Friday, February 22, 2013

Oatmeal Strawberry Bars

My kids love Nutri Grain cereal and since we are trying to cut out processed foods, I went looking for a new recipe that would replace them. So I found these Oatmeal Blueberry Bars by accident on Disney Family's website. Since we don't really have blueberries in our house I decided to use the strawberry jam I had in the fridge. I also used half dark/half light brown sugar and wheat flour. Besides that I pretty much followed the recipe.
They were actually really easy to make. Though in my oven they didn't need to cook for the full time. I would recommend checking on them at about 30-35 mins into cooking so they don't over cook. Also the oatmeal mixture is very sticky. I put my hand inside a twist tie plastic bag so pat down the bottom.

Oatmeal Strawberrry Bars
-2 cups rolled oats
-1 cup whole wheat flour
-1 cup all purpose flour
-1 teaspoon baking powder
-1 teaspoon baking soda
-1/2 teaspoon salt
-1 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
-6 tablespoons cold butter
-3/4 cup skim milk
-1 tablespoon lemon juice
-2 teaspoons vanilla extract
-1 1/2 cup Strawberry Jam
Preheat the oven to 350 F. Spray a 9x13-inch baking pan with 2-inch sides with cooking spray and set aside.
In a large bowl, mix together oatmeal, flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt and brown sugar. Using the large holes on a box grater, grate the butter and add it to the oatmeal mixture.
Using your fingers or two knives, combine the oatmeal mixture with the butter until it forms pea-size chunks.
Pour the milk into a small bowl. Add the lemon juice to the milk and stir to combine. Add the vanilla and mix well.
Pour the milk mixture into the oatmeal mixture and stir with a fork until all the dough is evenly moistened. It will have the consistency of cookie dough.
Press just over half of the dough evenly over the bottom of the prepared pan, using a sheet of plastic wrap so it doesn't stick to your hands. Spread the blueberry preserves evenly over that, then crumble the remaining dough over the blueberry preserves. Some of the jam will be visible through the topping.
Bake for 45-50 minutes, or until topping is golden brown. Cool completely in the pan, and then cut into whatever size bars work for you. Wrap bars in plastic, seal in a zip-top bag and freeze for longer storage. Otherwise, eat within 2-3 days.

I dont have any pictures of them in the pan because I finished cooking them so late.

This is the size I cut my bars into and I wrapped them in plastic wrap.
Then I put them all into a freezer bag and stuck them into the freezer for when we want them. I gave some to the boys this morning for a snack and 15 seconds in the microwave thawed them out enough to eat them. The verdict is that the boys all love them. They are a little sticky and fall apart some but it seems all cereal bars do. I am planning on using these if we go somewhere and need a snack. They would thaw by the time to eat them.

Outside references: Oatmeal blueberry barsDisney Family

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