Oatmeal Bars

After a couple of weeks of orientation/training, I am set to begin in my role as tutoring coordinator on Monday. The first few weeks will be pretty low-key, as teachers don’t have to return to school until the 26th, but I will have the opportunity to get to know my site supervisor, the principal, and the building/neighborhood. I am both excited and anxious about getting started.

Being at the school site and living on a VISTA budget means I will be bringing my own food – lunch and snacks – most days. I’ve enjoyed eating granola bars as a snack, but many of them contain dairy and/or lots of sugar or corn syrup. I was thrilled to find this recipe for oatmeal bars a few weeks ago, and am looking forward to playing around with it to create some really good stuff.

Oatmeal Bars

Oatmeal bars

Ingredients

  • 3 cups whole oats
  • 2/3 cup white whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 3 Tbsp orange juice
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F and lightly oil a cookie sheet.
  2. In a large bowl, stir together oats, flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine honey, oil, egg, orange juice, and vanilla. When using the same amounts of oil and a sticky ingredient like honey I pour the oil in first and then use the same measuring cup for the honey so it doesn’t stick as badly.
  4. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix well.
  5. Using greased spatula or hands, press mixture firmly onto the cookie sheet, forming one large rectangle. Smooth the edges.
  6. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes. The bottom of my giant bar was still kind of soft at the 15 minute mark, so be sure to check that before turning the oven off.
  7. Remove from the oven and allow to cool before cutting into smaller bars.

You can add goodies like dried cranberries or chocolate chips to the mix as well. And these do well in the freezer, so you can make a whole bunch of ’em.

Source: Adapted from The Laptop Lunch User’s Guide by Amy Hemmert and Tammy Pelstring

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