Moreish allure

Chock full of fruits, seeds, and oats, this is a muesli bar just as it should be.

The fat content and added sugar is low and the tastes and textures of the fruits and spices blend with and enhance the slightly nutty flavour of wholegrain oats.

These boldly flavoured fruits and spices - pineapple, dried apricots, ginger and cinnamon - give this moreish slice its allure. However, it is essential you use the intensely tangy New Zealand dried apricots to give that extra oomph to the slice. The Turkish dried apricots simply will not do.

This is the perfect slice to accompany tea or coffee. It is ideal, too, to take on picnics, camping trips or hikes; a delicious, nutritious treat to eat along the way or at the end. It's also very good in the lunch box.

Lime juice is available in 250ml bottles at the supermarket. I find this convenient and reasonably priced. Store in the fridge and it's on hand when you need it.

Dried pineapple pieces are available in the bins of some supermarkets.

Photo: Gregor Richardson
Photo: Gregor Richardson

Pineapple muesli slice

Makes 40-44 slices

50g butter, chopped
3 Tbsp honey
425g can crushed pineapple in juice, well drained
3 Tbsp lime juice
140g crystallised ginger, chopped
120g dried apricots, the NZ variety, chopped
120g dried pineapple pieces, chopped
1 large egg, size 7, lightly beaten
100g pumpkin seeds
100g sunflower seeds
100g dessicated coconut
140g whole grain oats
100g standard flour
1 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground nutmeg

Place the butter, honey, crushed pineapple and lime juice in a large saucepan over low heat and stir until melted and mixed.

Add the ginger, apricots and dried pineapple. Slowly bring to the boil.

Cover with lid and very gently simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and cool well before stirring in the beaten egg.

Preheat the oven to 180 o C bake

Line a slice tin with non stick baking paper. Slice tins seem to vary greatly in size. Mine is 20 cm x 33cm but something approximately this size will do.

Combine the pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, coconut, wholegrain oats, flour, cinnamon and nutmeg in a medium sized bowl and mix well.

Tip the dry ingredients into the saucepan containing the fruits and stir to mix. This is quite a stiff mixture. Tip into the lined slice tin.

Spread out evenly over base of the tin with the back of a spoon or wet hands (mixture does not stick to wet hands). It is important the mixture is pressed down firmly into the tin.

Bake in the preheated oven for 30-35 minutes until set and lightly golden.

Do not overcook.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely in the tin. Leave overnight before slicing, if time permits.

Using the baking paper edges, lift the slice from the tin and place on a chopping board. Cut into squares or oblongs as desired.

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