There's no snack quite as handy (or as tasty, in my opinion) as the cereal bar. A little bit of fruit, a little bit of oats...what could possibly be wrong with that?
Nothing...until you look at the list of ingredients on the store-bought brands and realize you can't pronounce half of them! I love the convenience, but not all the additives and preservatives. And in our house, we have the extra concern of food allergies, which rules out almost any prepackaged variety of cereal bar.
So I went searching for a homemade replacement, and I found one! These Fruit & Oatmeal Bars make a fabulous grab-and-go breakfast for hectic school mornings or a healthy after-school snack. Plus, they are easy to make, which is nice because they don't stick around very long!
Fruit and Oatmeal Bars
2 cups oats
½ cup whole wheat flour
¾ cup all-purpose flour
½ cup sugar
½ teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
¾ cup butter (or alternative for diary allergies)
1 cup of your favorite preserves
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Spray a 9 x 13 pan with nonstick cooking spray or grease with butter.
Mix flour, oats, sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, salt, and vanilla. Stir together.
Cut the butter into the dry mixture until it resembles course meal
and is no longer powdery. Bits of butter will still be visible.
Press ¾ of the mixture into pan and bake until browned (about 13-15 minutes).
Remove from oven and spread preserves over the partially baked oat layer.
(I used strawberry, but blueberry and blackberry are also very good!)
Sprinkle the remaining oat mixture over the top.
Bake until topping is slightly browned (about 20 minutes).
Allow to cool.
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