Let me tell you the tale of a wonderful vacation day.
I woke up and my parents were already at work. I lazed around and read for awhile. Then, I packed up some homemade graham crackers (recipe here)…
…and a few other essentials…
…and drove myself to daycare. My sister-in-law watches 3 babies plus my always charming baby nephew during the day, and now that I’m home I was eager to go assist. (And by “assist,” I mean “make a mess in the kitchen and make myself scarce whenever somebody smells like their diaper needs attention.”) The plan was to recreate a favorite snack of Mr. Baby Nephew (also known as Cal):
When I arrived, the man of the hour was not at all excited to see me…
…but my new friend Carter was happy to hang out in the kitchen with me and observe the cooking process.
I based these Nutrigrain-ish bars on this recipe. I un-veganized it, because I had butter instead of Earth Balance and no ground flax to make a flax “egg.” I also cut a little bit of sugar, and swapped blueberries for the apples.
First things first: the jam filling. This stuff was simple and would be great on its own with yogurt, ice cream, pound cake, etc.
Next, dry ingredients:
Then add the butter and wet ingredients, and smush (technical term) until you have a crumbly mixture.
Press half of the mixture into a 9 x 9 pan, spread the blueberry filling over that, and crumble the rest of the oat mixture on top.
While it’s baking, tend to any adorable babies that happen to wake up.
And 30 minutes later, voila:
Blueberry Nutrigrain Knock-offs (makes about 16 bars)
- 1 1/2 c. oats
- 1 c. flour (I used 1/2 c. white and 1/2 c. whole wheat)
- 1/2 tsp. baking soda
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/3 c. brown sugar
- 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
- 1 egg
- 1/2 c. (1 stick) butter, at room temperature
- 1/4 c. agave nectar (honey would probably work also)
- 2 tbsp. almond milk
For the jam filling:
- 2 cups blueberries
- 2 tbsp. sugar
- 1 tsp. cornstarch mixed with 1 tbsp. water
- juice of half a lemon
For the jam filling: In a small saucepan, cook the blueberries and sugar over medium-low heat for about 20 minutes, stirring often. As you stir, smash some of the berries against the side of the pan. When the 20 minutes are almost up, add the cornstarch and water and continue to stir for a few more minutes. Then, take the pan off the heat, add the lemon juice, and let the jam cool.
For the bars: Mix the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Then add the wet ingredients and the butter, and smash with a fork until the mixture is crumbly and well combined. Press half of the mixture into a 9 x 9 pan, spread the jam filling evenly, and crumble the rest of the oat mixture on top. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes, and let cool before cutting into 16 squares.
Note: I think this is my favorite of all the things I’ve posted on here so far–so you should definitely give it a try. It would also lend itself well to lots of variations–see the link to the original recipe for a list.
After the blueberry project, I helped my sis-in-law and another of the daycare charges make some cookies for the big kids to decorate after school…
….and then I came home for Zumba. It doesn’t get any better than that, dear readers.
If I don’t get back here before the weekend–happy holidays!