Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Monday Meal Make-Overs - FRUIT BARS

Another Version of a GRANOLA BAR/SNACK BAR

We are all busy and need healthy snacks to fuel our days.

To Make the Fruit Bars you need:
Three medium pieces of fruit (a hard fruit is best as it will hold up in the oven best)
(RED apples work for Valentine's Day...Green for St. Patrick's Day...Peaches, Nectarines, and Apricots in the summer when the fruit is abundant)
2 teaspoons of sugar (or to taste...it is to coat the fruit - can be omitted as I do quite often)
1 to 1.5 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup of brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
1.5 sticks of unsalted (preferable) butter - cold, cut into small wedges
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla or almond extract (your preference to match the fruit you use)
(often I am more generous here and reduce the sugar in steps above)

To Start: Preheat the oven to 375 and grease a baking pan

Step 1: Cut fruit into THIN slices and, if you wish, coat with sugar in a small bowl
Step 2: Mix dry ingredients THEN add egg and flavoring
Step 3: Use a fork to add the wedges of butter to the mixture...break them up as much as possible
Step 4: Add 1/2 of the mixture to the pan - press firmly to create a bottom layer
Step 5: Arrange the fruit slices on the bottom layer
Step 6: Add the remaining mixture to the pan...press firmly to create a top layer

Bake for about 30 minutes...or until edges start to turn golden brown.
Cut into pieces of desired size after it cools.

This FRUIT CRISP turned into FRUIT BAR can be made healthy or decadent.
Decadent add ins include:
coconut,chocolate or butterscotch chips,adding jam/jelly to fruit layer, or yogurt raisins
Healthy add ins include:
small size bits of dried fruit in bottom layer, adding sesame seeds, or adding ground flax seeds,

***If you add moist ingredients, increase the amount of oats.

30 minutes or so to bake
10 minutes to assemble/clean up
purchasing ingredients/figuring out what "version" to make

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