as fall begins, salad days and cold overnight oats mornings fade in the rearview mirror. We need something warm and building to get us through these darker, colder, drier days. It’s great if we can sit down for all of our meals and eat mindfully. However, that’s a pretty big ask for most people for each and every meal of the week.
Just because you’re on the run, doesn’t mean that you need to compromise on what you’re eating. These bars are like a solid version of oatmeal. They are not dry and crunchy (tough on digestion this time of year!), but moist, filling, and comforting. They’re a little sweet without being cloying.
I’ve made them here with cranberries and cacao nibs, two ingredients that are great for this time of year as we shed the excess heaviness of summer with astringency. As the fall and winter progress, they can be made with seeds, dates, nuts, raisins. Basically any goodies you might normally put into oatmeal or have in the pantry!
Makes 20 bar
2 1/2 c rolled oats
1/2 cup oat flour (almond, rye, and chickpea flour also work) *
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground cardamom
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg (optional)
1/2 tsp salt
1 c shredded coconut
1 c applesauce
1/4 c maple syrup
1 c coconut milk (other non-dairy milks are also fine)
1/4 c coconut oil
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 c dried cranberries (sweetened with apple juice)
1/2 c cacao nibs
Preheat your oven to 350F degrees and prepare an 8x8 baking dish if you like thicker bars (pictured) or a 9x12 baking dish if you like thinner bars, with coconut oil or parchment paper.
In a large bowl, combine oats, flour, spices, salt, and coconut. Whisk or stir with a fork to combine. In a small bowl, combine apple sauce, maple syrup, coconut milk, coconut oil, and vanilla extract. Beat with a fork to combine.
Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and fold to combine. Fold in cranberries, cacao nibs, and any different additions (like dates, almond meal, sunflower seeds).
Spread the mixture evenly in the prepared pan and bake for 30-35 mins for thick bars or 20-25 min for thinner bars until the bars are starting to brown. Remove and cool for 10 minutes before cutting. Keeps for a few days in a sealed container.
*Oat flour can be made easily by putting rolled oats into a blender or food processor for a few minutes!