I was recently sent a box of vegan snack bars to review - which you can read about in a post shortly - and I wanted to compare them to a recipe I had made myself, and started wondering about making vegan cereal bars. I then realised this would tie in well with the current Best of British challenge, where the theme is Dorset. I don't know about you, but the first thing that pops into my head when I think of Dorset + food isn't apple cake, or cheese, but the breakfast brand Dorset Cereals!
Dorset Cereals make up-market museli and porridge; they are a bit more expensive than other brands but really taste delicious, and are one of the few breakfast cereals - and only type of museli - that I like. That's probably because they stuff their museli with so many delicious ingredients (which accounts for the price), like roasted hazelnuts, toasted coconut, brazil nuts, apricots... my favourite at the moment is their chocolate granola with macadamia nuts. The company is based in Poundbury, Dorset, so I can definitely use their cereal as my ingredient for the Best of British challenge!
Furthermore their museli products are approved by the Vegetarian Society. They do not state that their products are suitable for vegans, as some of them contain milk powder, but for my purposes for this recipe I chose their Roasted Hazelnut and Raisin museli, which does appear to be vegan - the only ingredients listed are dried fruit, nuts and seeds. There is a disclaimer that says "may contain other nuts and milk", which is the standard allergy advice i.e. this is made in a factory where other nuts and milk products are used, but for my purposes this will be fine. If you are going to make your own and you want to make sure your recipe is 100% vegan, it would be best to make your own mixture of nuts, oats and seeds - any combination that you like - just to make sure.
This is an original recipe that I invented partly based on what I already had in the house!
Vegan dairy-free cereal bar recipe by Caroline Makes
200g Dorset Cereals Roasted Hazelnut and Raisin museli - or 200g of your own mixture of chopped nuts, oats, seeds, raisins, dried apricots etc.
100g porridge oats
3 heaped tbsp peanut butter
1/2 cup maple syrup - but as a caveat, I found the bars didn't really hold together that well, so when they were half cooked I shook the mixture out of the tin, mixed it with another half cup of syrup and put it back in and pressed it down
Preheat oven to 180C
Mix all the ingredients as shown
First the museli
Then the oats
Finally the maple syrup
Line a square 9cm baking tin and press the mixture down
Bake for 20-25 minutes
Allow to cool in the tin
Remove from the tin by lifting out the baking paper and allow to cool completely
Cut into bars or squares
As I mentioned above, these didn't hold as well as I'd hoped so I'm wondering if I needed more syrup; however they were much better the next day so I think if you can resist them, the best thing is to put them in an airtight tin for a day or at least several hours after baking to properly firm up!
I am sending these to the Best of British Dorset challenge, hosted by Lavender and Lovage. It is sponsored by the Face of New World Appliances.