in the afternoon, after trying to have a healthy breakfast, a banana as a snack, a salad for lunch (you get the picture) - i'm ready for something sweet. but in attempt to still be healthy, i've been visiting pret for their berry bites - made of mostly natural sugar, oats and whole wheat flour, and it's delicious and sweet. but, i figured, why buy them when you can make them? using a combination of this recipe and the ingredients listed on the back of the berry bite, i made my own oat bars. as you can see, i subbed whole wheat flour for normal flour, included chia seeds (more on that later), and used a combination of half raspberry jam and half blackberry jam. i didn't add any cinnamon this time around, but i think a teaspoon or two might find it's way into my next batch.
the first step is to mix the dry ingredients. as i was experimenting with the addition of chia seeds, i added about half a tablespoon of seeds to the dry mixture. the ny times had a good article about the benefits of chia seeds and how easy it is to incorporate them into other foods, inspiring me to add them to these oat bars. the addition of chia seeds to this recipe didn't change any of the texture, and if i can get omega-3 fatty acids while eating a sweet treat instead of fish, i'll take it.
after mixing the dry ingredients, cut up the room-temperature stick of butter into the mixture. from there, i used a combination of my pastry blender and my hands to blend the mixture together. if you don't have a pastry blender, cut your stick of butter into (very) little cubes, and use a combination of a fork and your hands to blend the mixture.
once blended, press two cups of the mixture into a greased pan - that should leave enough of the mix to sprinkle over the jam layer. in my jam layer i added another half tablespoon of chia seeds, and used a combination of sugar-free raspberry and blackberry jam. again - the chia seeds went unnoticeable.
after they were baked and cooled, i cut them into little, portion-friendly squares. perfect for an afternoon snack.
enjoy! and if you can think of any other nutritious additions to this recipe, definitely let me know.