Cherry and Almond Breakfast Bars

I don’t know about you but these days I never seem to get a minute to myself. I seem to be permanently running on adrenaline. To top it all, I get so busy and so engrossed in what I am doing that I regularly forget to eat! It is nothing for me to get to 2 pm and realise all I’ve had is 3 cups of coffee! Not good! The beauty of this recipe is that, although they are called breakfast bars, you can just as easily grab one for lunch. They are full of slow release carbohydrates and taste gorgeous! They are so simple to make and use one of my favourite ingredients, Condensed milk.

Why condensed milk? I hear you ask. Well, it reminds me of my Nan. She is 83 years old and is an absolute demon for “conny onny milk”, as she calls it. Nan was born and brought up in Devizes, Wiltshire and  joined the army at 16. My Grandad was Nan’s PT instructor and after they married they moved to Worcester and raised three children. Considering that Nan has lived in Worcester for over 60 years her accent is still as broad Wiltshire as ever and the phrases she comes out with, literally reduce us to tears of laughter. For example;

“Ooh, that come sharp, that did!” translates to “My goodness, that hurt!”

“That was a right rip-snorter!” translates to “Oh dear, I seem to have passed wind!”

“Were’s your fog baffler?” means “Please may I use your toilet?”

Nan is a character and a half, that’s for sure! Her language is disgusting and her manners shocking but she is still my Nan and I wouldn’t have her any other way. I have actually just spoken to my Mum to ask for “Nan-isms”. Unfortunately everything we came up with was completely inappropriate or just downright crude! So you are left with the 3 above and even they are a bit dodgy!

I will at some point share my recipe for “Potty Dotty’s Wacky cake” which is another of Nan’s favourites.

So, now you know why condensed milk makes me smile!

Ingredients

1 x397g can Condensed milk

275g rolled oats

100g glace cherries

125g mixed seeds (I used a mixture of pumpkin, linseed, pine nuts and hemp)

150g flaked almonds

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 110°C fan/ 130° C
  2. Line a 12 inch  x 8 inch swiss roll tin with baking parchment
  3. Very gently warm the condensed milk in a large saucepan until runny.
  4. Tip in all the dried ingredients and stir really well until all the dried ingredients are coated with the milk
  5. Tip into the swiss roll in and press down. I wear gloves and do this by hand.
  6. Bake in the oven for approximately 1 hour or until golden brown.
  7. Leave in the tin for 10 – 15 mins then cut into pieces.

They keep really well in an airtight container. You can adapt your recipe to suit whatever is to hand. I have made it with cranberries and peanuts, dates and pecans and if I don’t have quite enough oats I throw in some coconut instead. No two batches are ever the same.

Let me know how you get on and what flavour combinations you use.

Enjoy!

Love

Ali xx

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