Oatmeal & Apricot Bars

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I just ate the last of these oatmeal and apricot bars and already want to make another batch. They’re as belly-filling as a bowl of oatmeal but are so convenient for eating on the go. What a great recipe idea!

These bars have the texture of a thick bowl of oatmeal, and the add-ins float to the top during baking to simulate the toppings. You can eat these cold, but they’re much better when reheated in the microwave for about 30 seconds.

Some sort of savory add-in is key to making these bars interesting. I hear flax is very healthy, but I didn’t have any. I’m going to stick with the black sesame seeds; I don’t have enough uses for this huge jar that’s left over from sushi making.

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I eyed this recipe originally as a dessert, and I would serve it that way, but you’d need to make it sweeter (at least for my sweet tooth). A scoop of vanilla nonfat frozen yogurt or a smear of pear butter would do the trick. You could also add more sugar before baking.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1-1/2 cups rolled oats (gluten-free if desired)
  • 1/2 cup raw almonds, rough chopped
  • 1/2 cup dried Turkish apricots (preservative-free), chopped
  • 1 tbsp black or toasted white sesame seeds
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 1/4 cups plain soy milk

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DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl, combine oats, almonds, apricots, sesame seeds, brown sugar, salt, cinnamon, and ginger.
  3. Lightly beat egg whites and vanilla. Add to the dry ingredients with milk, and mix well.
  4. Spray an 8 x 8 baking dish with cooking spray, and pour the mixture into it. Use a spatula to distribute the oats and almonds evenly into the corners.
  5. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes our clean. Cool completely then cut into bars. Refrigerate for a week, or freeze individually and defrost for a quick snack.

Serves 8. Active time 10 minutes; total time 40 minutes. Adapted from http://iowagirleats.com/2013/08/16/baked-blueberry-almond-oatmeal-bars/

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