Friday, February 11, 2011

Sweets for Your Sweet: Raspberry Oat Bars


Looking for a Valentine's Day dessert that is delectable, but also has nutritional value? Then this bar is for you. It can be dressed up for an elegant brunch or just packed up for a brown bag lunch.

My recipe is adapted from one in The Earth-Bound Cookbook. My changes make the bars a healthier treat: I cut the sugar significantly, replaced nearly half of the flour with almond meal (cutting carbs and boosting protein), and added some fruit and nuts. 

I also used a combination of butter and coconut oil, but this recipe is easily adapted. If you're a vegan, just use 12T of the coconut oil; if you don't have access to a health food store (where you can buy the oil) just use 1 and 1/2 sticks of butter. I also use organic ingredients, which is preferable but not a dealbreaker.

Ingredients 
yields 18 small bars
  • 1 stick butter + 4T extra virgin coconut oil, cut into small pieces
  • 2c old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 3/4c whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/2c almond meal (aka almond flour)
  • 1/3c packed light brown sugar
  • 1c 100% raspberry fruit spread
  • 1/2c frozen raspberries
  • 1t vanilla extract
  • 1/2c chopped walnuts or pecans
  • 3T flaxseed meal*
  • 2T brewer's yeast*
*These are optional, but are recommended as they add some omega-3 fats, protein, fiber and B vitamins. Flax, brewer's yeast and oats support a healthy milk supply, so these bars are an especially great treat for breastfeeding moms.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease an 8"-square baking pan (or use a silicone pan, as I did, and skip this step).

Put the jam, vanilla and fruit into a small saucepan. Simmer on low for about 7-10 minutes, stirring a couple of times until the fruit has broken down and is well combined with the jam. Remove from the heat and let cool until the mixture thickens.

Place the dry ingredients (except the walnuts) in a large bowl and stir to mix. Add the butter and coconut oil; use your fingers to blend until the mixture is crumbly and fully combined. Place half of the mixture into the baking pan and press it down in an even layer. Pour the fruit on top.


Spread over crust, leaving about 1/2" bare all the way around.

Add the walnuts to the rest of the oat mixture and spread around the pan, pressing to form an even layer. Bake until the edges are lightly browned, about 40 minutes.

Cool on a rack for at least 4 hours before attempting to cut into bars and remove from pan; they will fall apart otherwise. Even better, let them chill overnight in the fridge. Slice into 18 bars and enjoy!



These bars are delectable and rich, so savor them...and watch your portions!

19 comments:

  1. Glad you all liked them! Really appreciate your coming back to post a review :-)

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  2. One of my favorite FBS recipes. Rave reviews by all. I brought it to my friend when she had her second baby. Skinny girl gobbled it up in a day. My kids LOVE LOVE LOVED it too. Hmmm. Maybe I'll make one right now...

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  3. Thank you so much for trying them and for posting a review! Glad you liked them - best of luck with your pregnancy!

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  4. These bars are yummy!  I'm 29 weeks pregnant and have a sweet tooth but have been trying to cut back on sugar as much as I can during my pregnancy.  These bars definitely satisfied my sweet tooth, while being a healthy snack as well  :)  

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  5. could eat these every day. thanks FBS!

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  6. Thanks, Tom :-)

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  7. SOOOO good! I wanted to use what I had so I cooked down some organic frozen rhubarb and a quart of strawberries (with a touch of sugar and lemon juice to cut the tartness). I subbed about 1/3 cup of steel cut oats (because I love the crunch and flavor they add to oat recipes) and used all coconut oil. I also used pecans instead of almonds because it's what I had.. And to make it GF I subbed the wheat flour for coconut flour and a little tapioca flour.
    We managed to hold off for 2 hours while it sat in the fridge but after smelling the strawberry/rhubarb reduction cooking.. then the bars baking.. We couldn't resist and had to dig in before bed.. And I snuck to the kitchen for a bite when the baby got me up for a 3 am feed... And I had a big piece for breakfast!
    This is definitely going to be a staple in our house going forward!

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  8. *instead of walnuts.. not almonds.

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  9. I love the idea of strawberry rhubarb! Thank you so much for coming by to post a review and for all your substitution suggestions!

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  10. -your recipe was so yummy- easy to follow- with delicious results! The other recipe sounds good also. Grandmother loved rhubarb! Will try next.

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  11. I made these bars for my son's teachers (aka: the ladies I work with every day), and was told by my boss that they were the "most delicious thing" that she had ever eaten... EVER!  If that's not high praise, I don't know what is.  The added knowledge that they are pretty healthy for a treat sent her right over the edge!

    Not only were the bars tasty, they were very easy to assemble and bake.  I will definitely be adding this recipe to my favorites, and am keen to try it with different fruits (love the strawberry/rhubarb idea, too!).

    Keep 'em coming, ladies!

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  12. Wow, Rachel, that's an amazing review! Thank you so much for taking the time to come here and share it with us :-)

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  13. I hope you like them!

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  14. Raspberry Oat Bars and Cannoli Ice Cream?! I just died and went to heaven.

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  15. Don't you go anywhere!! ;-)

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  16. Hello, Can the flour in this recipe adapted to use Gluten free flour?


    Thanks

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  17. I have not tried it myself, but if you scroll down to Chelsie's comment below, you'll see she did make a GF version: "And to make it GF I subbed the wheat flour for coconut flour and a little tapioca flour."

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  18. Oh, looks SO yummy. Anything raspberry float my boat right night, especially since I found coconut yoghurt to go with... MMMmmmm

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