed type which is locally made.
After I poured in the rapeseed oil, I used a spatula to combine it all so it resembled a crumble like mixture. It didn’t seem to be as sticky as a flapjack or regular crumble meeting.
I greased my 30 x 23 cm traybake tin with some Cake Release and then put half of the crumble mixture into the bottom of the tin. I used the back of a spoon to press the crumble down so that it was evenly spread.
Now it was time for the fruit layer. I tipped the berries on top of the crumble layer and spread them out evenly so there were no gaps.
Finally I put the remaining crumble on top of the fruit. I could have done with a couple more tablespoonfuls extra just to cover up one of the corners and that was even with scraping the mixing bowl clean.
The crumble bars were meant to be a lot softer than a typical cereal or flapjack type bar. They were baked in the oven (an electric fan oven) for 40 minutes at 160oC and needed a few minutes longer than the recipe suggested.
When the bars had come out of the oven, I put the traybake tin on top of a wire rack and left them to cool. This was for about an hour while I was finishing off a few jobs. Then I got ready for work and had my early lunch. By this time the bars were ready to be cut up and taken out of the tin. They cut up fine which was much easier than expected.
I was so glad I took a bar with me to work this afternoon. By the time it was my break I was in desperate need of a drink and a sugar hit! The tart berries contrasted really well with the oats and the sweetness. The rest of the bars went in a plastic box and in the freezer so I can get one out for the odd tea break as and when needed.
Love Sam xx