Simple snacks: Oat and fruit balls

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This is a good very first recipe for young kids to ‘help’ with, getting involved in the stirring, mixing and trying to roll the balls up. It’s about as simple as baking gets.

These oat balls can be taken anywhere you like from their most basic form:

200g porridge oats
100g dried fruit (a mix of raisins and chopped figs works well)
100g apple sauce

Preheat the oven to 180C / gas 5 and line a baking tray with baking paper. Mix everything together and roll balls a little smaller than golf balls. Place on the baking tray and bake for 10 minutes.

Make it tastier!

That’s the basic, cupboard-is-bare recipe: let’s make them more delicious (but still healthy).

120g porridge oats
2 tablespoons apple sauce (see below for how to make it)
1 tablespoon coconut oil, melted and cooled
1 tablespoon peanut butter
2 tablespoons raisins/other dried fruit
2 tablespoons dessicated coconut

Mix it all together as before and bake for 12 – 15 mins.

This is a recipe to play around with: all you need are the oats, something sweet (dried fruit) and something to stick it together with (apple sauce, peanut butter, coconut oil). Add more oats if the mixture is too wet, or more apple sauce, coconut oil or nut butter if it’s not sticking together easily. You could use any nuts or seeds (be very careful with nuts and small children, they have to be chopped very small. You may wish to stick to ground nuts, butters, or dessicated coconut), nut butters, dried fruit, sesame seeds (for extra flavour toast them in a dry frying pan until they start popping), or for a less healthy treat go for chocolate chips, honey or maple syrup.

How to make the apple sauce:

Peel and core two apples, then roughly chop them. Put them in a small saucepan with a tablespoon of water, pop a lid on and gently heat until they start to fall apart, stirring every now and then – about 10 minutes. Crush and beat them with a wooden spoon to get rid of any lumps. Apple sauce freezes well.

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