Friday, February 10, 2012

The Grab N' Go Oat Bar - A Perfect Trifecta

If you’re reading this blog, you love food.  You love to cook and you love to try new recipes. I found a recipe that’s an ideal trifecta: fantastic taste, a great portable breakfast or afternoon treat, and it’s good for you!  Here’s the kicker, the best part of this recipe – it’s low in calories, fat and sugar and has enormous taste!  It’s the Grab N’ Go Oat Bar by Marlene Koch (pronounced Cook) who, if you aren’t familiar with Marlene Koch, quite simply she is “the magician in the kitchen!”
Now to be honest, I’m working on Marlene’s upcoming cookbook Eat More of What You Love which coming in April 2012, so when the early copy landed on my desk, it was my obligation to begin testing some of the recipes and its two thumbs up!  This was the first recipe tested not only was simple, I used just a large mixing bowl and a medium/large measuring cup for the wet and dry element –my friend was at my apartment when I pulled the pan out of the oven and kept pestering me, “when can I taste them?” .. Always a good sign!   When I began to assemble my ingredients, I noted Marlene’s use of no-calorie sweetener.  I normally only bake with “the real stuff” but decided to try the Splenda Baking Blend which is Sucralose and Sugar combined and reduced the amount. I could now become a convert for future baking recipes.  Most of us have the ingredients for this recipe on hand; OK, I didn’t have the prune puree baby food (the only baby food I have is sweet potato and that’s for my dog, but that’s another blog post…) but once I made the bars, I began to think wouldn’t it be fun to use peach puree, almonds and dried dates, or apple-pear puree, pistachios and dried cherries?  Of course I was right on target because Marlene encourages you to mix n’ match fruit purees with different nuts and dried fruit.  Wow – who doesn’t like to have some creative fun-time in the kitchen?!   My early copy of this cookbook has dog-eared pages noting the other recipes I can’t wait to try.  I encourage all to make this recipe and of course to buy the book!

Makes 12 Servings
2 cups quick oats
1 cup white whole wheat flour ( I used Whole Wheat Flour)
3 / 4 cup granulated no-calorie sweetener (like Splendid)
3 tablespoons of brown sugar
3 / 4 teaspoon baking soda
1 /2 teaspoon baking powder
1 /4 cup dried cranberries, chopped finely
1 /4 cup chopped walnuts
1 / 4 cup prune puree (or 3.5 ounce package baby food prunes)
3 tablespoons canola oil
3 egg whites
1 tablespoon molasses
1 1 /2 teaspoons vanilla extract

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350° F. Lightly spray a 9 x 9-inch baking pan with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. In a very large bowl, mix together the first 9 ingredients (oats through walnuts). Set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together the remaining 5 ingredients (prunes through vanilla).  Pour the prune mixture over the dry ingredients.  Mix with a spoon until all the ingredients are combined.  Batter will be sticky.
  3. Spread batter into the baking pan and bake for 12-minutes.  Do not overbake.  Set baking pan on rack to cool.  Cut into 12 bars.