Less well known than quinoa, but as high in protein, amaranth adds extra crunch to these muesli bars, which stay fresh for up to a week when stored in an airtight container.
By Kate Turner
175g (6oz) raw amaranth (soaked weight 250g/9oz)
100g (3½oz) rolled oats
50g (1¾oz) raisins
50g (1¾oz) dried cranberries
35g (1¼oz) sunflower seeds
35g (1¼oz) pumpkin seeds
25g (scant 1oz) chia seeds
2 tsp ground cinnamon
3 tbsp coconut oil
3 tbsp maple syrup
100g (3½oz) nut butter or tahini
100g (3½oz) banana, mashed
1 tbsp lucuma powder (optional)
30g (1oz) goji berries
30g (1oz) flaked almonds
50g (1¾oz) pistachio nuts, roughly crushed
2 tbsp maple syrup
2 tbsp chia seeds
1 tbsp lemon juice
Soak the amaranth in double the volume of water with 1 tsp salt for 8 hours, then drain and rinse.
Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F/Gas 4). Line a shallow 30 x 19cm (12 x 7¾in) baking tray with non-stick baking parchment.
Put the amaranth in a processor with the oats, dried fruit, seeds, and cinnamon. Whizz briefly to combine.
Melt the coconut oil and maple syrup in a small pan over a medium heat. Stir in the nut butter or tahini, remove from the heat, and add the banana.
Add to the amaranth mixture and whizz to combine. Spread out evenly on the tray, pressing down firmly with the back of a spoon. Bake for 45 minutes or until a knife inserted into the centre comes out clean. Place the tray on a rack and leave to cool for 10 minutes.
To make the Chia jam: Prepare the fruit, if necessary, by dicing it, but leave the skin on. You need 150g (5½oz) in all. Put in a saucepan with 2 tbsp maple syrup and place over a medium heat for 5 minutes until bubbling. Remove the pan from the heat and mash the fruit to a purée with a fork, then stir in 2 tbsp chia seeds. Lower the heat and simmer the fruit mixture, stirring from time to time, for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat again, add 1 tbsp lemon juice, and decant into a jar. Put the lid on when the jam is completely cool. The recipe makes about 120ml (4fl oz), which will keep in the fridge for up to a week.
Spread the tray mixture with chia jam, then sprinkle with the berries and nuts, pressing them in so they stick. Leave to cool completely before cutting into bars.
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