Monday, March 21, 2011

Sun, Oats and Berries

Yeah, I know. I fail. Things happen, I get busy. I apparently neglect my blog...but it's still here and since it's spring break, I have time to write without stressing about other projects. Since I'm sitting in my parent's kitchen with my mom, waiting for granola bars to come out of the oven, I thought it'd be a perfect time to share my recipe for berry oat bars. I know I've talked about it before, but Davis really has an incredible farmer's market. America's favorite, in fact! After growing up with farmer's markets that had about 4 vendors, and then graduating to the Fresno markets with, probably about 30 vendors, the Davis Farmer's Market is like fresh food mecca for me. It's also the place to be in town on Saturdays for families, professors, and students alike (although you probably won't see the students until it hits 10:30). My friend Lianna and I were really good this winter quarter about getting our butts out of bed almost every Saturday and making our way to the market. One day, it was the first truly beautiful day in months, which made for a perfect market day before the hours of work and studying that were looming in front of me. That day, something caught our eye at a vendor that we had never visited before, Flour Chylde. They had these oat bars with raspberry jam on top, and for 1.50 a bar, they were the perfect breakfast, especially since I was really craving something sweet but not sickly sweet like the pastries I usually go for. So we grabbed our bars and our coffee and went and sat in the sun. (I was wearing a tank and wanted to cry for joy as the sun soaked my skin.) Anyway, so we both took our first bites and cried out for joy. Like seriously, I'm pretty sure we both started shouting about how good it was! They have a dense layer of oats on the bottom, topped with a wonderful raspberry jam. Simply incredible. So every week since, Lianna and I have gone to Flour Chylde and begged them to bring back those bars (and they actually finally did last time I went) but the next week, when they didn't have them, Lianna and I decided we'd have to find a substitute. It was another beautiful day and we just had to have our craving satisfied. Here's what did the trick:

Raspberry and Blackberry Oat Bars
Adapted from Color Me Vegan by Collene Patrick-Goudreau

2 cups berries (of your choice, can also use frozen)
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon lemon juice
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup rolled oats
2/3 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup flax seed
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup melted butter (clearly, I changed this from the original vegan recipe)
1/2 cup chopped almonds

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
In a saucepan, combine the berries, sugar, water and lemon juice. Cover and bring to a boil. Simmer uncovered for about 8 minutes until it thickens a bit.
In a medium boil, combine the remaining ingredients except the almonds.
In a greased 8x8 pan, press half of the oat mixture firmly into the bottom of the pan. Bake for 20 minutes.
Take out of the oven and cover with the berry mixture. Sprinkle the rest of the oat mixture on top, and lightly press down. Sprinkle the almonds on top last.
Bake for another 20 minutes. Let cook before cutting.

These were definitely a good substitute for our raspberry oat bars. I want to experiment more with this recipe--less brown sugar, more honey, more oats, different types of berries, etc., but this is definitely a good start.