For when you need a quick + nutritious breakfast/snack

The fancy name for these is “no bake, three ingredient, gluten + dairy free protein bars”. But for me, these oat bars are simply a super quick, cheap + easy staple of my fridge. From breakfast-on-the-go to a mid-morning boost, these are delicious + keep me going. Even my three year old loves them + our cherished morning cuddles in bed now include milk for him, cup of tea for me + protein bar to share.

Makes 12

5 cups of oats
1 tub of peanut butter (I use crunchy for added texture; either type works)
200ml milk (as I’m lactose intolerant, I use Lactofree which works just fine)

There are many variants – you can add a sweetener (stevia or agave if you’re one of the cool kids), chocolate chips (delicious; less virtuous), chopped nuts/seeds, dried fruit – whatever you prefer.


Add the milk to the peanut butter + stir till it’s all mixed in.
Add the oats (I stir them in a cup at a time, it makes it easier to get all of the oats coated).
Spread in a baking tray in a layer approx. 2cm thick.
Chill overnight or for about 8 hours. (They would also taste delicious cooked, but ugh, effort)
Cut into slices.

How simple is that? This is also a great way to start getting kids into cooking. There’s lots of simple scooping, pouring + mixing. It’s one of the first recipes I started making with my son + as long as you’re prepared to sweep up all the spilled oats afterwards it’s fine!

You can make these oat bars very cheaply + also significantly cheaper than a certain brand of particularly crumbly oat bar. I keep costs down like this:

Oats – 750G bag of Tesco’s everyday value oats – 75p
Peanut butter – tub of Tesco’s value crunchy peanut butter – 62p
Lactofree milk is insanely expensive (1.35 for 1l in Tesco’s, working out as 27p for 200ml) but cow’s milk would obviously work out cheaper.
Still, that comes to approximately £1.26 for 12 bars. Bargain.

What do you like to add into your protein bars? Share any new ideas!

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For when you need a quick + nutritious breakfast

I’m coeliac and the quick breakfast options aren’t great – I haven’t found a gluten-free cereal or bread that I actually enjoy (apart from in the US; how I miss you, Rice Chex). So recently, thanks to my Mum treating me to a new food processor, I was inspired to give breakfast smoothies a go.

As usual, my main criteria are quick, easy, cheap and gluten/dairy free. I’m also highly unlikely to drink anything green, so I went down a more traditional route of berry oat smoothie.

1 banana
2 tbsp frozen berries
2 tbsp plain yoghurt (I use lactose free yoghurt)
1 tbsp linseed / flaxseed
Approx. 150 ml milk, depending on how thick you like your smoothies (again, I use lactose free milk)


Are you ready for this? Ok, here we go:

Put it all in the blender.

In order to save time in the morning, and possibly get an extra minute in bed (hahaha), I put all the ingredients in the blender – except the flax seed – the night before and store it in the fridge. In the morning I take it out, add the seeds, blend and I’m ready to go really quickly.

  • The reason I don’t add the seeds overnight is that they were congealing on the bottom of the blender overnight and just not mixing in when it came to blending time.
  • This is also a great recipe for getting kids involved. It’s easy to add the ingredients and now my son runs into the kitchen every morning just to turn the blender on. I wouldn’t have expected him to like this, but he loves a cup every morning too, and it’s a great source of nutrition for the both of us.

I’m still on the hunt for cheap frozen fruit, and when the pennies are tight I just add less – they pack a punch in terms of flavour any way. The fruit quota can easily be bulked out with tinned peaches, which are very cost-effective, and of course have delicious syrup that you can add.

You can also make cheap subs for the seeds. When I can’t stretch to flaxseed, I substitute oats. Another cheap (but gluten-containing) alternative is Weetabix (adding one biscuit will do).

Let me know any tweaks you’ve made and versions that have worked for you!

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