Thursday, June 11, 2015

Strawberry Rhubarb Oatmeal Bars

One of the highlights of the bike ride we did last weekend was the homemade food at the stops along the way. Everything was completely home baked and absolutely amazing.

My husband doesn't have much of a sweet tooth, but he was raving about the oatmeal cranberry bars all the way down the hill. We just had to ask for the recipe, and the gal was thrilled to oblige! The catch though was that it was hastily scribbled notes on a sheet of paper. Don't those end up being the best recipes?

My neighbor has an abundance of rhubarb in her yard, so instead of cranberry, I thought I'd attempt these with strawberry and rhubarb.

It's a winner. The tartness of the fruit with the salty-sweet oatmeal mixture is so good.

Here is my adaption. It's a two part recipe, which doesn't make it as "practical", but I do prefer to make everything from scratch as much as possible. You could easily substitute with a can of whole berry cranberry sauce if that's easier for you.

In an effort to keep it a bit more "healthy", I did use half the sugar, and it was organic sugar (sugar is sugar, but this is less refined). You can also just sub brown sugar for the sugar & molasses.

Some might consider this a dessert, but you can eat for breakfast. I won't judge. However, ice cream.

Also to note - the sauce recipe makes far more than needed, but once you realize how much you've eaten right out of the bowl, it's just about right. Or, you could save it to add to oatmeal, yogurt, etc.

Strawberry Rhubarb Oatmeal Bars

- 4 cups diced strawberries
  Tip: if you can't find/afford organic, add 1/2 - 1 C. vinegar to sink and fill with water until
   strawberries are covered. Soak for about 5-10 minutes to remove pesticide residue.
- 4 cups diced rhubarb
- 1 lemon, juiced
   or 2 drops Lemon Essential Oil, because you forgot to buy a lemon
- 1/2 C. sugar, add more if you prefer
- 1/4 C. water

1. Combine all ingredients in a medium sized sauce pan.
2. Bring to a boil and let it cook on low to medium heat for about 30-45 minutes, cook less or longer depending on how thick you want it. (recommend thicker for this recipe)
3. Allow to cool prior to using in next steps

Oatmeal Bars
- 2 C. old fashioned rolled oats
- 2 C. white whole wheat flour (regular white is fine, too)
- 1/2 C. sugar
- 1 Tbl molasses
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 C. cold (salted) butter, broken into pieces
- 1 3/4 C. strawberry-rhubarb sauce

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a 13x9 pan
2. Mix dry ingredients
3. Drizzle molasses and fold in
4. Use fingers or a pastry blender to mix in butter until it resembles coarse meal and holds together when squeezed
5. Spread 3/4 of mix in pan and pat down firmly
6. Cover with sauce, spreading evenly
7. Sprinkle remaining oat mixture on top of sauce
8. Bake 20-25 minutes, then allow to cool on rack

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