Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Orange Cranberry Muesli Bar and some more uses for Olive oil:)

Remember when I mentioned that I had come across a tip about using olive oil to polish stainless steel appliances. I was so surprised and happy to find an item that I use frequently in my kitchen could also substitute for chemical laden polish. I have been using olive oil to polish my kitchen appliances since then and am so happy with the results.

Today I learned that olive oil is even more versatile than I thought, I came across an article that suggested that olive oil can be used for many things including clearing up acne and cleaning greasy hands, who would have thought it?  If you want to read the entire article you can find the link here.  I haven't tried any of these tips, but they seem interesting, especially the one about using olive oil mixed with salt or sugar to clean greasy hands sounded like something I could use quite frequently. If you have used plantain in your cooking you know that handling it leaves a pretty dark stain on your hand (at least it does for me), that has always been one of my biggest issues with plantain:) I literally scrub my hands many times to get the stain out every time I finish using plantain.  Next time, I will definitely try using olive oil to see if it removes the stain faster and more easily:)

Anyway moving on to the muesli bar. As I mentioned in my vegan mango muesli muffin post , I have a fair quantity of unsweetened muesli in my pantry and I have been finding ways to use it up. Usually I end up using it in my baking, sometimes I use it in muffins, but most times I make some kind of bar with it. Since the combination of orange and cranberry is something I love, this time I made the bar with that combination. It turned out really well, it was a little crisp on the outside and chewy on the inside and I loved both the taste and the convenience of having these bars at home :)

Orange Cranberry Muesli Bar

Click here for a printable view of this recipe

Ingredients and Method to make Muesli Bar
Dry ingredients
1 1/2 cups no sugar added muesli
1/2 cup oat flour (see notes)
1/2 cup sugar (see notes)
1 cup walnuts chopped into small pieces (can be substituted with any other nut or combination of nuts)
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup dried cranberry (or orange flavored dried cranberry)

Wet Ingredients
3 tbsp flax seed meal (powdered flax seeds/ alsi/ ali virai) + 9 tbsp water
4 tbsp butter melted
1 tsp orange extract
6 tbsp milk

Line a large 8"X 12" oven pan with parchment paper and keep aside. Pre heat oven to 350 deg F
Combine all the dry ingredients in a large bowl and mix well.

Whisk together flax seed meal and water until gelatinous and keep aside for a few minutes.

Melt butter in the microwave or the stove top, add the melted butter to the dry mixture and mix well. Then add  flax seed meal +water mixture to it and mix well.

Add milk 1 tbsp at a time and mix. Finally add orange extract and mix again.

Spoon mixture on the pre lined oven safe pan, spread evenly and place in the oven. Bake for 20 to 22 minutes or until edges are brownish. Remove, cool and cut into squares or rectangle pieces with a shark knife.

Store in an air tight container and enjoy within a few days for the freshest taste

You can use store bought oat flour, or just process 1/2 cup of rolled oats in a blender/grinder until it turns to fine powder. (I powder my own oat flour) 

If your muesli has added sugar, then you might need to adjust added sugar to taste. Since mine have no sugar added, I needed about 1/2 cup for the right sweetness.
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The time required for baking will vary depending on the size of the container, if it is a smaller container and the bar is very thick it might take longer, if it is spread thinner it may take less time.

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