These are much like a bar cookie, but healthier, containing less sweetener than a cookie. The bars keep for a week stored in a tin or a plastic bag in the fridge.
1 1/2 cups (170 g) whole wheat flour (or other whole grain flour)
2 cups (204 g) whole, rolled oats (NOT quick-cook or instant)
1 cup (237 ml) apple juice or white grape juice
1/2 cup (118 ml) flavorless vegetable oil (like canola or sunflower oil, NOT olive or peanut oil)
1 cup, packed (200 g) dried fruit, finely chopped (raisins, currants, apricots, pears, prunes, etc)
1 tsp (4 g) cinnamon
3 tbsp (36 g) brown sugar, or less
1/2 tsp (3 g) salt
1/4 cup (40 g) seeds (any combination of sesame, sunflower, pumpkin, flax, etc)
Preheat oven to 375F (190C). Grease a 9- X 13-inch baking pan (23cm X 33cm)
Combine all the ingredients.
Put the mixture in the pan and spread it out evenly. You may have to use your hands to push it into the corners.
Bake for 30 minutes. Cut it into squares when it comes out of the oven, but don’t remove them until they are completely cool.
Makes 12 to 24 bars, depending on what size you want.
Options and extras:
- This is a very adaptable recipe. Any rolled grain can be substituted for the oats. Any whole grain flour can be used. Any type of juice can be used, but stronger flavored juice will affect the flavor of the bar. The cinnamon can be replaced with other spice combinations. Any spices that work in an apple or pumpkin pie could work here. You can use coconut oil, but it will give the bars its flavor and may overwhelm. You could add 1/4 cup of wheat germ or some interesting grain flakes like amaranth or millet flakes. Have fun.
- I buy a 200 g (7 oz) package of mixed dried fruit for this recipe and pulse it in the food processor until it’s finely chopped. TIP: Put a tablespoon or 2 from the 1 1/2 cups of flour into the food processor and the dried fruit will chop up nicely and get coated with flour and it won’t glom all together in a big lump.
- The sugar in this recipe is flexible. Use as much or as little as you like. You could even put more than 3 tbsp if you have a sweet tooth.