Breakfast Club March 2012 - Counting Calcium

So this month, I'm hosting the Breakfast Club challenge. It is organised by Helen at Fuss Free Flavours, and if you're ever short of an inspirational breakfast idea, then look no further than the Breakfast Club archive list!

My chosen theme is Deliciously Dairy Free, and you can find out more about why I chose it in my challenge post here.

Not being able to eat dairy poses one immediate potential dietary problem (aside from the distressing lack of chocolate) - calcium. Calcium is essential for strong bones and good health and dairy foods are very calcium rich. But that's not to say it can't be found other places (as well as being added to many dairy substitutes, such as fortified soya milk). Sesame seeds, broccoli, kale, kidney beans, sardines, figs - all have really high levels of calcium in them, and some other surprising contenders pack a surprisingly hefty punch too.

For example, one large orange contains about a tenth of an adults recommended daily intake (which is about 700mg) as does a serving of baked beans, 10 grams of tahini, or... a piece of the granola bar I baked as my challenge entry!
All ready to be cut crumbled!
I'm feeling quite proud of myself, since that's three or four times the content of some commercial breakfast bars. Yey! And Mini-M seems to enjoy it, thinks she's getting a treat and eating cake, but it's "cake" in quite a controlled and nutritious way. Double yey!

This tastes great, however it's very crumbly. Next time I make it, I'll add another tablespoon of oil and a couple of maple syrup which should solve that problem in a delicious way!

Counting the Calcium Granola Bar (serves 8)

  • 1/2 cup of rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup rolled quinoa flakes
  • 1/4 cup coconut sugar
  • 1/4 cup wholemeal flour
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup desiccated coconut
  • 1/4 cup sesame seeds
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 cup dried apples
  • 1/2 cup dried raisin and cherry mix
  • 1/4 cup almond butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 3 tbsp coconut oil

Preheat the oven to 180C and grease then line a small baking tin or casserole dish with parchment.
Mix together all the dry ingredients.
Melt the coconut oil, honey, almond butter and vanilla extract together in the microwave for 10s at a time until smooth and runny.
Pour into the dry ingredients and mix well.
Press into the prepared tin
Bake for 30-40mins until starting to brown around the edges.
Allow to cool in the tin before cutting.

Have some for breakfast and feel virtuous about your start to the day!

Look at all those tiny little sesame seed calcium bombs!
I know I've used some weird and wonderful ingredients here - but it's a recipe that lends itself well to whatever you have to hand...

Starting from the top:

  • No quinoa - use all oats
  • No coconut sugar - use regular sugar, or brown sugar
  • No wholemeal flour - use plain white
  • Use whatever combination of fruit and nuts you feel like, totally between 1.5 and 2 cups
  • No almond butter - use peanut butter
  • No honey - use maple syrup, or syrup, or agave
  • No coconut oil - use margarine

It'll look and taste different, but still delicious :o)

It's also good for snack time... and supper time!