The idea for these bars came from another recipe for oatmeal cookies that a friend gave me a few years ago. Although the cookies were very tasty, they called for margarine and white sugar and thus, I wanted to create something simple that we could consume as a snack at work or even as a sweet, without worrying about our health. So I replaced the white sugar with brown and instead of margarine I used olive oil. The result was even better than the classic oat biscuits, and these cookie-bars became our favorite snack!
Usually when I make the bars, I use rolled oats because they are not expensive (even if we choose the biological brands), but they are also delicious with rolled buckwheat flakes -if we want to avoid gluten, or rolled zea (Triticum dicoccum).
The recipe is very easy to make and due to its high nutrient content, the bars can be prepared as a snack for children. Even a small bar is enough to satisfy our hunger when we need to eat something between our meals and thus I usually have a small cereal bar in my bag when I’m out.
If we decide to make them at home, we can become a little bit creative by adding half cup of dried fruits of our choice.
- 2 cups oat flakes
- ½ cup sunflower seeds or chopped nuts
- ½ cup dry coconut, shredded or almond powder
- 1/3 cup apple puree
- ½ cup raw brown sugar
- ½ cup olive oil
- 1 ½ tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- To make the apple puree, wash and peel 1 medium apple. Cut into large pieces and place in a small pan along with 1-2 tbsp of water. Cook over low heat for 10-15 minutes or until tender. Mash with a fork and continue cooking for 1-2 minutes more until all the liquid has been evaporated from the bottom of the pan. Turn off the heat and let the puree aside to cool.
- To make the bars, combine into a bowl 1/3 cup of the apple puree with the sugar and the olive oil until well mixed.
- Add all the other ingredients and mix well with a spoon. Let the mixture rest for half an hour.
- Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper and spread the mixture evenly with hands, shaping a square or rectangular. The thickness of the dough should be about 1 centimeter.
- Bake in preheated oven at 170 oC for 15 minutes. Then remove the tray from the oven and with a sharp knife cut square or rectangular bars. Lower the temperature of the oven at 130-140 oC and continue baking for 15-20 minutes until crisp.
- Let the bars to cool and keep in a box.
Note: These cookie-bars are delicious and I am sure that you will make the recipe again and again. To make sure that the recipe will work each time, use the same measuring cup for all of the ingredients.