I try to eat healthy most of the time during the week and then allow for some unapologetic confectionery at the weekend on the day of my long run or long cycle as it is nowadays. A Galaxy Caramel or Toffee Crisp, or maybe some Galaxy Revels or a Mars ice cream. I usually try to keep it to two or three items and then let the rest of my suppers and snacks take the form of healthier options – fruit, yogurt, granola, nuts or some kind of a combination of a few of these.
A couple of days a week I treat myself to an americano and granola slice from Insomnia Coffee Co. in Dublin. I like that they offer a coffee and pastry deal, the staff are unbelievably nice and… I really just love their granola slices. It’s the kind of treat that makes you keep going back just for that one thing.
I used to love a muffin with a coffee as a treat but nowadays I find if I go for that option, it tastes great in the moment but then I get a caffeine and sugar rush that leaves me feeling jittery and light-headed. And I’m hungry an hour later. I like the granola bar option because it doesn’t give you that same pure sugar feeling – the oats are high fibre, low GI that allow for a sustained slow energy release but they also bring a rich caramel, almost butterscotch flavour that means it still tastes like a really good treat.
I feel bad, however, paying for something that I really should be able to make myself. I mean, hey, how hard is it to make a granola bar? Well, actually… while it’s not hard to put together a granola bar, it IS hard to get it right. You can bake or not bake it. Then if you do bake, it’s very easy to either underbake it and end up with a soft granola bar or overbake it and end up with a dry result. Then there’s getting the proportions right – the amount of oats to butter/ sugar/ syrup is essential because again you want to have good flavour but you don’t want it to be too wet or again, too dry.
Getting it just right is a skill.
In defence of my extravagant granola-bar-eating-habit, I have tried numerous times to recreate the Insomnia bar. I have come close, but never quite close enough. I wonder if i ask nicely, will the nice Insomnia people just give me their recipe? Please 🙂
In the event that they don’t get back to me 🙂 … I want to share my recipe with you guys. These are delicious and any time I make these, they vanish pretty darn tooten quickly from the kitchen. Everyone, it seems, likes a good flapjack.
They got oats. Irish oats. They’re good for ya 😉 Oh and butter – haven’t you heard? It’s apparently good for you too now.
Eat up. Yum yum. 😉
Makes 16 Bars – 250 calories each (4006 calories for whole recipe) –
Rolled Oats – 250g
Butter – 150g
Brown sugar – 75g
Golden Syrup – 3 tbsp
Hazelnut nibs – 30g
Hazelnuts – 20g
Ground almonds – 30g
Flaked Almonds – 50g
- Line an 8″ x 8″ x 2″ pan with baking parchment and grease with butter or oil.
- Pop the butter in a pan and stir until melted. Add the sugar and golden syrup.
- When the sugar, butter and syrup are all nicely combined, mix the dry ingredients together and then turn into the pan with the melted stuff. Give it a thorough stir.
- Pour the mixture into the greased tin and flatten it out to an even level.
- Bake 180 degrees celsius for 25 minutes until they’re brown around the edges — I like a bit of colour on top (don’t be afraid to have a look as they’re baking and check the colour on top) They may still seem soft and almost underbaked when you press into the center of the pan but do not worry, they’ll set completely once completely cool.
I quite like mine from the fridge but by all means, if you prefer to enjoy yours at room temp, have at it!