Jun 21, 2012

Oatmeal Jam Bars

These easy dessert bars fall under the category of "not really good for you, but could be worse." No, they're not necessarily healthy, but there are certain occasions in life where you need recipes like this. For example, a potluck. 

Let's discuss this for a moment. 

You may be thinking, If I'm going to a potluck I should practice what I preach and bring something healthy

Yes and no. 

On the one hand, if you are really planning to stick to a healthy diet, you could bring something you know you could eat so that no matter what is at the potluck there is something for you. Now, unless you have an allergy or something, usually there is something for everyone at a potluck. I personally use these occasions to splurge a bit (not pig out) and eat something I wouldn't normally eat at home. 

On the other hand, if you bring something too healthy you risk the chance of nobody BUT you eating it! I have done this on several occasions. Unfortunately I found my pride over having my dish liked was more important than my desire to show off how healthy I know how to eat! 

There are a lot of great healthy recipes I will share that would be fine to bring to a potluck, but one needs to be smart about this and choose things that would appeal to a lot of tastes. Especially when it comes to  desserts, sometimes it is just better to make something you know lots of people like.

So I give you, my Oatmeal Jam Bars. I'm not a huge cookie/bar fan (pie is my weakness), but these are one of my favorites. The whole grains and butter make it a little better for you than some dessert choices. (This recipe is adapted from one I found on allrecipes.com).

Oatmeal Jam Bars
3/4 cup all-purpose flour*
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 1/4 cups quick cooking oats
1/2 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup butter, melted**
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup jam of your choice (I used strawberry). Be sure to use a high fructose corn syrup-free kind. Those labeled "real fruit spread" usually don't contain HFCS.

In a bowl, combine the dry ingrediants. Add butter and vanilla; stir until crumbly. Set aside 1 1/2 cups. Press remaining crumb mixture evenly into an ungreased 9x13" baking pan. Heat jam in the microwave or over the stove until warm and slightly melted. Spread jam over crust. Sprinkle with reserved crumb mixture. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until the top is lightly brown.  Cool before cutting.

*Can substitute all-purpose flour for whole wheat flour if you are used to the taste of 100% whole wheat  desserts.

**Can use some or all coconut oil instead, though all butter gives it a nice shortbread-y flavor.

Preparation time: 8 minutes. Cook time: 25-30 minutes. Servings: 16.

Search terms:
Jam bars with coconut oil
Healthy jam bars
Whole-wheat jam bars


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