8/30/10

Oatmeal Breakfast Bars with Dried Fruit

Sometimes, I'm quite happy that the only person I have to cook for is me. Why? Because it means if I want omelet for dinner, that's fine. If I want leftover dinner for breakfast, it's fine. But planning 3 meals a day, is still daunting. Over the weekend, I decided to find a recipe that would be easy to make, relatively healthy and last me the entire week for breakfast. I had some dried fruit and oatmeal leftover from freelancing I do for Robyn Webb, and thought: oatmeal breakfast bars would fit the bill.

But where to start? When it comes to cooking, I'm very comfortable making up recipes, but baking is a different beast all together. I did some searching on line, and settled down on this recipe from KathEats. Of course I made a few changes: my version, photos and thoughts are below.

Oatmeal Breakfast Bars with Dried Fruit

Ingredients

1.5 cups rolled oats
1/3 cup dried cherries
1/3 cup dried apricots, chopped
1/3 cup dried dates, chopped
2 tablespoons chocolate chips
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/4 cups milk (confession: I did not have milk in my fridge, so I added dry powdered milk into H2O)
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla

Directions

1. Preheat the oven to 400
2. Spray a baking dish (I used 9x6) with oil and line with parchment paper (Lesson learned: spray the parchment paper with more oil!)
3. Combine all dry ingredients.


4. Combine wet ingredients. Incorporate with the dry ingredients. Pour the mixture into the prepared dish and bake for 50 minutes (Note: pay attention to how wet the mixture looks! I wasn't sure if this was right or not, but proceeded. I also baked my bars 10 minutes longer than the 40 minutes Kath suggested because after 40 minutes, the bars felt rather wet: one of the reason could be because I used a slightly different size of the pan.)


See the parchment flaps? They were very helpful in removing the baked oatmeal bars from the pan.


The final product looked pretty and smelled sweet thanks to the chocolate chips and dried fruit.


I cut mine into 8 pieces.



Thoughts:
1) This was definitely a simple recipe to follow and customize: use whatever dried fruit you like, add nuts, add chocolate chips, etc.
2) The final product is sweet, portable, healthy, and filling: all good things...but....
3) I think this recipe could really use a few "corrections"
a) definitely spray your parchment paper with oil
b) use hot liquid and let the oatmeal soak up most of the liquid before pouring the mixture into the pan (in fact, I'd start with less than a cup of liquid and only add more as needed)
c) try using a smaller baking pan and bake the bars for a longer time (and maybe at a slightly higher temperature) so that they are not as thin as they came out
Do you have other suggestions? Anyone wants to make this recipe and report back on your results? Thanks!

6 comments:

K said...

These look great! I had similar issues with an oatmeal bar recipe by Giada. Taste-wise it was fine (it was a pb + choc bar) but I had some difficulties with the thickness and getting it out of the pan. Maybe it's an oatmeal-bar-thing, haha :o)

The Duo Dishes said...

Spraying the paper is a great idea, and the oats are always nice with a little something sweet like honey. Maybe even some spices like cinnamon or zest of orange. Lots of ways you could add some spark if you make them again!

Heavenly Housewife said...

I've never made my own granola, but these do look lovely. I like the suggestion of cinnamon and orange zest though.
*kisses* HH

5 Star Foodie said...

Hannah and I would love the bars so maybe we would try making them one of these days. Maybe we will add some maple syrup too.

Megan said...

I think this is a great baking attempt. I have some ideas... but not very healthy ones. One of these days, I will get around to posting my cherry, chocolate, and almond granola bars. My absolute favorite combo so far!

marla {family fresh cooking} said...

Olga, these bars are such a great idea...minimal effort with great outcome. I need to make a big batch of these to have around the house for snacking, breakfast etc...