Open Arms of Minnesota

Weekly Recipe #144: Strawberry Oatmeal Bars

By Alex Clough, University of Minnesota Medical Center, Fairview Dietetic Intern

I love oatmeal and understand its nutritional benefits, but I am definitely an on-the-go type of person and I am not always able to sit down and enjoy breakfast. Baking bars are simple and create abundance, meaning there is always an alternative option at home. For those rushed mornings, I know I always have something to grab. Remember, breakfast is the most important meal of the day!

Strawberries are packed with vitamins, fiber and antioxidants helping to protect your heart, increase your good cholesterol (HDLs), lower blood pressure, and guard against cancer. Oats are one of the most recommended breakfast ingredients. They are an excellent source of soluble fiber and are known for their heart-healthy benefits. Oats help to control blood pressure and lower blood cholesterol. Also, they help you to feel full longer.

Below is a simple recipe for those on-the-go or no-time-for-breakfast people to help incorporate a fast and delicious breakfast everyday.

Strawberry Oatmeal Bars

Photo Credit: Hagedorn/Flickr

Adapted from: foodnetwork.com

(Serves – 24)

Ingredients:

  • 1 ¾ sticks salted butter
  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ cups oats
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • * 12oz (3/4 pint) homemade strawberry preserves.

Instructions:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Grease a 9×13 inch baking pan with cooking spray.
  3. In a bowl, mix the butter, flour, oats, brown sugar, baking powder and salt.
  4. Press half of the oat mixture in the baking pan.
  5. Spread the strawberry preserves over the oat mixture.
  6. Sprinkle the rest of the oat mixture over the strawberry preserves and pat down lightly.
  7. Bake about 30-40 minutes; until light brown.
  8. Let cool then cut into squares so there are 4 squares by 6 squares in the pan.

Strawberry Preserves

Adapted from: foodnetwork.com

(Makes 1 pint)

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup sugar
  • ½ large lemon, zested and juiced
  • ¾ cup frozen strawberries

Instructions:

  1. Mix sugar, lemon zest, and lemon juice in a small saucepan and cook over very low heat for 10 minutes until the sugar is dissolved.
  2. Add strawberries and continue to cook over very low heat for 20 minutes until the strawberries are tender and release some of their juices and the mixture boils slowly.
  3. Continue to cook until a small amount of the juice gels on a very cold plate (Idea: keep a plate in the freezer for this part).
  4. Pour carefully into a canning jar and keep refrigerated.

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