For a while we have been cutting out disposable, non-recyclable plastic from our lives, and at the same time, trying to make more and more of our basics. We outsource so much these days! food, materials, production, education, entertainment, childcare - on and on.
This is part of my attempt to bring more of production and creation back into our domain - to insource.
So - Museli bars here in Australia are [a] high in sugar and fats, [b] small, and [c] expensive. I already make my own muesli, so why not go a step further... Of course, you can make bars in a cake tin, that you then cut to shape, but my experience is that they are uneven, poorly adhered, look daggy and require a lot of sugary, buttery bonding materials.
We need to be able to make our own stuff easily, quickly, and healthily - otherwise it remains simply a novelty activity, and we will return to buying stuff from the the supermarkets. I want this stuff to be mainstreamed....
So: here's the instructable. Making the moulds is the first part; once you have done that, you can make the muesli bars (part 2) in under 5 minutes. Easy peasy.
Step 1: Making the moulds
If you want to make good muesli bars, that the kids can take to school and eat and be proud of, you need a decent mould. Lots of shapes will do as moulds, as long as they are flexible to get the finished bar out of.
I like working with Pinky Sil, so I used that to make some moulds. I cut the template from wood, and used a laminate trimmer to engrave it with 'YUM'. This doesn't show up on the muesli bars, but if you make chocolate backed muesli bars, it shows up wonderfully. Just a cute touch for the eater...
Cut the templates the same size as ordinary shop-bought bars - maybe 3cmx 10cm by 1cm. Or whatever size fits your kids lunch boxes.
Make the formwork for the moulds - I used off cuts of plastic, wood and steel rulers. Anything will do, but bear in mind that the wooden templates will float up in the uncured silicon, and that the silicon is initially a liquid, and will leak out of small holes or interstices...so glue down your templates, and ensure a tight formwork.