Sunday, February 21, 2010

Harvest Fruit Bars

I found this recipe from quaker oats website while I was searching for a healty snack for my picky 4 year old daughter. Even though my husband loved it more than her, she likes it too.

What I like about this recipe is that you can substittue the fruits, and the juices and have numerous different versions.

Each time I make, I substitute raisins with cranberries, or dried appricots or mixed dried fruits. I also tried apple cider and pear cider instead of orange juice and still got deliciuos bars.

Two months ago I had an acorn squash at home and didn't know what to do and I decided to experiment them with this recipe so I cut the squash in half, cleaned and sprayed with canola oil, sprinkled some cinnamon and added dried cloves and roast them for an hour. After roasting I removed the squash with a spoon and added it to my fruit bar mixture instead of the bananas. I also replaced the orange juice with pear cider and substitute apple pie spice with pumpkin pie spice, walnuts with hazelnuts. End result was great tasting and chewy fruit bars that I plan to make many more times.

One 6-ounce package diced dried mixed fruit bits
1 cup chopped banana (about 2 medium)
2/3 cup Tropicana or orange juice*
1-1/2 teaspoons apple pie spice or ground cinnamon, divided
1-3/4 cups whole wheat flour or all-purpose flour
1-1/2 cups Quaker Oats (quick or old fashioned, uncooked)
1/2 pound (2 sticks) margarine or butter, softened
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup chopped nuts


1. Heat oven to 375°F.

2. In medium bowl, combine dried fruit, banana, orange juice and 1 teaspoon of apple pie spice; set aside.

3. In medium bowl, combine flour, oats and remaining 1/2 teaspoon apple pie spice; mix well. In large bowl, beat margarine and sugar together with electric mixer until creamy.

4. Add oat mixture; beat until crumbly. Reserve 3/4 cup mixture for topping. Press remaining oat mixture onto bottom of 13 x 9-inch baking pan. Bake 13 to 15 minutes or until light golden brown.

5. Spread fruit evenly over crust to within 1/4-inch of edge. Add nuts to reserved oat mixture; mix well. Sprinkle evenly over fruit; pat down lightly.

6. Bake 16 to 20 minutes or until golden brown. Cool completely; cut into bars. Store loosely covered.

*If using old fashioned oats, decrease orange juice to 1/2 cup.
Yield 32 Bars

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