Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Blueberry Oatmeal Bars

Blueberry Oatmeal Bars (with Spinach!)
From Deceptively Delicious by Jessica Seinfeld:

  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 2 cups old-fashioned oats
  • 1 1/4 c all-purpose flour (I used whole wheat)
  • 1/2 c sugar
  • 1/2 t cinnamon
  • 1/4 t baking powder
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 1 t pure vanilla extract
  • 3/4 c Balance trans-fat-free soft tub margarine spread, chilled (I used butter)
  • 1 cup low-sugar blueberry preserves (I used regular organic preserves)
  • 1/2 cup spinach puree*
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 F. Coat an 8x8 inch baking pan with cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the oats, flour, sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, salt, & vanilla, and stir to mix well.
  3. Add the margarine and cut it quickly into the dry ingredients with two knives until the mixture resembles coarse meal and is no longer powdery. Do not overmix-bits of margarine will still be visible.
  4. Set aside about half of the oat mixture; press the rest of it firmly into the pan. Bake until lightly browned at the edges (but not fully baked). 13 to 15 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, mix the preserves with the spinach puree in a small bowl.
  6. Spread the blueberry mixture over the partially baked oat layer, then sprinkle with the reserved oat mixture. Bake until the topping is slightly browned, 20 to 25 minutes. Set the pan on a rack to cool completely before cutting into 12 bars.
*Spinach puree:
Prep: No prep at all for baby spinach. For mature spinach, fold leaves in half lengthwise witht he stem outside, then strip the stem off the leaf.
Cook: Steam for 30 to 40 seconds, or cook in a skillet with 1 T water for about 90 seconds, or just until wilted. (I steamed mine in the microwave for 2 minutes in a covered glass dish).
Puree: In a food processor or blender for about 2 minutes until smooth and creamy.

The kids loved these. The first time I made them they knew I used a secret ingredient but didn't want to know what it was. This time, they knew what it was and didn't care. What a great way to get some iron & greens into a healthy snack!!!

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