As a student I'm always looking for the cheapest things and the best deals, and as a lover of breakfast I always make sure I've had something before I head out for the day. However sometimes I just don't have much time to spare and would rather spend an extra 10 minutes in bed than putting together breakfast, this does usually mean I grab something from the shop on the way to lectures but a breakfast bar for 65p barely touches the side!
I decided to take matters into my own hands and get my bake on, well get my 'microwave and mix' on as this recipe doesn't involve any baking! These Homemade Cereal Bars are perfect to grab in replacement for breakfast or just as a mid day snack to get you through your essay. And they're easy and cheap to make! The recipe comes from Sal Godfrey's Cheaper Than Chips* recipe book.
200g Dried Fruit or 100g Dried Fruit & 100g Chocolate Chips
80g Soft Brown Sugar
1/2 tsp of Salt
The beauty of this recipe is that you can really make it your own, you could use plain granola, or one with added fruit, mine has Raisins & Almonds in it. You could also use muesli or plain oats. Also you can decide which dried fruits to add, or like me you can substitute some fruit for chocolate chips! I also used Sweet Freedom as an alternative to Honey as it's just a bit healthier.
The first step is to measure out your honey, butter and brown sugar into a bowl and microwave it in 30 second bursts until it's all melted, make sure to stir in between each burst and that at the end you've got a smooth mixture that's doesn't feel grainy.
Next weigh out your dry ingredients into a big bowl together, so that's the granola, dried fruit and chocolate chips, and half a teaspoon of salt.
Then you just need to pour the butter mixture over the dry ingredients and stir until everything is combined. Then pour the mixture into either a brownie tin or a tupperware box lined with tin foil should do the job just as well. Make sure to push down the granola with a wooden spoon into the corners of the box and to make sure it's tightly compact.
Then it's just into the fridge for an hour or so to cool and harden before you can cut it up with a sharp knife. You can decide the size of the pieces, the recipe says 12 but I reckon you could make them smaller and have more. Then just wrap these up individually in tin foil to keep them fresh and you can easily grab one on your way out the door.
Now Im no baking pro and something always seems to go a little bit wrong for me, and I did have my problems with this recipe as when I went to cut it up into squares it wouldn't stay together and just feel apart. I'm not sure if this is because I didn't push it down together enough, or because I didn't use Honey. But none the less it still tasted amazing! I ended up rolling the mixture into little balls and wrapping in tin foil and putting them back in the fridge. They were still a bit flakey but they tasted amazing! Really sweet and crunchy and the perfect little snack.
All in all this recipe was delicious and pretty inexpensive, especially if you've already got some of the ingredients in your cupboard. The Cheaper Than Chips recipe book has some really great cheap and easy recipes, and some great tips on how to spruce up your day to day meal recipes without spending a lot of money. The recipe for Pull Apart Pizza Bread looks delicious, and I can't wait to try Sal's recipe for Spag Bol as it's one of my favourite meals!
I'd definitely recommend this recipe book to anyone on a budget, and especially to students as it keeps things simple and easy and doesn't add in hundreds of ingredients you're never going to use again! Each recipe has very easy to follow instructions and little tips and tricks or how to change things up. The other great thing about this book is that it's an E-book and therefore cheap at only £5, and you can get it up on your phone, tablet, kindle or laptop and you don't need to worry about always having the book on you!