HAVE you ever intended to make one recipe and then it didn't turn out at all like you planned, but in fact it worked better?
That's what happened with this recipe. I made it first to be more like a breakfast cookie and they tasted fantastic, but they looked downright hideous!
I mean they were ugly as ugly comes. So the second time I made them I spread out the batter I worked with and......
.......low and behold they became the best oatmeal and fruit bar I have ever had.
You can feel really good about letting your kids have this for breakfast. Full of healthy oatmeal and dried fruit. Its a perfect on the run breakfast or easy snack to take anywhere.
My oldest hates oatmeal so by sneaking it in this recipe he doesn't even notice he's having it.
You can really get even a little more versatile with them and add some nuts if you and family aren't allergic. You can change the dried fruit as well. But this is what worked for us and I'm sticking with it. If you do make variations with it I'd love to hear from you.
- Spread some nut-butter on top for more protein.
- If you are gluten free, make sure you are using gluten free oats.
- You could change the tahini to any nut butter of your choice.
- Replace sunflower seeds with nuts if you like.
- If you don't have tahini you can sub it with sunbutter.
- I do NOT recommend any other substitutions except for the tahini, sunflower seeds and dried fruit.
- Do NOT eliminate the dates in this recipe. They are what add the awesome sweetness to the whole bar.
Recipe adapted from Eat Better America.
- ½ cup old fashioned rolled oats
- ½ cup tahini
- ½ cup dried apricots, chopped
- ½ cup dried cherries
- ½ cup sunflower seeds
- 1 cup dates, chopped
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon flax seed, ground
- ½ cup coconut flakes, unsweetened
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- 2 bananas, mashed
- nonstick cooking spray
- optional: 1 teaspoon[url href="http://www.iherb.com/p/11070?at=0&rcode=yaj035" target="_blank"] liquid stevia, vanilla creme[/url]
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- In a food processor, add the coconut, banana, flaxseed, cinnamon, vanilla, baking soda and tahini. If using stevia, add it now. Process until smooth.
- Add chopped dates a little at a time until smooth.
- Remove mixture from processor and place in a bowl.
- To the bowl add chopped apricots, cherries, ¼ cup sunflower seeds (save ¼ cup seeds for top), and old fashioned oats and mix well.
- Line a 9 by 13 casserole dish with parchment paper. Spray the paper with nonstick cooking spray.
- Pour the batter onto the parchment paper and spread out touching edges of dish all around as best you can.
- Sprinkle the top with ¼ of reserved sunflower seeds.
- Bake 15-18 minutes until a toothpick in center comes out fairly clean.
- Let stand 10 minutes before cutting into bars.
Do you think these would freeze well?
I'm sorry we have never froze it because it gets eaten pretty quickly. If you do pleas let me know how it holds up.
Help! I want to,try this for my picky eater son but in your nutritional work up at the end, I didn't see how many grams of sugar and he's borderline diabetic and I know that dates are super duper sweet. I was hoping to find/invent if I need to a breakfast bar cookie that has xylitol as a sweetener. It's good for teeth and gums with no bad mood swing effects like aspartame... The dates seem like it would be many grams of sugar? Do you think I could skip the dates and add some xylitol? Do you have thoughts on xylitol and organic z sweet? Both granulated sugar substitutes ,with no bad aftertaste... Lissa
I would recommend stevia in this case. Xylitol would be okay, but I would vote for stevia for a diabetic.
I used diced figs instead of dates, and pumpkin seeds instead of sunflower seeds. For dried fruit, I used dried bing cherries and blueberries. Instead of coconut, I added some chopped pistachios. I also used some raw honey. My husband loved them!
This recipe sounds awesome! Do you think it would be ok to skip the flax seed? My son is allergic to both flax and sesame (in addition to wheat, eggs, peanuts and tree nuts). Idealy I'd like to make the bars without the flax and use sun butter.
I don't have a food processor. Any way around that? These sound good and I am looking for something to make for a quick on the go breakfast. I plan to try your oatmeal cups as well. Thanks. 🙂
Maybe if you have a high powdered blender it would work the same.
Do you have any suggestions for subbing out the coconut? We don't care for shredded coconut.
The avocado worked very well in place of the banana. I did add 2 TBS of applesauce and 1 banty egg for some extra protein. They were very soft and chewy but the taste was great. I only needed 1/8 tsp stevia powder. I use the straight stevia. Not sure it that is what you are using since you used a tsp. Next time I plan to add a bit more oatmeal.
What do you think about avocado in place of the banana? My husband hates bananas (weird, yes, I know). I first thought applesauce too, but saw your comment about watery so I thought avocado would have the closest consistency to banana with just a little applesauce added.
hmmm that might work! let me know if you try it!
Wondering if i have to grind the flax seed or if I can leave whole??
You're body can't digest it whole,won't receive the benefits of it, it needs to be ground.
Oh, ok! Didn't know that. Thanks for the info! I wonder why it's whole flaxseed in some oatmeals and muffins and stuff?
I've never seen it whole in recipes but if that's the case it shouldn't be. Always grind it yourself or buy it ground and store in the refrigerator.
Even more nutrient dense than flax is chia (which also must be opened for us to receive most of the nutritional benefits, which include tons of Omega 3 Essential Fatty Acids). I get my chia from NorCal Superfoods. It's grown organically in Cuernavaca, Mexico.
Additional benefit -- chia's shelf life is 2 years, while flax's shelf life is 2 months. This is due to MORE antioxidants in chia, which preserve it naturally.
I DIG THE RECIPE YOU'VE POSTED HERE!
Is a food processor required? I don't own one.
Maybe try a blender, you really need it ground fine to incorporate everything well.
What would be a good substitute for the bananas? Would applesauce possibly work? Sounds great
That's a tough question because applesauce is really not as thick as a mashed banana. Pumpkin may work. I haven't tried any substitutions as this recipe took many takes before it became a bar so I haven't wanted to mess with the ingredients if you know what I mean.
I would like to substitute the tahini for something else.
Tahini and soy can trigger a bit of asthma and peanut butter is out of the question because of allergy along with other nut butters. Is anyone able to offer ideas for other substitutions?
Either way, I will find a way to make them as one of my kids is going on a 12 day trip; I will pack them in her luggage and she can put them if the fridge when she gets to her hotel.
Both of my boys have nuts allergies and my oldest 12 yr old boy scout is also allergic to soy. They have eaten these without trouble.
Thanks for the comment Brenda.
I will go ahead and make it with the tahini, there is very little in relation to the other ingredients, so like your kids, it should be tolerated. Either way, it won't make her sick and if it does make her a bit asthmatic, I have time to find another substitution, such as sun butter that another person mentioned above.
Thank you for your wonderful recipes.
I'll bet coconut butter would work as a substitute.
OOps just did this recipe and omitted the dates as i didn't have them. I added in extra apricots, i hope they are edible!! lol! Thanks for the recipe anyway, i guess the real judge is my daughter...hope it's thumbs up tomorrow 😉