Apricot and Date Snack Bars


This recipe comes from Feed a Family of 6 for Under $20 by Jas McFee, a South Auckland mum with five kids. Keen to help other families who are struggling to make ends meet, she started a Facebook page in which she shared her recipes. After one year there were 66,000 followers. The cookbook came next. It is full of easy and budget -friendly recipes for dinners, desserts and baking as well as lots of good tips on how to cut down on your food bills.

The great thing about these bars is that you can adapt them to use whatever different flavours you have at home. They cost about 35 cents a bar to make – much cheaper than a box of muesli bars.

Makes 20 bars


1 cup rolled oats
1 cup rice bubbles
¼ cup dried apricots, chopped
 ¼ cup dates, chopped
50g butter or ½ cup canola oil
 ¼ cup sugar (white or brown)
¼ cup golden syrup or honey
pinch of cinnamon or 1 tsp vanilla essence (optional)
½ x 375g bag white chocolate buttons (optional)


1. Preheat oven to 180°C. Line a 40cm x 30cm slice tin with baking paper.

2. Mix oats, rice bubbles, apricots and dates in a bowl.

3. Heat butter or oil, sugar and golden syrup or honey in a pot, then simmer for 5 minutes.

4. Add cinnamon or vanilla (if using) and dry ingredients and mix well. If it looks too dry add a little more butter or oil.

5. Press slice mixture into tin.

6. Bake until golden brown, approximately 15 minutes. Set aside in the tin to cool slightly before tipping out and slicing.

7. Melt chocolate in a heatproof bowl over boiling water and drizzle over, or leave as they are.


What I spent:

Rolled oats - $1.00
Rice bubbles- $0.50
Dried apricots - $1.00
Dates - $1.00
Butter or oil - $0.50
Sugar - $0.30
Golden syrup or honey - $1.00
Cinnamon or vanilla essence - $0.20
Chocolate buttons - $1.50

TOTAL: $7.00


Reproduced with permission from Feed a Family of Six for Under $20 by Jas McPhee. Published by Penguin Group NZ. RRP $19.99. Copyright © text Jasmine McPhee, 2014 Copyright © food images Vance McPhee, 2014. Available nationwide