Oatmeal On The Go Bars
I saw these homemade Oatmeal Bars at the pre-school where I work. A mom of a 3 year-old boy sends him to school with the most interesting and beautifully prepared lunches. She was nice enough to share this healthy recipe. I have to admit that substituting applesauce for sugar is not something I usually do, but these bars get their sweetness from the dried fruit. To up the sweet-factor, I may add chocolate chips next time. Did I hear you say that chocolate chips negate the healthy factor? To that I say, “Whatever works, hon!” To get my daughters to drink milk, I added chocolate syrup and called it “Cookie Juice.”
2 cups old fashioned oats
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
pinch of salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 cup milk (any kind of milk–rice, almond, soy, cow’s)
3 Tablespoons honey
1/2 cup applesauce
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup dried fruit (cranberries, raisins, blueberries, cherries, chopped up apricots–whatever you like)
1/2 cup chopped nuts (walnuts, sunflower seeds, pecans)
optional: chocolate chips
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. Combine first 5 dry ingredients in a bowl and stir.
3. Mix the milk, applesauce, egg, honey, and vanilla in a separate bowl.
4. Pour the dry ingredients into the wet mixture, stir to combine and then stir in the dried fruit and nuts.
5. Pour the oatmeal mixture into a buttered or greased 7 x 11 baking dish. (I don’t own a 7 x 11 baking dish, so I used a 9 x 11. The result was a bar not at tall as the ones I originally saw.)
6. Bake for 30 minutes or until thickened and golden.
7. Cool, then cut into squared and serve.
*Oatmeal Bars may be frozen in a sealed bag in the freezer for up to 4 months. When ready, allow to defrost in fridge for 24-48 hours.
*Refrigerated Oatmeal Bars will last up to 5 days.