I've always LOVED the tiny little Aussie Bites that you can buy at Costco but why do they have to be so darn expensive! Well, honestly they do have many healthy ingredients and I am willing to pay more for good wholesome snacks. However, I decided to try my hand at making these with Stevia Select powder to have a sugar free option. I love the taste of honey, which is what sweetens these in the original ingredients (not to mention that dried fruit naturally sweetens too) but I don't care for the calories that come with honey. I realized we can add just the right amount of sweetness, without adding carbs or calories, by using Stevia Select! In addition, I know our diabetic friends need to avoid honey so they don't raise their glycemic levels. With that said, I do recommend the added honey if you like things on the sweeter side like I do. Otherwise the stevia and dried fruit make a still very tasty but less sweet treat. So after three batches, I feel I've perfected (I use that term loosely) the taste, texture, and goodness :-)
Our 16 year old daughter was just per-diagnosed with gluten intolerance and celiac disease. We are waiting to get the results of her endoscopy to confirm if she does have celiac for sure. In the meantime, we are eating completely gluten free and looking for delicious tasting snacks for her especially but our entire family too. This was another reason I decided to make these Homemade Aussie Bites with certified gluten free ingredients, in my own kitchen.
My 1st two batches turned out delicious tasting but super crumbly :-( This makes them difficult to pack in lunches and eat on the go (all important things for a 16 year old). For my last and final batch I remembered a trick I read about adding boiling water to flax meal to produce a stickier 'gluten-like' muffin, cookie, or bread. That's what I did and it made all the difference.
You will also notice I used silicone muffin cups and I believe those are crucial for this recipe. When I pulled them out of the oven and flipped them upside down on the cooling rack, all it took was a few gentle tugs and the Aussie Bites popped right out in tacked! I hope you enjoy these hearty treats as much as our family did. They are very versatile and are great for breakfast on-the-run, lunch time dessert, or an anytime snack that is very satisfying.
Stevia Select Aussie Bites
1 3/4 C. Rolled whole Oats
1/4 C. Dried Apricots
1/4 C. Raisins (I prefer cranberries)
1/4 C. Flax Meal (dark is milder & preferred over golden)
2 TB. Boiling Water
1/4 C. Unsalted Raw Sunflower Seeds
1/4 C Raw Shredded Unsweetened Coconut
1/4 C Precooked Quinoa
2 TB. Chia Seeds
1/4 ts. Baking Soda
1/4 C. Honey *optional-Use for sweeter "Bites"
1/4 C. butter
1/4 C. Coconut Oil
2 Smidgen Scoops Stevia Select pure stevia powder (1/16th teaspoon)
1 ts. vanilla extract - May substitute 1/4 ts. Stevia Select vanilla Flavor. *If used omit Honey.
First crucial step to make these muffins hold together beautifully. In a separate small bowl, pour 2 TB. boiling water over the flax meal. This will thicken asd it sits and be a gooey mixture. Add this right before the oil mixture.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease muffin tins unless using silicone muffin cups. Then no grease is necessary. Pour 1 C. of oats into a food processor and grind til pieces are quite small, almost flour. Add remaining oats and other ingredients (starting from top and working down) thru the baking soda. *Make sure to pre-cut apricots into pieces about the size of the raisins. This will assure consistent size chunks of fruit throughout the Bite.
On the stove top, put the remaining ingredients into a small sauce pan to melt. Be sure to mix well as the stevia powder can clump together. Now add the soaked flax meal. Combine this liquid with the rest of the ingredients still in the food processor and grind till well mixed. Fill muffin cups half way and press down firmly to smash together. Bake these for 12 min. then cool on a rack. Eat warm or serve later. Keeps for 4 days.
*TIP: These freeze nicely. I package them in individual sandwich bags and thaw just as many as needed for that day
Please share your comments and let me know if you change anything. We can all learn from each other :-)
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