Saturday, December 30, 2006

Super healthy oatmeal breakfast bars

An excellent "grab and go" food, these are SO good, and very simple to make. This recipe is very easy to adapt or change for variety's sake or to suit your own tastes. You can add or change ingredients all you want, and you know you've got the right consistency when it's really hard to stir! My mom took this recipe, then adapted it, then gave it to me and I adapted it, and now it's yours to play with!

In a large bowl, stir together:
3/4 cup of brown sugar (firmly packed)
1/2 cup of granulated sugar (organic raw is best)
1 cup low fat vanilla or plain yogurt (1 8 oz. container)
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 banana (well mashed)
2 Tbsp. vegetable oil (I use flax, use anything but Canola!)
2 egg whites, slightly beaten
2 Tbsp. fat free milk or soymilk

In a medium bowl, stir together:
1 1/2 cups flour (I use 1 cup flour and 1/2 cup ground flax seed)
4 cups uncooked oats (can substitute barley for oats)
1 tsp. cinnamon (I use 1 1/2 tsp.)
1 tsp. baking soda
1 cup dried fruit (cranberries, raisins, blueberries...)
1 cup chopped nuts (or whole, if you prefer big chunks like Matt does - sunflower seeds don't work well) *raw, unsalted nuts are healthiest
1/2 tsp. salt

Preheat the oven to 350. Slowly stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Mix very well. Spread evenly into a 9x13 pan and bake for 30 minutes. Test doneness with a knife.

Add 1 1/2 cup fruit pulp (leftover from making juice in a juicer) and an extra cup of oats (use less dried fruit).
Use soy, almond, or rice milk and soy yogurt and another banana (instead of egg whites) to make this vegan.
Instead of fruit pulp, use blended or chopped fruit
Instead of banana, use canned pumpkin pie filling (not as healthy, but yum!).
Put in protein powder for an extra boost of vitamins and protein.
*Best not to use canned fruit - if you do, you may as well eat candy for breakfast -so much sugar!*

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