Sunday, March 13, 2011

Your Daily Ration of Oatmeal Bars

oatmeal bars

Anyone who knows me or reads this blog regularly knows that I travel a lot for work. I'm a daycare inspector, which means that I'm working in a different place every day, and spending a good portion of my work hours driving around town in my little Honda (the one with the "Reading is Sexy" bumper sticker on the back). Because of this weirdy weird job set up, I often don't stop formally for lunches or breaks, preferring instead to snack en route or while I'm working.


I started working on these oatmeal bars because I wanted something that would be easy to eat on the go, nice and filling, but not overly sweet. Blood sugar crashes don't help me analyze Anaphylaxis Emergency Plans, thank you very much. These bars fit the bill and, as a bonus, also include all the important food groups: nuts for protein, oats for grains, and dates for fruit. Balanced snacks for the win!

oatmeal bars

And they look great, don't they? Just be forewarned, they have no sugar in them, so while they kind of look like some kind of sweet, almondy treat you'd get at some grown up party, they are not like that at all. They are more like dense oatmeal muffins, in bar form. They taste nice, but more like a power snack than a sweet treat. Have one with your morning tea and you may not get the standard Imploding Stomach 11:45 Lunch Time Craving of Insanity. Or does that only happen to me?


Almond, Oat and Date Snack Bars

3 cups rolled oats
3/4 cup finely chopped walnuts
1 1/2 cups finely chopped cooking dates
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp ground flax seed mixed with 6 tbsp warm water
2 1/2 cups unsweetened vanilla almond milk
sliced almonds for topping

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix oats, walnuts, dates, spices, and salt in a large bowl.

In a small bowl or measuring cup, combine flax mixture with almond milk.

Stir wet ingredients into dry and mix until well combined.

Pour into a 9X13 pan (lasagna pan size). The pan should either be lightly oiled or lined with parchment paper. I recommend the parchment paper.

Bake at 350 for about an hour.

oatmeal bars

When my bars were finished, I thought the insides, while cooked, were a bit mushy for my liking. So I cut them up and put them back in the oven on a cookie sheet for ten additional minutes. Whether you do this is up to you, check the texture of your finished bars and then see how you feel.

Some Notes:

-Have you watched Downton Abbey? Have you? I first heard about it on one of the Jane Austen nerd blogs I read, and it looked intriguing. I told my mom about it because she has cable, and she reported back on it with great praise. I just started watching it this weekend and am now forcing myself to go slowly because there are only six episodes and I don't want it to end.

-I had the pleasure of actually meeting, in person, Mandi Loo from Auntie Loo's Treats this past Friday night. I'm actually surprised that we'd never met before, given that we know a lot of the same people and we're both vegany, punk rocky type girls. Anyway, she spotted me at The Manx Pub when I was drinking scotch with some friends and introduced herself. I was very pleased to hear that she likes this blog. Because boy, do I ever like her bakery.

-On a more serious note, just to spread the word, you can quickly donate $5 to the Red Cross relief efforts in Japan by texting the word REDCROSS to 330333 if you live here in Canada. It doesn't matter what cell phone network you're on and you can do it up to 6 times a month.


Eat To The Beat: The Measure [SA] - Revisionist


Allysia said...

Those look awesome! I love having simple, non-junky snacks kicking around so I think I'll be trying these soon.

Eileen said...

Those do, in fact, look excellent.

How on earth does one get a job as a daycare inspector?

Renata said...

Thank you thank you thank you! I have been looking for a recipe like this for quite some time and these are perfect. Low calorie considering the nutrition packed in to these puppies! I posted them on with a link back to here... Again, thanks! My husband and I really enjoyed them...and we took the advise about re-baking them to get the crusty edges. Kinda like a biscotti I suppose :)

Jennifer (It Ain't Meat, Babe) said...

Allysia: Great! Do let me know how they turn out!

Eileen: I worked in child care for most of my 20's and then taught Early Childhood Education at a college here in Ottawa. Then eventually I got my current job, which is pretty great!

Renata: Glad they worked out so well! I looked at your post and I can't see where it is linked back to my post. Am I just missing it?

Esen said...

These look phenomenal and I love that you didn't use sugar! Will try asap! Keep up the great work!


Sarah B @ Bake + Bike said...

I love Auntie Loos!! Coolest staff ever.

Dense oatmeal muffins in bar form sounds like the perfect snack...nice creation!

Hilary said...

Enjoy Downton. Is it not the awesomest television series you've seen in awhile? So much great intrigue there and the one-liners from Maggie Smith crack me up big time. I cannot wait for series two!

I totally did not have you down as an ECE / daycare professional. Pretty cool! said...

Oh wow, those look so delicious. I'm definitely going to be making them soon. Also, I LOVED Downton Abbey! I wish it'd gone on for longer than 6 episodes.

ciaochow said...

I made these bars yesterday using 2 bananas and a handful of raisins in place of the dates. Because of the amount of moist fruit, I didn't use any water but just mixed the flax into the milk. They turned out great, I did double bake them also. Filling and nutritious! Thanks!

Jennifer (It Ain't Meat, Babe) said...

That's great to hear! I love hearing how recipes turn out when other people make them. I hope you post photos.