Nigella Lawson's Eat-and-Run Breakfast
Hey everyone! I just made my first batch of Nigella's breakfast bars. OMG. They are really extraordinary! I am so happy to be able to have these to grab on my way out in the morning. Tasty - and healthy!
(The only change I made was the addition of a bag full of white chocolate morsels that I just happened to have. I'm sure that definitely adds to the "healthy" part)
"These days, it seems everyone's in a rush in the morning. It's all most of us can do to shower and get out of the door, never mind starting the day with a healthy breakfast. But celebrity chef Nigella Lawson has ideas for a quick and tasty morning meal."
"Lawson says two of her recipes — for buttery avocado bruschetta and healthy breakfast bars ("If you can buy them, you can make them," she says) — are substantive enough to feel like a meal even though no knives or forks are involved in eating them."
Add me to the chorus: I'm sure they're delicious, because they're basically what upper -Midwesterners call "bars." Coconut, condensed milk and nuts. How could they not taste good?
Healthy? No freakin' way. I like sweets as much as the next guy, and I admit to eating a Fiber One bar before my workout every day. But I don't pretend that the fiber in the oats and coconut make up for all the fat and sugar in a meaningful way.
Make bircher Muesli instead and take the four minutes more it requires to eat it from a bowl.
My $0.02 and because I was curious about the "healthy"ness I checked the info on caloriecount.about.com:
Based on 16 bars - Nutrition Facts per Serving (Serving Size 61 g)
Total Fat 10.6g
Saturated Fat 3.7g
Total Carbohydrates 25.7g
Dietary Fiber 3.0g
Vitamin A 1% • Vitamin C 3%
Calcium 9% • Iron 7%
Nutrition Grade B+
* Based on a 2000 calorie diet
Doesn't seem *that* bad compared to the average Nature Valley Sweet & Salty Bar (which seem similar) they weigh in at 35g per bar and 170 calories 9g fat. I think so long as this bar isn't follwed up with a venti caramel macchiato the calories for a meal will be fine. Is it enough to get through til lunch? That I'm not so sure....til a light morning snack maybe. :)
Has anybody else tried Alice Medrich's dried fruit and nut cake as a breakfast bar? I make it to take on car trips because it lasts for a few weeks without refrigeration and is quite good with coffee.
Here's the recipe.
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 cup firmly-packed brown sugar (light or dark brown sugar or raw sugar or grated piloncillo)
1 cup dried apricots, plums, pears, or peaches or a mixture thereof (leave apricots and similar-sized fruit whole and cut larger fruit in halves or thirds).
2 cups dates or any other dried fruit you like, quartered
3 cups walnut pieces
3 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla
Whisk the flour, bp, bs to combine. Add brown sugar, fruit and nuts and mix with your hands.
Beat the eggs with the vanilla until a bit fluffy. Combine with flour/nut mix and stir until all the fruits and nuts are mixed into the batter. I use my hands because it's realllly hard to do with a wooden spoon. Smush this into a large loaf or two smaller loaf pans and push down so that the dough is evenly distributed.
Bake for about an hour for the smaller loaves and 1:10-1:15 for the larger. She says to put foil tented over the pans if the loaves start to get too brown. I haven't had that problem.
These will keep for several weeks at room temp., and if you wrap the loaves in plastic or foil they'll keep for 3 or so months in the fridge and 6 mos in the freezer.
Sliced into pieces about the size of biscotti, these are great with coffee and taste better to me than any breakfast bar I've ever bought. Since they don't need refrigeration, they're great to bring along on a road trip. Her cookbook doesn't list carbs and calories, but this is not too sweet.
Wow, great website, maplesugar. I wouldn't rely on it too much, though. I ran the same recipe through and got completely different results. Mine weighed in at 247 calories and an overall nutrition grade of B-.
I just find it upsetting that someone with celebrity stature like Nigella will throw a word like healthy around without backing it up. Although, frankly, Nigella telling you something is healthy is like Paula Dean telling you something is healthy.
I think the most important takeaway is that it WOULDN'T get you through lunch. And next thing you know, it's 1 PM and you've already consumed 700 calories.
I'm not a perfect eater by any means, but it insults my intelligence to call something with a can of condensed milk in it "healthy".
I agree. I forgot to mention that when I ran it through the first time I had to pick a nut (analyzer doesn't "understand" a list of nuts) so I chose sunflower seeds. I should have gone back to check that it chose the right one. It has its kinks but so long as you get each ingredient in right it works well. Was your serving size also 61g?
Wow, that whole can of condensed milk doesn't seem like it would add a lot to the "healthfulness" component. That's 1300 calories and a staggering 220 grams of sugar. Even divided among 16 bars, that's a TABLESPOON of sugar per bar BEFORE the other stuff is added.
I love Nigella but healthy? No way!