Breakfast muesli bar, oaty, chocolately, fruity, seedy, spicy

Muesli BarWhen my son was a third of the size he is now, I wanted to be able to feed him a healthy snack bar. Most of the commercially available ones were stuffed full of sugar and/or additives. So I decided to invent my own.

My son is 16 now and much bigger and the recipe has gone through a few improvements. It’s naturally sweet, warmly spicy, and it’s got crunch & give.

It is filling. Ideal for a quick morning get-away, an afternoon snack or evening treat, it’s packed full of healthy ingredients. And you can add chocolate too…

The ingredients are infinitely variable depending on what you prefer, or have in the storecupboard. And even better, it’s a very quick and simple recipe to put together. And the cup of tea is included…

Fancy a go? Read on…

Breakfast muesli bar recipe

You’ll need a bakewell pan that’s 37 x 27 x 4cm or something similar. I line mine with greaseproof baking paper so I can lift the stuff straight out of the tin.

Pre-heat your oven to 180Β°C.


50g pumpkin seeds
50g sunflower seeds
100g hazelnuts

1 tbsp ground cinnamon
1 tbsp ground ginger
Half whole nutmeg, finely grated

100g dried cranberries
50g sultanas
50g raisins
Tea bag
200g boiling water

400g jumbo oats
100g dried apricots, sliced
100g bar of 80% dark chocolate, smashed into rough pieces (optional)
Rind and juice of 2 oranges
3 eggs, beaten

Essentially you have 400g oats plus 500g of nuts/seeds/fruit. So you can make up your own favourite mix.


Put the pumpkin & sunflower seeds and hazelnuts in a heavy based pan over a high heat and roast so they are evenly browned. The pumpkin seeds will pop. Take off the heat.

Put the cranberries, saltanas and raisins in a bowl with the tea bag. Pour on the boiling water and stir to make sure all it wet and the tea bag infuses. Leave for 5 minutes and remove the tea bag to the compost heap.

Put the oats, spices, sliced apricots, seeds and nuts in a big bowl. Mix them all up with your hands to make sure everything is evenly distributed. It’s easier to do this initial mix without the wet ingredients.

Add the soaked fruit with their liquid, the chocolate pieces, the orange rind and juice and eggs and mix well. You should end up with a moist, sticky, oaty gloop that will hold together when you squeeze it.

Squish into the lined baking pan. Press down firmly and attempt to get a reasonably even surface.

Bake in the oven for about 25 minutes until the top is golden.

Take out of the oven. Then using the greaseproof paper, lift out and place on a cooling rack.

Allow to cool before taking off the paper and cutting into bars. I normally cut into 24 bars.

The bars will keep for a few days in an air tight box. What I do is to wrap some of the bars in greasproof, bag and then freeze them. I can then take out what I need for the week or the night before

Hope you enjoy! Let me know what your favourite variations are in the comments.

My friend Misk asked for this recipe on Twitter. She has a beautiful, witty & informative blog, do have a look at it.


29 responses to “Breakfast muesli bar, oaty, chocolately, fruity, seedy, spicy”

  1. Fiona Avatar

    I made these today, a store cupboard raid so mixed seeds and oats but no nuts. Apricots, dates, sultanas and chocolate buttons! I did add two tablespoons of honey and made 200ml tea, I see it should have been 300ml. Off for a 30 mile bike ride tomorrow, these will be perfect. Family thought they were not sweet enough but that’s the point. Next time definitely nuts, love them! Thank you for the very versatile recipe Carl.

    1. Carl Avatar

      Brilliant improvisation Fiona. Perhaps the less sweet version will grow on them and nuts are the way forward πŸ˜‰

  2. Choclette Avatar

    Just found these via Twitter. They are completely different to any other muesli bars I’ve come across, so I’m going to have to try them out. Great tea addition. Have bookmarked.

  3. […] to the sofa and grab a cup of tea and an ultra healthy oaty bar from the freezer. These are based on Carl’s recipe for his son which you can find here and they are very wholesome indeed, having no added sugar (I don’t count the dark chocolate […]

    1. Carl Avatar

      Hi Shannon – thanks for this. I hope you enjoy the ones I sent. I’ve adapted the recipe slightly. I added some chopped dried figs for some additional flavour and texture. I also made the bars slightly moister by chancging the method

      I put all the dried fruit (except the apricots & figs) into the oats. I added the zest and juice of the oranges to these and then added about 300ml boiling water. The oats go slightly gooey. Leave the water to soak while you roast the seeds & nuts and (if using) break the chocolate.

      Then mix the rest of the dry ingredients together with the oats and fruit and lastly mix in the eggs. Because the oat misture is a bit more gooey, it’s slightly harder work, you need to make sure everything is properly mixed and combined.

      The finish off as per recipe.

      I’m looking forward to your Foodie Penpals post πŸ˜€

  4. Glenda Avatar

    Sounds very healthy and well worth a try.

    1. Carl Avatar

      Thank you Glenda, do have a try and let me know how you get on and what you think πŸ™‚

  5. Lynds Avatar

    Oops- just as well I froze some -rest have vanished…………..

  6. Carl Legge Avatar
    Carl Legge

    LOL Lynds

    *That* is the spirit I'm looking for, sounds really great. Will you save me a bar so I can taste?

    Excellent work and thanks for sharing so others can see the possibilities.

    Carl x

  7. Lynds Avatar

    Read this ad promptly ransacked cupboard for ingredients- as mine is not as well stocked as Carls I used what I had ! Lemon and ginger teabag with orange and mango juice with a little rosehip syrup for soaking. Cranberries/blueberries and sour cherries for the fruit, walnuts and some poppy seed as well as pumpkin and sunflower seeds ! Oh yes- did have the chocolate πŸ˜‰ Result is a really great musli bar ! Thanks Carl .

  8. Carl Legge Avatar
    Carl Legge


    Chef Michaud! You can't hide behind a nom de plume.

    Haha. Chocolate is the answer. And sometimes the question is brandy :))


  9. Carl Legge Avatar
    Carl Legge

    Hi Mo

    Will you be having a go?


    1. Mo Avatar

      Eventually tried them! πŸ™‚
      I left out chocolate and they were not sweet enough for my tooth. Hubby loves ’em just the way they are.
      There will be two versions next time I make them πŸ˜‰

      1. Carl Avatar


        Well done, I’ve read the post which is here for anyone else wanting to see it.

        So pleased you enjoyed them, making two batches not so bad as they’re easy to do. Thanks for letting me know πŸ™‚

        1. Mo Avatar

          Yep! I have a nice big mixing bowl so I can prep the lot together, pop half in a tray, then add chocolate to the remainder – I have it all planned!

          Thank you for the link back πŸ™‚

          1. Carl Avatar

            That’s a great idea, very efficient. Link no probs πŸ™‚

  10. triticum Avatar

    Looks super healthy and great to satify any cravings! …I would almost make chocolate mendatory rather than optional! πŸ˜‰ …you know… chocolate is the answer to almost everything!! πŸ™‚

  11. Mo and Steve Avatar
    Mo and Steve

    Interesting, Carl. It was the use of eggs that caught my eye, and you've explained that in the comments. Thanks πŸ™‚ Mo

  12. Carl Legge Avatar
    Carl Legge

    Hi Misk

    The GI numbers is an angle I hadn't thought of, excellent point.

    I hope you both enjoy them.

    You're very worth the mention x


  13. Misk Cooks Avatar
    Misk Cooks

    Hi Carl. I'm very much looking forward to making these. They'll be perfect for P, who has diabetes, as the GI numbers are superb. And no honey or sugar. Hurrah! Excellent stuff.

    And finally, thank you so much for the mention. I'm very appreciative. πŸ˜€

  14. Carl Legge Avatar
    Carl Legge

    Hi Joanna

    Hope this one works for you. You could make it more savoury with some grated fresh ginger.

    Let me know how you get on…


  15. Carl Legge Avatar
    Carl Legge

    Hi Jane

    I'd love to know your favourite variations on this. Do let me know.


  16. Joanna Avatar

    Terrific Carl, and I like the idea of putting some of them in the freezer (although things tend to get forgotten in my freezer). What I'm really after is a savoury version, as my young don't have a sweet tooth. I've tried various things, but nothing's quite hit the spot, as this recipe obviously does


  17. Carl Legge Avatar
    Carl Legge

    Hi Monica

    Yes, they're like 'trail mix' in a bar. To be honest they keep for a week just fine. I've not had a problem with keeping them in the kitchn for this long.

    Many of the other recipes are 'stuck together' with sugar or syrup and I need to come up with an alternative, hence the eggs.

    I've also used milk and egg whites, but decided I didn't want the faff of separating the eggs and needing to find a use for the yolks.

    So I think you'd be fine for a week with these in an airtight bag or box.

    Thanks for coming by.


  18. Monica Avatar

    I love the combination of spices and chocolate – these look incredible. And they'd be PERFECT food for a day's hike or cycle ride. Would they keep longer if made with an egg alternative? Thinking of weeklong cycle tours / camping trips – it'd be great to have a stash of these on hand throughout the week.

  19. teawithhazel Avatar

    this looks really versatile..and i love a recipe i can play with..i'm looking forward to making it..jane

  20. Carl Legge Avatar
    Carl Legge

    Hi Emily

    Well we think so πŸ™‚ And probably much less expensive per bar as well.


  21. emnomnom Avatar

    Nice…I bet this tastes *much better* than the stuff from the supermarket, too…