Against the grain…

Muesli bars without oats.

Also without sugar, dairy, eggs or flour.

No, this is not a “paleo” recipe or a post about how bad grains are. I like grains. They are tasty and nutritious, full of fibre… but I am allergic to oats so normally for me, muesli bars are out of the question.  I am also interested in healthy foods, low sugar, high fibre and anything made from scratch with basic ingredients.

So what do my muesli bars contain?

Apples, bananas, rolled rye, soy milk, chia seeds, sultanas, vanilla and cinnamon, dried cherries and coconut.

These are my “cherry coconut muesli bars” but you can use any flavour variations you would like. How about apricot & pepitas? Date and almond? Fig and walnut? The possibilities are endless.

Let’s talk about those grains, though. So what I’ve been doing lately is experimenting with other grains in place of rolled oats. This started as a way to make porridge, which I absolutely love, but cannot eat. I’ve been specifically trying other grains that come rolled. Yes, like rolled oates, just not oats. So they look like rolled oats, behave (in recipes) quite like rolled oats… but without giving me a violent reaction – hooray!

I have tried this particular recipe before with the traditional oats for TC and other family members, who reported back very favourably on the results.

This time I was going to try it with rolled spelt, as this is usually in my pantry (great for non-oatmeal porridge!), but today I have used rolled rye. When I went to my container of spelt the other morning to make porridge, I found moths had taken up camp… so that batch went into the bin. Besides that, when I went to buy more, I decided they are a little too expensive right now. I don’t know what it is – are they “on trend”, making them a higher demand product, thereby allowing retailers to make extra profits? Browsing my regular supplier’s website, I decided there were other cheaper options to try, so here I am with rolled rye.

Did you know you can get all kinds of rolled grains? Spelt, rye, barley, triticale and rolled brown rice for starters, and that’s just the ones I know about! I’ve also recently bought whole hulled millet, which I plan to try in a variety of ways, so stay tuned for that.

In the meantime, here is the recipe. Enjoy!


  • 1/2 cup unsweetened apple sauce
  • 3 mashed bananas
  • 2 cups rolled rye
  • 1/3 cup soy milk (or use any other type of milk)
  • 1/2 cup sultanas or raisins
  • 1tspn vanilla
  • 1tspn ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup dessicated coconut
  • 1/3 cup chopped dried cherries
  • 2 tbsp chia seeds.

Preheat oven to 170C. Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl. Press into an oiled & lined baking tray. Bake for 20-25min. Allow to cool slightly before removing from tray. Complete cooling on a cooling rack. Cut into bars.

Notes: Rye seems to be a bit more bland than oats, so I would recommend possibly sweetening with some honey.   I made my own apple sauce for this too – apples & water only. It was enough as a sweetener for the oatmeal bars, but not this time.