Breakfast bars are a billion pound industry. There are whole sections of supermarkets dedicated to them. On top of that there are cafés, delis and snack bars offering fast ‘grab and run’ solutions to breakfast. The message is clear – we don’t have time to make breakfast anymore.
The food industry has cottoned onto this as a fast way to make a quick buck. It’s fattening their pockets but what’s it doing to our health and waistlines? An interesting study by consumers group Which? Found all but one of the 30 bars they analysed were high in sugar and more than half contained more than 30% sugar. They were also high in saturated fat with a Tracker roasted nut bar being almost a third fat.
Apart from the lack of nutrients from breakfast bars, the main problem is the impact on blood sugar levels. This isn’t a good way to start the day. Worse still is skipping breakfast altogether. You may save five minutes and be on time for work but how productive will you actually be for the rest of the day?
We’ve already written about the problem with most cereals and offered quick, healthy breakfast ideas to have at home with things like porridge, pancakes or eggs. These are the sorts of breakfasts we need to eat to ensure we’re sustained until lunch, especially for kids who can’t snack when they feel like it at school.
But we all have days where time is an issue and who doesn’t opt to press the snooze button a few extra times at the expense of a hearty breakfast?
I’ve been making these breakfast bars which work well when you know you’ve got an early start and can’t face eating before you leave the house. These protein-packed bars take no time to make, freeze well and provide a balanced start to your day.
I specifically chose the ingredients to add certain nutrients. Apricots for their iron content, seeds for the zinc and essential fats, oats which are rich in fibre and help regulate blood sugar levels and coconut oil because I love all things to do with coconuts. I even made my own quinoa flour to boost the protein and antioxidant status. It was really easy, I simply ground quinoa flakes in a food processor but you can use any wholegrain flour. This recipe is very forgiving so feel free to play around with different fruits and seeds.
These aren’t just great for breakfast, they also supply all your body’s needs after a workout and are really sustaining as an after school snack.
We hope you enjoy these breakfast bars. Let us know how you get on in the comments below or on our facebook page and don’t forget to sign up to our newsletter to receive more recipes, nutrition tips and expert advice.