Thursday, March 7, 2013

on jammy oat bars.

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.

14 comments:

  1. Well, this looks great. Might have to make these as a snack, too. Raspberry jam is my jam (if you know what I'm saying).

    A technical question: when you put your ingredients on that cutting board is it hard to get them off? I've been wondering that for MONTHS so any insight you have would be mid blowing, I'm sure.

    ;)

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    1. um i love your jam pun. a lot.

      and i appreciate your scintillating question about my board! haha. the answer is no, not hard to clean - i either use the ingredients (like the butter), or brush them off and then spray with a vinegar-water mixture. i only use vinegar-water to clean my kitchen (for many reasons, it's the old chemist in me) and vinegar is suitable to clean wooden cutting boards. so i spray that on and wipe off with a paper towel. you can read more here: http://www.rd.com/food/recipes-cooking/6-effective-ways-to-clean-cutting-boards/. and if you get a spray bottle from target or cvs or something, fill it with a mixture of 1/4 or 1/2 of vinegar to water and use it to clean your kitchen or cutting boards. i highly recommend - economical, clean, safe and green!

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    2. thanks for sharing your kitchen cleaning tips! i am always nervous about getting stuff stuck on my wooden cutting boards. and i've never tried cleaning my kitchen with vinegar/water mixture but it does sound cheap and safe! does the vinegar scent get too strong? side note: have you heard of norwex cleaning supplies?

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    3. i don't think it smells too vinegary at all - when you spray it and are wiping it you can smell vinegar, but there is never a vinegar smell left behind. so once it's all wiped up and your counters are clean = no vinegar smell left behind. i hadn't heard of nrwex but i went to check it out - it sounds intriguing! i think trader joe's sells a version of their e-cloth. have you used their products? any feedback?

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  2. Um give me one? And those MEASURING CUPS! I die. Anthro?

    And your ingredient photos are my favesies.

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    1. yes! they were on sale and i couldn't resist. i'm sure i'll break them at one point but oh well, i love them.

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  3. my mom used to make these bars when we were growing up! i know for a fact she did not include the chia seeds, but this healthy version is probably just as tasty. i keep hearing about chia seeds on like every blog and in every magazine, but haven't bought any yet. where did you get yours? i'm nervous to add them to things because i'm super picky about weird textures, but if you can't tell they're in these bars that might be a good place for me to start.

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    1. i got mine from trader joe's - they were packaged in a little bag. i bet if you ask at your local grocery store they carry them - maybe near nuts? i know a lot of people who are weird about texture (i have one friend who avoids eating with spoons because she hates the way it feels, hah!) so i can confirm that you definitely can't tell they're seeds in here. also, if you have a spice grinder, you could grind them up, then add to the flour mixture. then they definitely can't change the texture!

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  4. I have a weakness for pret's love bars… actually any snacks from pret are a weakness of mine. These actually made my stomach rumble out loud, I’ll give these a whirl but I might add a couple of nuts to the mixture, for protein of course!

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    1. i like the idea of adding nuts for protein - thanks for that!

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  5. Yum! this looks so good! I've been making lots of oat-y treats but I love that you added jam to this. I must try this out

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  6. These are going to be the first thing I bake to mark the end of my sugar cleanse! I am always looking for a sweet treat in the afternoons (and evenings. and mornings. and after lunch. and at 10PM) so these look perfect for getting a sweet fix without eating 750 chocolate chip cookies.

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  7. Jam! Honestly, if it weren't for the jam, I'd probably be on the fence about the trying recipe. But jam! Makes everything better!

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  8. Oh nom, I might make these this weekend as a healthy snack

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