So we're going to be eating a little more healthful over here. We definitely weren't bad before, but I'm upping the ante this year. As in, I bought my first box of quinoa. I have no idea what to do with it quite yet, but it's there, in the pantry, staring at me every single day. That ought to count for something.
Anyway. If you're looking for a super sweet cookie bar, feel free to walk away now. This is not that type of bar.
This kind of bar is a cross between a chewy, nutty granola bar and a sweet and tart and dense breakfast bar. They definitely have a healthful vibe, but Oh My Yuminess, I love them! The original recipe is from Ellie Krieger, it's over here, but I changed it up a bit, and I also added mini chocolate chips, and extra nuts, and extra fruit preserves, sooooo... you know they're gonna be scrumptious! To compensate for adding all that extra not-perfectly-good-for-you-stuff, I omitted the oil she uses and added more applesauce, so I'm pretty sure it all evens out. Yep. Pretty sure.
I really like the recipe in general because you can totally make it your own - choose your dried fruit, your nut, your all-fruit spread - no matter what, it's going to be great!
Oh, I usually double the recipe below because they go fast in our house! My husband and I can't stop eating them. And they are really delicious with a hot cup of tea.
Walnut and Dried Cherry Bars
1 cup oats (quick-cooking or regular)
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup toasted wheat germ (or you can skip it and add 1/4 cup more whole wheat flour)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup honey (or maple syrup if you run out like I sometimes do)
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 egg, beaten
1 egg white (when I double the recipe, I just use 3 whole eggs total and it works out fine)
1 cup chopped dried tart cherries (or any other dried fruit)
1 cup chopped walnuts (or any other nut)
1 cup mini chocolate chips (optional)
1 cup "all-fruit" apricot preserves (or any other preserves)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, whisk together the oats, flour, wheat germ, cinnamon, and salt.
In another bowl, whisk together the vanilla, honey, applesauce, and eggs. Stir into the oatmeal mixture until well combined. Add the cherries and walnuts and chocolate chips.
Coat an 8-inch square baking pan with cooking spray. Spread the mixture into the prepared pan and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 30-35 minutes.
Put the preserves in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. As soon as the bars come out of the oven, brush with the preserves. Cool completely and cut into squares or bars.
Happy and Healthy Eating!