Chewy Apple Goodness. All in a bar.
Healthy baked apple bars made with wholesome ingredients such as rolled oats and sweet apples. A great way to combine my delicious stewed apples for the fruit filling with a chewy cinnamon oat crust. These bars are high in fiber and low in fat, making them a great snack for lunch boxes or for busy moments!
They keep well in the freezer, making them ideal for meal prep.
Makes: 12 - 16 bars
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 40 minutes
1 cup (90 g) oat flour (take 1 cup of rolled oats and blend into a fine flour)
2 cups (180 g) rolled oats
2 tsp (10 ml) ground cinnamon
Pinch of nutmeg
1/2 tsp (2.5 ml) bicarbonate of soda
1/2 tsp (2.5 ml) baking powder
Pinch of salt
2 Tbsp (30 ml) honey, syrup or any sugar substitute (if using a sugar sweetener only use 1 Tbsp as they tend to be a lot sweeter)
1 large apple, very finely chopped or finely grated
1/2 cup (125 ml) pureed apple sauce (or blend 1 cooked apple with 1/4 cup water)
1/4 cup (60 ml) extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp (10 ml) vanilla essence
2 heaped cups rooibos stewed apples* (find the recipe here)
*Important Tip: Make the stewed apples in advance.
Don't panic if you haven't ... my recipe also has a quick version to make while you pre - bake the oat base. The stewed apples need to be of a firm consistency. If there is any additional liquid, it can either been drained or alternatively mix in 1 - 2 tsp of tapioca flour/ corn starch to thicken the stewed apples.
Preheat oven to 180C. Grease an 20 x 20cm baking dish with cooking spray and baking paper.
Add rolled oats, oat flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder, salt and sugar to a large bowl. Mix to combine.
Add the chopped apple, pureed applesauce, oil and vanilla essence. Stir until well combined.
Set aside 1/3 of the oat mixture (for the topping) and press the rest of the mixture into the prepared pan. Pre - bake in the oven for 10 minutes.
Remove from the oven. Add the stewed apples, spreading evenly with a spoon and pressing firmly onto the oat base. Add 1/3 of the oat mixture to the top.
Bake for 25 - 30 minutes, or until the top is golden brown. Cool completely before cutting into 12 - 16 bars.
Store in the refrigerator or freezer. Enjoy!
Enjoy at room temperature or take out of the freezer and warm up for 20 - 30 seconds in the microwave for a snack! Warm up for a minute (or until hot) in the microwave for a baked oatmeal breakfast version.
Oats: A high fiber wholegrain that is an ideal cereal grain to incorporate into your daily diet. They contain a good source of Soluble Fiber and Beta - Glucans that keep you fuller for longer, improve blood sugar control, lower your cholesterol (naturally) and support good gut health (prebiotic fibers for your gut microbiome and regular bowel movements).
Snack Attack: The perfect snack as it is packed with fiber and gives some natural sweetness from the apples. It is ideal to add to your kids' lunch boxes or for a quick on-the-go snack. It can even be enjoyed for breakfast; serve it with low fat plain yoghurt or milk (protein source) and a handful of mixed nuts/seeds/nut butter (fat source) for a balanced breakfast option.
Variations: Feel free to replace 1/2 cup rolled oats with 1/2 cup desiccated coconut or 1/2 cup finely chopped nuts to the recipe. Note: this will push up the fat content of the bars.