Fruit and Oatmeal Bars

When I bake for my son, I’m always thinking of how I can boost the nutrition and also create something that feels like a delicious treat.  These fruit bars are sweet and rich and pack a decent amount of nutrition too.  There are some oats, whole wheat flour, and  almond meal and egg for protein as well as fruit!  This is good enough for breakfast and sweet enough for dessert.  I also love the simplicity of a recipe that does not require a separate mixture for the crust and topping.

Fruit and Oatmeal Bars

1 cup rolled oats

1/4 cup whole wheat flour

1/2 cup all purpose flour

1/4 cup almond flour

1/3 cup brown sugar

1 teaspoon salt

1 stick butter – cut into cubes

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 egg

1 Tablespoon cold water

For the filling:

3/4 cups fruit preserves

1/2 cup fruit

1/2 lemon or lime, juiced

Preheat the oven to 375 and prepare 8 inch square pan for baking.

Mix 3/4 cup oats, all the flour, sugar, and salt.  Add the butter and mix with a pastry cutter, fork, or by squeezing with the fingertips.  Work this mixture until the butter is evenly distributed.  Mix the egg, water and vanilla in a small bowl, then add to the dry ingredients and mix until it will stick together in clumps and everything is moistened.  Divide this mixture in half.

Press half the dough into the pan, making it as even as possible.  Bake this crust for 12 minutes.

Meanwhile, add the remaining 1/4 cup oats to the remaining dough.  Stir together the fruit, preserves and lemon juice in a separate bowl.

Remove the crust from the oven and spread the fruit mixture on top.  Pinch the remaining dough between your hands in clumps to flatten it out and place all over the fruit filling.

Place in 375 degree oven and turn down to 350.  Bake for 18-20 minutes.  Serve warm or at room temperature.

I used blueberries and strawberry jam.  These bars are super yummy, or as my husband would say, freakin’ good!!

Easy Fruit Bars

I’ve tried many fruit bar recipes over the years and they’re all good.  However, the recipes I return to are the easiest to assemble.  This is a perfect recipe for yummy snack bars because the bottom crust and the top crumble are the same.  There’s no need to get out another bowl and mix up a separate topping.  This particular recipe also makes the filling quick and simple by using fruit jam mixed with fresh or frozen fruit.  It gets bonus points for using rolled oats, which means it’s totally fine to have for breakfast.  20170204_102858You can make these bars with any fruit and jam or preserves that you have on hand.  I had strawberries in the freezer and a fresh meyer lemon, so I used those.  I used a rectangular pan and the bars were too thin.  Use a square pan for thicker, sturdier bars.  I really love the toasty, buttery crust and the zing of the lemon with strawberries.  This recipe is easy and satisfying.

Easy Fruit Bars

For the crust:

1 cup rolled oats (plus 1/4 cup for the topping)20170204_103536

3/4 cup all purpose flour

1/3 cup brown sugar

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter – cold and cut into cubes

4 Tablespoons cold water (or maybe more)

zest of one lemon, lime, or orange – optional but yummy!

For the filling:

6 ounces preserves or jam

juice from half a lemon (you could use lime or orange juice)

1/2 cup fresh or frozen fruit chopped into bitesize

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Place the dry ingredients in food processor and pulse a few times to combine.  Add butter and pulse about 10 times.  Add the cold water and lemon zest and pulse to combine.  Take the top off the food processor and check your progress.  The dough should be crumbly but hold together when pinched.  Add more cold water if needed.

Press a little more than half this dough in to a square pan and bake for about 12 minutes.

Add 1/4 cup rolled oats to the remaining dough mixture and save for the topping.

Take the pan out of the oven and spread the jam on top, then the fruit and sprinkle the lemon juice all over.  You could mix this stuff up in a separate bowl first, but why bother?  Crumble the remaining crust mixture on top and bake until golden brown and bubbly, about 20 minutes.  Let cool before attempting to slice.20170204_115135