Oats are a great cholesterol-reducing food, so I try to eat them every day. I always used to associate oats with porridge and oatcakes, but I’m starting to discover more interesting ways to incorporate them into my daily diet, like these chocolate oaties.
I’ve always loved chocolate covered raisins, so decided to try combining them with oats to make a tasty cholesterol-friendly snack. Raisins contain dietary fibre, which can help to reduce cholesterol, so they are a great natural cholesterol-friendly sweetener.
Research has shown than dark chocolate can also help to lower bad cholesterol, as well as increasing good cholesterol. But it’s high in sugar and fat, so should still be eaten in moderation. That’s why I like these oaties, as each one contains a small amount of chocolate, and you’re getting all the extra cholesterol-reducing benefits of the oats and raisins.
- Makes 12 oaties
- Preparation time: 15 mins
- Cooking time: 15 mins + cooling time
- Difficulty: Easy
- 2 cups rolled oats
- Olive oil spray
- 100g dark chocolate (70% cocoa or higher)
- 1 cup raisins
- 1.5 tsp honey
- 12 baking cases
- Preheat oven to 180*C (160*C for fan ovens).
- Line a large baking tray or roasting dish with baking paper.
- Pour the oats onto the baking paper, and spread evenly across the tray.
- Spray the oats with olive oil (about 10 sprays).
- Put the tray in the oven on the middle shelf and cook for 5 minutes.
- When the 5 minutes are up, remove the tray from the oven, give the oats a stir, then spray with more oil to coat as many as possible (about 10 sprays).
- Place the tray back in the oven and cook for a further 5 minutes.
- While the oats are toasting, break the chocolate bar into small pieces.
- Pour some water (to about 2cm depth) into a medium sized saucepan and bring it to a simmer over a low heat.
- Put the chocolate pieces in a heat-resistant mixing bowl, then place the bowl on top of the saucepan. Stir every so often until the chocolate has melted.
- Once the chocolate has melted, turn the heat off, then take the mixing bowl off the saucepan, and place on a heatproof mat.
- Add the oats, raisins and honey to the chocolate and mix thoroughly to coat the oats with chocolate.
- Once the mixture has cooled, divide the mixture across the 12 baking cases, spooning it in, then pressing down the top of the mixture with the back of the spoon to compress it as much as possible.
- Place the oaties on a plate or board and put in the fridge to harden.