Sunday, March 10, 2013

Homemade Nutri-Grain Bars

Yesterday I went to Trader Joe's and spent a small fortune to stock my freezer and pantry.  Among other things I stocked up on jam. I had to open the boysenberry this morning. I made baking poweder biscuits soley as a vehicle to spread the sumptuous preserves. Then I realized I had about six open jars of jelly lined up in my fridge.

I've been wanting to make a homemade nutri-grain bar for a few weeks now and I searched around for some recipes.  They would be the perfect way to use up some jelly. Most recipes I found were very high in sugar and fat (many called for at least a cup of butter).

I cobbled together this recipe from some others that I found.  It's main purpose was to use up a few things in my pantry, so feel free to substitute when necessary.  I was pleasantly surprised with the outcome.

Homemade Nutri-grain Bars

1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup white sugar 
1/2 cup brown sugar

1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour (here I used baby oatmeal cereal-a great way to use this up)
1 1/2 cup oats

1/2 cup plain or vanilla yogurt
1 t. vanilla (optional, only if you are using plain yogurt)

Several Tablespoons jam or preserves

Cream together the butter and sugars, add the flours and oats.  Add the yogurt and vanilla last.  One of the recipes I found online used a 1/2 can of canellini beans ground into a paste.  I didn't have canellini beans on hand nor the inclination to get out my food processor, so I thought yogurt might do as a binding agent.

It worked although the dough was very sticky.

Line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil.  The foil is critical.  Divide the dough in half and press half into the pan, I had to use my hands, it was super goopy.

Next, spread the dough with jam.  I used a couple of different jars to finish up what I had in the fridge.

Cover the jam with the remaining half of the dough.  Again, it's a bit fiddly and you will get your fingers sticky.

Bake at 350 for about 30 minutes.  I checked mine after 25 minutes and found the top layer to be very soft.  I ended up baking the bars for a total of 35 minutes.

Let cool about 10 minutes and slice up. I cut mine into small squares to fit these little plastic containers I get at work.

My go-to snack for the week!

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