Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Soft Oatmeal Breakfast Bars {freezer friendly - makes 30 bars}

Becca here with another recipe that is great to store in the freezer for when you need a 'grab and take' breakfast....surely I'm not the only one that needs those to be able to get out of the door on time with several children, right?!?  I like to alternate making batches of these and Hearty Healthy Breakfast Cookies so I always have something ready to grab for a quick breakfast (or hearty snack) when we need it.  I will tell you in all honesty that while I like the variety, and they do eat these, my children do prefer the breakfast cookies if given the choice.  I feel like these maybe 'stick with me' a bit longer though, and like that they aren't super sweet.  The texture of these bars is soft, but they hold together fairly well, they're definitely more moist than dense.  I actually followed the recipe from this cookbook, "Weelicious", that I checked out from my local library, fairly closely.  If you don't have two 7x11 baking pans, 9x9 inch square pans (commonly called square cake pans) would work fine too.  Enjoy!

Soft Oatmeal Breakfast Bars
{freezer friendly - makes 30 bars}

3 cups milk (I use whole)
1 cup applesauce
2 large eggs
1/3 cup honey
2 teaspoons vanilla extract (I use real vanilla, homemade)
4 cups old-fashioned oatmeal (NOT 'quick oats'....or steel cut....old-fashioned; may be called "rolled oats")
2 cups whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
3 heaping teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cup your favorite dried fruit, chopped into bite-sized pieces if necessary (raisins, craisins, cherries, apples, apricot, etc)
1 cup your favorite seed or nut, chopped into bite-sized pieces if necessary (sunflower seeds (we prefer raw), almonds, walnuts, etc)

Preheat oven to 375.

In large bowl, whisk together wet ingredients (milk, applesauce, eggs, honey, and vanilla extract) until well combined.

Add dry ingredients (old-fashioned oatmeal, whole wheat flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt) and stir until well combined. 

Add remaining ingredients (dried fruit & seeds or nuts) and stir well until combined.

Divide mixture evenly among two lightly oiled 7x11 baking pans (9x9 square pans will work fine as well).  Bake at 375 for 30 minutes.

Let cool before cutting into squares (I cut the 7x11 pan into 3 rows of 5).  Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 3 days, or freeze for up to 3 months.  Defrost overnight in the refrigerator, or for 30 seconds in the microwave the morning of. 

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