Apricot and walnut sandwich bars (Mary Berry recipe)

Hello,

Some of you might know that I absolutely love baking. It is one of my favourite things to do but unfortunately anorexia has taken it away from me as my mum was getting a bit frustrated when I used to bake all of the time but I wouldn’t eat any myself. I remember when I was in hospital, every Friday was baking day and I would make chocolate brownies and biscuits etc and I would give them to my family and all of the other patients and staff. It was like no one expected me to eat any of what I had created. None of the staff said anything so I just kept baking and giving it all away. But then when I came home I WANT to eat my baked goods so I stopped baking from fear of having to eat it because I have made a pact with myself if I bake then I MUST eat it. And then at the weekend I hadn’t baked in months so I thought it was the perfect opportunity to bake something and eat it. I made these apricot and walnut bars from Mary Berry and they are so delicious. They felt wasier for me because they have oats and wholemeal flour and walnuts in but they still have their fair share of ingredients which my eating disorder would make me cry and run from. So I thought I would share this recipe with you. And of course it is Mary Berry so it has GOT to be good right? 😉

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Apricot and walnut sandwich bars

Ingredients:

  • 50g rolled oats
  • 50g light muscovado sugar
  • 40g chopped walnuts
  • 200g wholemeal self raising flour OR plain wholemeal flour with 2tsp baking powder
  • 175g butter, melted
  • 175g dried apricots, chopped into small pieces
  • 50ml water
  • 2tbsp caster sugar
  • grated rind of 1 lemon

What to do:

  1. Pre heat your oven to 130 degrees (fan) or 150 degrees and then grease and line a 18cm square tin with baking parchment. Begin by making the apricot filling. Place the apricots, water, sugar and lemon rind into a small saucepan. cover and simmer gently until all of the liquid has evaporated. Remove from the heat and allow to cool while you prepare the oat mixture.
  2. Mix together the oats, flour, sugar and walnuts in a bowl. Pour in the melted butter and mix well.
  3. Press half of the oat mixture into the tin and press down evenly. Spread the apricot mixture evenly on top and then top with the rest of the oat mixture evenly.
  4. Bake in the oven for around 45 minutes. I got nine squares out of my mixture and when still hot cut gently through the mixture to score out nine squares and then leave to go completely cold before completely cutting the bars and lifting them out of the tin.

Enjoy 🙂

A bit about my week

Hello,

I hope you are all well and I hope you have had a lovely week. It’s the weekend now which means we can all slow down a bit and I give permission for you to have a break and relax this weekend. I guess a lot of things have happened since last week when I last wrote a blog post so I shall start with last weekend when it was my nanas 80th birthday party and on Saturday morning I travelled up there with my parents because it takes 5-6 hours to get there and my sisters went the day before so they could help with the party preparations etc. On Sunday evening it was my nanas actual party but on Saturday evening it was still a huge challenge for me. We had dinner with the German side of my family because we just haven’t seen them in so many years and it was nice to catch up. I find the socialising part so difficult in itself because it has been so many years since I have seen my German cousins so that is one challenge. And then the next challenge was actually eating in front of them and at first I got so anxious and upset because I would say no when I was offered a drink but they kept going on and on and wouldn’t take no for an answer so that upset me a little.
So the second challenge was to actually eat in front of everyone and I think a lot of people recovering from eating disorders find this bit hard and I know I do because I think people are going to be staring at me and thinking nasty things about me. The more likely thing is that they would probably be too engrossed in their own food to even notice. And then the last challenge was eating a Chinese takeaway (!!!!!!!) Oh my I haven’t had a takeaway in over six years. It was scary and uncomfortable but I did it and I came out the other side and I am not ashamed to admit I am actually a bit proud of myself.
So then the next day on Sunday we spent most of the day preparing the food for the party. The actual party was with all of the family and some of my nanas friends as well. I think the most difficult part was the socialising. I just kind of felt out of place and I didn’t know what to say or how to act. I didn’t really feel like I belonged at all. And then that’s sort of how my week turned from bad to worse because I started listening to all of the thoughts again. I listened to my eating disorder and I obeyed but starting from Wednesday I have been trying my absolute hardest to follow my meal plan again.
Yesterday was also a huge challenge for me because I had to go out to lunch with my community nurse. It was scary for me and it’s hard for me because she barely knows anything about eating disorders. She had a training course a few weeks ago and she likes to tell me things that aren’t even relevant. Like I said once that I am worried about putting weight on quickly and she said when you are at such a low weight, the dieticians increase your meal plan gradually so you don’t get refeeding syndrome. And it’s like that has got nothing to do with what I said she just likes showing off.  It frustrates me because she goes on about eating disorders being secretive and then I ask her not not be weighed and she is fine with it. I know I should be more angry at myself for doing what my eating disorder wants be I WANT them to stop me when I can’t stop myself.
Anyway, by the time I got there I was so anxious and I wasn’t hungry one bit. I said to her I don’t want anything because I am not hungry and then she said oh okay then well do you mind if I get something then? I don’t know, I feel like I ask too much just for these people to support me. I want them to help me but they don’t they just sit there while I have a battle against myself and it’s just unpleasant. In the end I did order a sandwich and it was actually really tasty and that is all that matters I have decided. Not that my nurse just had a salad and I could have gotten away with not having anything. I stood up to the bully in my head and I ate.
And then today has been quite a busy day and I have really enjoyed it actually. I went to my volunteering this morning which I go to every Friday morning. I help out in a charity shop and I really like it because it helps me a lot with my social skills and that is the area that I need to improve on a lot. And then after the charity shop I came home and had lunch and then I painted my nails this lovely coral sort of colour:

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I then relaxed a little this afternoon and ate my amazing afternoon snack of course which I wanted to talk to you about.

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I just love eat natural bars SO much and if you live in the UK, like fruit and nuts bars, like chocolate then you will love these as well. I always have my cupboard stocked with them because they are my favourite go to snack. I like how they are really balanced with a little bit of fruit, protein, important fats and then the chocolate which is needed to balance it out. I think this one here along with the cashew and blueberry yogurt coated ones are my favourite. So yes, if you haven’t tried these already then I would highly recommend you trying them! I hope you all have a lovely evening and I shall be bak with another post very soon

Meal plan.

I feel the need to document this because I feel like the fattest person ever to have come on this earth. So here goes.

Breakfast: 40g porridge oats with 120ml of soy milk and a tsp of honey, grapes.

Snack: Soreen banana lunchbox loaf.

Lunch: 50g couscous with 1/2 jar of chargrilled vegetable sauce and 70g quorn chicken pieces.

Snack: Large banana.

Dinner: Two slices wholemeal toast spread with 2tbsp peanut butter, nectarine and raspberry yogurt.

Snack: Graze black pepper popcorn.

And I was going to have more to get me to at least near my calories but this popcorn has outdone me. There was literally SO much of it and I seriously don’t think I can fit another thing in me. What the hell is wrong with me? Im horrible 😥

What do I eat?

Hi!

I am rather nosey myself and love seeing what other people eat so I thought I would share some of the things I have eaten recently! This won’t be a full day or anything, it will just be random meals from any day but I think I am going to participate in next weeks WIAW 😀 I have been on a real cooking kick lately so I have been cooking a lot of my dinners so I will show lots of those.

So firstly breakfast pictures:

Weetabix with a sliced banana and milk.

Weetabix with a sliced banana and milk.

So my most common breakfast is some type of cereal with milk and a banana. I absolutely love Weetabix and also sultana bran is a favourite as well. I also love anything and everything to do with peanut butter. Crumpets are the best things ever:

Crumpet spread with peanut butter and a banana.

Crumpet spread with peanut butter and a banana.

I have been experimenting a lot with my breakfasts recently as they are all a bit samey so I came up with this a few weeks ago:

Apple and cinnamon overnight oats.

Apple and cinnamon overnight oats.

This was my first time making overnight oats and I topped it off with peanut butter. I did like it but I am still searching for my perfect breakfast! I know breakfast is a lot of peoples favourite meal but for some reason I don’t really like eating in the mornings so I just like to grab something quick.

Now for lunch. My lunches vary a lot which I love.

Baked beans on toast.

Baked beans on toast.

One of my favourite lunches at the moment has got to be baked beans on toast. I have that one a lot 😀 Another lunch I have quite a lot is soup:

Homemade spiced carrot soup.

Homemade spiced carrot soup.

I made this one out of a book that only has vegetarian soups in and it was really nice. Im really trying to make my own food now as cooking is such a hobby of mine. It has its downsides now as I do get VERY obsessed.

Mediteranian herb wrap with onion and chive cottage cheese, sweetcorn and quorn ham.

Mediteranian herb wrap with onion and chive cottage cheese, sweetcorn and quorn ham.

This is a lunch that I have just come up with recently. It is so nice and I have forgotten how much I love wraps so I will definitely be having more of them in the future!

And now for some dinners:

Homemade quorn shepards pie with sliced tomatoes.

Homemade quorn shepards pie with sliced tomatoes.

I have this dinner quite a lot and it’s probably one of my favourites. We have a quorn book in my house and it has recipes using all the quorn products so that is where I got this from. And I like it because the mashed potato has parsnip in with is so it gives it a nice taste.

Homemade bean and pepper stew with couscous.

Homemade bean and pepper stew with couscous.

This is one of my new recipes that I have tried out. I have recently bought a vegetarian cookbook and it’s great because all the recipes are under half an hour and there are variations for each one for ten minutes, 20 minutes and thirty minutes. I really liked this stew and it is definitely one I will be making again.

 

Homemade sweet potato curry on chapatti.

Homemade sweet potato curry on chapatti.

My last dinner is another recent recipe find. I loved this and I absolutely love chapatti- I have every curry with them.

And of course there has been some snacking going on:

Hot cross bun loaf spread with peanut butter.

Hot cross bun loaf spread with peanut butter.

Hot cross bun with spread and a hot chocolate.

Hot cross bun with spread and a hot chocolate.

 

Cadbury's mini egg nest cake.

Cadbury’s mini egg nest cake.

So that is about all what I eat. I am rying my hardest not to stick to being “healthy” all the time. I am still recovering and I must be okay eating a few “treats” once in a while. I do find it tricky, especially right now but it’s all part of recovery!