I sampled another one of Lorna Sass’s recipes this weekend. These Fruit and Nut Oatmeal bars were very moist and did tend to fall apart a little. I found that toasting them in my toaster oven just before eating them dried them out a bit and prevented them from falling apart. Otherwise, these are very flavorful! Feel free to use any combination of dried fruits and nuts.
Fruit and Nut Oatmeal Bars
1-3/4 cups rolled oats
1/4 cup honey
3 tablespoons orange juice concentrate
2 tablespoons walnut or hazelnut oil (or canola oil)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/3 cup dried apricots, chopped
1/3 cup dried cranberries
1/3 cup raisons, preferable golden
1 teaspoon grated orange zest
1/2 slivered almonds, toasted
1/4 cup hilled, raw unsalted sunflower seeds, toasted
3 tablespoons ground flax seed
Preheat oven to 350 degrees (F). Grease an 8×8 square baking pan. Sprinkle two tablespoons of the rolled oats on the bottom of the pan and reserve two tablespoons to sprinkle on top.
In a medium saucepan, bring 1/2 cup water to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and blend in the honey, orange juice concentrate, oil, salt and cinnamon. Cover and turn off the heat.
Place 1/2 cup of the rolled oats in a spice grinder and process into a flour. Stir the oat flour, baking powder, baking soda, remaining cup of oats, apricots, cranberries, raisons, grated orange zest, almonds and sunflower seeds into the honey mixture in the pot. Cover and let sit for 10 minutes.
In a small bowl, mix together the ground flax seed and 1/2 cup of water. Whisk vigorously until the mixture becomes gummy, about 1 minute. Fold the flax seeds slurry into the oat mixture. Pour into the prepared baking pan and and smooth off the top. Sprinkle the remaining oats on top and gently press them into the batter. Bake until the bottom and sides are golden and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 30 to 35 minutes.
Cool in a rack. Slice the cake down the middle while it is still in the pan. Then cut each half into 1-inch wide bars. Enjoy warm, at room temperature or chilled. You can refrigerate the bars in an airtight container for up to 5 days. Enjoy!
Sass, L. (2006). Whole Grains Every Day Every Way. New York: Clarkson/Potter Publishers.