Posts Tagged ‘oatmeal’

I won’t lie. Baking makes me feel good. Just thinking about baking actually makes me feel good … looking at yummy recipes, the photos that make me want to drop everything and run to the kitchen, considering the ingredients … all part of the process. (And I like to blog about baking!)

OBars-Ingredients2First, we gather the ingredients together. You might, (correctly), surmise that I collect recipes for eons, as this one, in a copy of Woman’s Day, carried a 2/3 page cigarette ad!  You won’t be finding
that in its recent history.

I committed to making a dessert for a volunteer picnic this Sunday for the local equine rescue I help. I wanted to also make something vegan, in keeping with my own direction, and also because when a bunch of people gather who are committed to the mission of rescuing horses, often from slaughter, (and becoming horse meat), there’s always a fair amount of vegetarians, and some vegans. I went searching OBars-Flour2through my recipes, and selected one without eggs and where I could easily replace the butter with Earth Balance vegan margarine. All other ingredients are vegan.

All you eagle-eyed bakers may have noticed something missing in that top photo – flour. NOW I have all the ingredients.

I’ve made this recipe before, but with butter and different flavors preserves. This time I also mixed it up and used brown sugar for half the sugar, as it’s such a natural with oats and cinnamon.This recipe is incredibly simple and whips up in no time.


After mixing the margarine, flour, sugar, baking powder and oat mixture together, the next step is pressing the mixture into the bottom of the pan.


Next, spreading the preserves to within a half inch of the edges.


Sprinkle top with reserved crumb mixture and coconut.


Voila – Done!

One of the things that is most difficult for me is the concept of baking vegan. I don’t have a problem with not eating meat. I know enough about what happens to animals, particularly in the factory farming system, to not want to participate in it. But eggs and dairy, particularly when it comes to baking? Now this is rough.

OBars-OnePiece2Established vegans say that once committed, you won’t miss the eggs and dairy in food. Maybe not in some food, but in baking … I don’t know. As I go through my many clipped recipes and cookbooks, I can envision making a vegan version of some, but others? Simply not possible. I am in a quandary.

But for today, I made something simple and vegan, which, of course, I had to taste to make sure it’s safe for consumption.

Because I have modified this recipe significantly, I am including it here, should you want something fast and easy, vegan or not, (just use butter.) Enjoy!

Strawberry Oatmeal Bars

3/4 C. butter or margarine
1-1/4 C. each rolled oats and flour
1/2 C. sugar I used half cane sugar, half brown sugar)
1-1/2 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 C. strawberry preserves (or peach, apricot – anything seedless)
3/4 C. flaked coconut

In 13 x 9″ baking pan, melt butter while oven is heating to 350˚; cool.
Stir in oats, flour, sugar, baking powder and cinnamon until blended. It will be crumbly.
Reserve 1/2 c. crumb mixture.
Press firmly onto bottom of pan.
Spread preserves to within 1/2″ of edges.
Sprinkle with reserved crumb mixture tossed with coconut.
Bake on center rack for 25 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Cool in pan on rack. Makes 36 bars. (per bar – 12 mg cholesterol with butter, 0 mg cholesterol with margarine.)

And now for me … back to the picture book I’m working on.

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Are you an oatmeal fan? I actually love almost any good hot cereal, but McCann’s Irish Oatmeal is my favorite. It’s warm, nourishing and while delicious with the simplest of accompaniments – a touch of brown sugar and a small dab of butter – there are so many ways you can dress it up to make it even more yummy. Plus McCann’s is non-GMO, an extra bonus.

I found an excellent idea in a past issue of Prevention magazine which suggests you crumble a gingersnap, (or two or three), into the bowl of oatmeal, and toss with some chopped pecans. Yum! They also suggest having the liquid be 1/2 cup apple juice and 1/4 cup water, but I haven’t tried that yet. In the bowl pictured, I threw in a bunch of organic raisins to a mix of half  2% milk and half water, and when just shy of boiling, added the McCann’s Oatmeal, (which is what Prevention also used), and when done, crumbled in the gingersnaps. In the bowl, you can see some raisins and the gingersnaps which get deliciously soft and chewy.

Other tasty combos are raisins with walnuts and a dash of cinnamon, dried cranberries with some chopped pecans, or chopped apples with a tad of brown sugar and cinnamon. Oatmeal is such an inviting food and good oatmeal doesn’t lose its flavor with additions stirred in. Plus it’s heart healthy! Here’s something else I read along the way – oatmeal will stick to your ribs longer the more whole the grain. So eating instant oatmeal will leave you hungry soon after because the oats are chopped extremely fine to speed up cooking, but they are also digested much more quickly. I use McCann’s Quick-Cooking, steel cut oatmeal for more heft, but the regular steel cut, while still longer to cook, will stave off hunger the longest.

I also found, in looking for gingersnaps for a cheesecake crust, that they are practically a specialty nowadays and may take a little hunting to find. The mainstream cookie manufacturers don’t seem to make them anymore, so look carefully.

Have any hot oatmeal suggestions you’d like to share? Let us know!

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