Parveen The Spice Queen: My gorgeous, guilt-free granola bars

Parveen's granola bars
Parveen's granola bars

So, in a bid to keep going with my new health regime, i.e. no wheat and no sugar - I made myself some gorgeous, guilt-free granola bars.

They are full of nutty goodness and the reason I say guilt-free is because they don’t contain any white refined sugar or flour, but still taste amazing. One of my best friends, Sharon is wheat intolerant, so I made a small batch for her. She couldn’t believe how good they tasted and that they didn’t contain any flour - she loves me more now!...

Parveen at the celebratory dinner

Parveen at the celebratory dinner

I make this recipe quite often, I will make them, cut them into little squares, wrap a couple in clingfilm and pop them into my handbag, so they are there when I need them.

I have such a sweet tooth, so I am quite pleased with myself for keeping off the sugar for three weeks but I must admit, I did fall of the band wagon last weekend... well it wasn’t so much a fall as it was a stumble really. I attended an awards dinner for Women Leaders at the East of England Arena and we were treated to a three course meal. Even though I am the Spice Queen, my favourite course is always the dessert. It was deliciously delightful cheesecake with a salted caramel sauce and handmade white chocolate truffles, just divine! Did I feel guilty afterwards? Absolutely, but gosh it was nice to be naughty for one evening.

So, reluctantly, I had to climb back onto the sugar-free wagon but I have to tell you guys, it wasn’t easy. I had treated my taste buds to some sweetness and they understandably wanted more... Enter my delicious granola bars. They satisfy that need for a sugar hit but surprisingly do not contain any sugar. The sweetness comes from the natural ingredients as opposed to white refined sugar. Ingredients like, dates, sultanas and pure natural honey - give it a go, I promise you’ll love it!

RECIPE

I have used a bag of mixed nuts with almonds, cashews, hazelnuts, pecans and walnuts, but feel free to use any nuts that you like. If you want to be decadent, add pistachio or macadamia. The recipe works with any type of nut.

Makes approx 16 medium sized bars

Prep Time: 10mins

Cooking Time 30mins

INGREDIENTS

300g Mixed Nuts

100g Oats

70g Butter

50g Coconut Oil

50g Honey

30g Flaked Almonds

30g Raisins

20g Desiccated Coconut

8 Soft Pitted Dates (roughly chopped)

METHOD

1. Using a blender, roughly chop the mixed nuts for 1 min.

2. Tip the nuts into a large bowl, then add the desiccated coconut, raisins, dates, flaked almonds and the oats

3. In a small pan, add the honey, butter and coconut oil. On low heat, gently melt all the ingredients together.

4. Now, pour this mixture over the nuts - thoroughly mix together.

5. Line and grease 20cm square baking tin and pour the granola mix into the tin

6. Using the back of a large spoon, even out all the mixture. Firmly press down making sure there are no gaps.

7. Bake at 190C or gas mark 5 for 30mins.

8. Allow the granola mixture to cool naturally in baking tin. It will carry on cooking in the residual heat and this will help it set.

When cool, cut into pieces. Put the kettle on and enjoy your gluten-free, sugar-free granola bar.

If you have any questions about the recipe, just contact me hello@parveenthespicequeen.com

ADD SOME SPARKLE!!!

Granola bars pictured here sprinkled in my signature glitter. Add peanut butter for a different flavour