Date, Apple and Spelt Slice

Can anyone relate to this scenario?

You're doing the grocery shopping and find yourself standing in front of the muesli bar section. Usually you buy a certain packet of these so you have something to pop into lunch-boxes for school or work lunches, but today as you stand there in the aisle you think about how you know you should be eating less processed foods and choosing better options. You scan the multitude of boxes trying to figure out which option is going to be the healthiest without tasting like cardboard. The scene ends in one of two ways

a) you give up and just buy your usual box, then replay the entire story next shopping day; or

b) you decide not to buy any, but cannot think of anything enticing to take their spot in the lunch box, so the owner of the lunch box replaces the muesli bar themselves usually with a bought muffin, pastry or even worse type of bar.

Sigh. Lately it's been ending b. in our house. 

Eating less packaged and processed food is a noble cause for both health and environmental reasons. The tricky part can be knowing what to replace these foods with, because for goodness sake, you've still gotta eat and you want it to taste good right!?

Lately, the solution in my household has been my Date Apple and Spelt Slice. It's delicious without being too sweet, filling because it's high in fibre, and super easy to make.

Date, Apple & Spelt Slice

1 1/2 cups (approx 150g) rolled spelt
1 cup (approx 150g) pitted dates, chopped
1 cup boiling water
1 cup self raising wholemeal flour
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup desiccated coconut
50g melted butter 
2 Tbsp honey
1 Granny Smith apple, unpeeled, grated
2Tbsp sunflower seeds

Preheat oven to 180°c and line a small rectangular baking tray.

Place the spelt and chopped dates into a bowl, and pour the boiling water over the top of them. Into a larger mixing bowl, combine the flour, cinnamon and coconut. Create a well in the middle of the dry ingredients, and into the well add the spelt mixture, melted butter, honey and grated apple. Mix to combine.

Pour the mixture into the prepared tray and smooth the top with a spatula. Sprinkle the sunflower seeds over the top and press lightly into the batter. Place tray in the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes, until light golden brown on top.

Leave to cool before slicing into bars, although you are forgiven if you just have to break a chunk off the end to eat warm! Should keep in an airtight container for 3-4 days.