Prep Time: 30 mins
Cook Time: 30 mins
Ever since I was a young girl, I have loved strawberry oat bars and I would often have Strawberry nutrigrain bars in my lunches. While these squares aren’t a nutri-grain bar, the taste is similar. I have made this popular square much healthier, cutting the sugar and butter by half, and of course, it is vegan too. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do. You won’t be able to stop at just one. Or three.
Ingredients (12-16 squares)
For Oat Base
1.5 cups regular oats
1 cup whole-grain Kamut flour (or mix of white and whole wheat)
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 cup Sucanat sugar (or brown sugar)
1 chia egg (1 tbsp chia seeds+ 4 tbsp warm water, mixed)
1/2 cup + 2 tbsp Earth Balance, melted
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
2 tbsp almond milk
1 tbsp sesame seeds (for topping only)
For Strawberry Jam
2 & 1/4 cups chopped strawberries, chopped into 1/2 inch pieces OR approx 1 cup pre-made jam
3-4 tbsp sugar, to taste
1 tbsp chia seeds
1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line a square pan (I used a 9×9) with parchment paper and oil the sides of the pan and base. In a medium sized pot, add the chopped strawberries and sugar. Heat over low until the strawberries begin to sweat and it gets a bit watery. Once it heats down a bit, add in the chia seeds, and stir well. Bring to a boil and then simmer over low to medium heat for at least 10 minutes. Once it has thickened a bit, remove from heat and cool for 5-10 mins. You may also add arrowroot powder to thicken it up more if desired, but I didn’t have any.
2. In a small bowl, mix the chia or flax egg and set aside.
3. In a large bowl, mix the oat base dry ingredients: oats, flour, Sucanat/brown sugar, baking soda, salt. In a small bowl, mix the melted earth balance, maple syrup, almond milk, and chia egg. Stir well.
4. Add the wet mixture (reserving 1/2 cup of the mixture) to the dry and mix well, using hands if necessary. Pour the oat mixture onto the square pan and press down with fingers. Use a pastry roller to smooth out if desired. Pour on strawberry mixture and smooth out.
5. Now sprinkle on the reserved 1/2 cup oat mixture and sprinkle on. Now sprinkle on 1 tbsp of sesame seeds or coconut.
6. Bake at 350F for approximately 30 minutes. Allow to fully cool for at least 30-40 minutes before gently removing from pan. Slice and then store in a container in the fridge to keep firm.
Courtesy of Angela Liddon at http://ohsheglows.com/recipage/?recipe_id=6001725