Good day, everyone. I hope that the new year finds you well. During this time of year I enjoy baking (even more than usual) and the lingering aroma of baked goods throughout the house. These oat bars make a great breakfast or snack. Plus, they are free from gluten, dairy and sugar, so many of your friends will be able to eat them!
I was inspired by Sweet as a Cookie’s version of Vegan Banana Strawberry Oatmeal Bars. I used the suggested ingredients except I substituted coconut palm sugar for the Stevia, used parchment paper instead of nonstick spray, and I doubled the recipe so that it would fit in my 9×13 pan.
You may find that these bars become one of your favorite comfort foods. Speaking of comfort foods, have you voted for your favorite comfort food? It just takes two clicks to cast your vote on sensitiveeconomist.com. Thanks!
2 bananas, mashed
2/3 cup natural applesauce (unsweetened)
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups quick oats
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/3 cup strawberries, diced
3 tbsp. coconut palm sugar, optional
Preheat oven to 350º F. Prepare an 9×13 pan by greasing with butter or covering with parchment paper; set aside. In a medium sized bowl combine bananas, applesauce, and vanilla extract. Once combined mix in baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon. Stir in oats until everything is well mixed. Add the strawberries to the mixture and combine. Pour mixture into the prepared pan and flatten evenly with a spatula. Sprinkle optional coconut palm sugar over unbaked bars. Bake for approximately 35 minutes or until golden brown. Cool for approximately 10 minutes. Cut into 10 evenly sized bars and enjoy!
I have been on a bit of a scone kick lately. It all started with the raisin millet scones, which have turned out to be a lovely snack at any time during the day or evening. When I saw this recipe for apple and oat scones in the February 2012 Martha Stewart Living magazine, I became inspired and decided to add them to my repertoire.
The next morning I took out my mixing bowl and ingredients. Since I did not have any apples I used pears instead. In order to eliminate the brown sugar and turbinado sugar, I added maple syrup and maple sugar to retain the sweetness. I shortened a few of the steps (I did not rotate the baking sheet while cooking or flatten the dough into disks as suggested in the original recipe). The result is a sweet and chewy treat that is delicious with a cup of tea. I also discovered the beauty of parchment paper – it makes baking sheet cleanup a breeze. Enjoy these scones with pears or apples, or perhaps a combination of the two!
1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling
1 1/3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats, plus more for topping
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 sticks cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 1/2 cups diced pears (cut into 1/4-inch cubes)
2/3 cup cold buttermilk (or 2/3 cup milk plus 1 teaspoon lemon juice)
Maple sugar, for sprinkling
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Whisk together flour, oats, maple syrup, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Cut in butter with two knives (or rub in with your fingers). The batter will resemble crumbs. Add pears and buttermilk (or milk plus lemon juice), stirring until dough just comes together.
Turn out dough onto a lightly floured work surface. Pat dough into a 6-by-8-inch rectangle, and cut into twelve 2-by-2-inch squares with a floured knife. Place about 2 inches apart on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Sprinkle with maple sugar and oats. Bake until golden brown, 20 to 22 minutes. Let cool on sheets for 15 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.
I am sharing this recipe with Simply Sugar and Gluten Free, Miz Helen’s Country Cottage, Something Swanky, Food Trip Friday, Cybele Pascal Allergen-Free Cuisine and Sweet as Sugar Cookies.
As you can probably tell from previous posts, I am a fan of oatmeal. However, this food never rated high on my list until quite recently. I grew up eating toast with butter and jam so when I found out I had sensitivities to yeast and cane sugar I needed a new breakfast habit. My friend, MaryAnn, knew of my dilemma and scoured her recipe files for a yeast-free, sugar-free bread. The next day a fresh loaf was waiting for me along with the recipe. It is really tasty plain as well as toasted with butter and sugar-free jam, plus it has the health benefits of the oats. Since then I have made this bread a number of times and always think back in gratitude to that day I found the prepared loaf waiting for me. It is really comforting to have the support of others when trying something new and challenging like revamping one’s diet. I hope that you enjoy making this bread too, and if you feel thankful for something while baking it, all the better!
Oatmeal Bread* Ingredients:
3 cups whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup oats
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbs honey
1 1/2 tbs butter, softened
2 cups milk (any type)
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. Combine all dry ingredients, then mix in butter with a fork.
3. Add milk and honey until well combined.
4. Pour mixture into a greased loaf pan. Make a cross-cross with a knife on top. Bake for 45-50 minutes.
*Other options include: adding nuts, seeds, raisins, herbs or spices; using different flour types like spelt; substituting yogurt or seltzer water for the milk for a lighter consistency; and substituting canola oil for butter.