Friday, June 10, 2011

Raspberry Cereal Bars

This week I did it - I made a meal plan for the week because I decided 3 weeks of winging it and having whatever was enough. And not only did I plan just dinners, I did breakfast, lunch, snacks. I was very proud of myself except that breakfast was a bit bleak. One dimensional sameness. Not that my lovely E would mind, but we're in an unusual window of trying new things and I want to take advantage of that. (She tried bacon recently and liked it. Yay for more protein!)
For a while, I've been looking for a good recipe for a cereal bar. Something similar to a Nutrigrain. Recipes run the gamut from what I perceive would taste like cardboard to those that use boxed cake mix as the crust. I finally found a middle of the road recipe - there is butter in there folks. But it uses fresh pureed berries and rolled oats; or in my case, substitute half the oats with quinoa flakes. They are just a touch sweet and just dense enough to fill you up for a couple of hours. And they taste way better and cost much less than Nutrigrain. :)

Raspberry Breakfast Cereal Bars (from The $5 Dinner Mom Breakfast and Lunch Cookbook)
CRUST
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats (I used 1 cup oats, 1 cup quinoa flakes)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter, softened

FILLING
1 cup fresh raspberries
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup sugar (I did this to taste since the raspberries were already sweet. I ended up using about 3 tablespoons)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9x13 inch glass baking dish.
2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt. Cut the softened butter into the dry ingredients using a pastry blender or a fork.
3. Place the raspberries, vanilla and sugar into a food processor and puree.
4. Place about half the oat-flour mixture to the baking dish and press into the bottom of the dish using the bottom of a measuring cup.
5. Pour raspberry filling and spread over the crust.
6. Add remaining oat flour mixture on top of the puree and lightly press down to form the upper crust, again using the bottom of a measuring cup.
7. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes until the top is golden brown. Let cool on a wire rack before slicing.
Makes 12 to 16 long cereal bars. I cut those in half for a snack size portion. 

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