Tuesday, June 2, 2009
Homemade Oat Treats
I found a nifty little booklet while in the waiting room of my doctor's office. It was printed by Quaker Oats and had some oat recipes that some chefs came up with. Since I don't eat wheat (among other things) I knew I could find some useful stuff in there so I took one.
Lo, and behold, there was a recipe for oat bars! I'd been meaning to make my own granola bars for a long time but just couldn't find the right recipe. I subbed a few of the ingredients in these Homemade Oat Treats based on what I could find, what I like, and what was priced best (read: cheapest). I've got ingredients that I subbed in, or omitted parenthesis in italics.
Homemade Oat Treats
(Adapted from recipe by chef Kevin Prendergast)
3 cups old fashioned, large flake oats
3/4 cup sunflower seeds
1/4 cup sesame seeds (omitted)
3/4 cup sliced almonds
1/4 cup unsalted butter (I used coconut oil)
1/3 cup light brown sugar (I used evaporated coconut sap)
1 tbsp ground cinnamon
1/3 cup wild honey (I used brown rice syrup)
1/2 cup wheat germ (I used ground up flax seeds)
1/2 cup chopped dried apricots (I used 1 cup)
1/2 cup flaked coconut (I used unsulphured, unsweetened coconut)
1 cup golden raisisn (I used dried unsulphure, unsweetened papaya)
1 cup sun-dried cranberries (I used 1/2 cup dried unsulphured, unsweetened mango)
1/3 cup sun dried cherries (I used dried pineapple)
(I added a bar of high quality, dark chocolate, chopped into small pieces.)
Preheat oven to 325 F (160 C). Toast the oats, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds and sliced almonds (I'm always afraid of burning almonds so I did this for 5 minutes). In a saute pan, gently heat the butter (or coconut oil), brown sugar (or coconut sugar), cinnamon, and honey (or brown rice syrup), stirring to incorporate the flavours.
In a large mixing bowl, mix the oat mixture, dried fruits (and flax and chocolate if using) together. Drizzle the honey mixture over top, ensuring the oats and fruit get a good "covering". Line baking tray with parchment paper and spread mixture evenly. Bake for 20 - 25 minutes. (The recipe says to cut while still warm but for me, it was way too crumbly. I waited until it completely cooled to cut into squares.)
Makes 30 small bars.
Verdict: chopping the fruits can be a bit of a pain but as long as you've got a good knife, it should be OK. The chocolate gives it a bit of a "burnt" taste, but it's still good and helps me curb my sweet tooth (and avoid eating wheat) at work when there are muffins and doughnuts everywhere.