A Healthy Snack

When my kids were young, I used to try a new brown bag recipe or two each fall to kick off the school year. It might be a cookie, a new sandwich filling, or once, I even made sandwich rolls from scratch. Since I worked full-time outside the home, the variety wasn’t sustainable throughout the year, but it was my way of acknowledging to myself and the kids that it was time to refocus and get back to routine.

If you’re looking for a healthy after-school snack for your kids or a sweet treat to brown bag to the office, try these Dried Plum Bars. They’re made with heart-healthy rolled oats as the “crust” of the cookie and dried plums for the filling. Dried plums, also known as prunes, are considered a superfruit because they have unique phytochemicals not found in other fruits, and are a source of important vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fiber.

This recipe shouldn’t take much more than a half hour to make, from start to finish.

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Dried Plum Bars
1 1/2 cups (about 9 ounces) coarsely chopped dried plums
1/3 cup apricot jam
Nonstick cooking spray
2 cups rolled oats (old fashioned or quick, uncooked)
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 egg
1 1/2 tablespoons melted butter

In medium bowl, combine dried plums and apricot jam; set aside. Lightly spray 8-inch square baking pan with nonstick cooking spray. In large bowl, combine oats, sugar, flour, cinnamon, salt and soda; mix well. Lightly beat together egg and butter; add to oats mixture, mixing with hands until crumbly. Press 2 cups of mixture into bottom of prepared pan. Spread dried plum mixture over oats; sprinkle remaining oat mixture over top and press down gently. Bake at 350°F oven 20 to 22 minutes or until deep golden brown. Cool in pan on wire rack. Cut into 16 bars.

Recipe adapted from the California Dried Plum Board.

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Posted: Sep 6th by Sandy_Hu