These oatmeal power bars are a fun treat to make for that Halloween bash! One look at the ingredients and you’ll approve – no sugar or flour. These bars are so scrumptious and healthy that you won’t have to stop reaching for a second, third, fourth … Happy Halloween!
Prep time: 15 to 18 minutes
Bake time: 10 to 12 minutes
Makes: 24 bars
2 cups quick-cooking oatmeal (not instant)
1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
1/4 cup honey
1/2 cup 100% pure maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup roasted, unsalted, slivered almonds
2 tablespoons roasted sesame seeds
2/3 cup raisins
Toast the Oatmeal:
1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Place oatmeal in an 18 X 12-inch rectangular baking sheet.
3. Toast the oatmeal for about 5 minutes.
4. After 5 minutes, stir the oatmeal – this prevents blackening at the edges of baking sheet.
5. Toast the oatmeal for an additional 5 minutes; stir once more.
6. When oatmeal has turned light golden brown, it is done.
7. If needed, toast the oatmeal for an additional 2 minutes. Set oatmeal aside in baking sheet to cool on counter.
8. Keep oven constantly heated at 350°F.
Prepare the Syrup:
1. In a 1-quart sauce pot, heat together the peanut butter, honey, maple syrup and vanilla until mixture is warm and runny; set it aside.
2. In a 2-quart mixing bowl, combine the toasted oatmeal, almonds, sesame seeds, raisins and salt.
3. Gently stir in the warm syrup mixture until all ingredients are combined.
4. If the mixture is too loose and grainy, add 1 to 2 more tablespoons maple syrup to combine and amalgamate the ingredients.
5. Line the baking sheet with parchment paper.
6. Transfer the oatmeal mixture to the parchment-lined baking sheet.
7. With wet hands, pat the mixture to form an 11 X 7-inch rectangle in center of sheet.
8. Using a knife, gently cut the oatmeal mass into 24 bars.
9. Bake the oatmeal bars for 10 to 13 minutes or until they turn golden brown.
10. Set oatmeal bars aside in baking sheet to cool completely.
11. When bars are cool, carefully cut through the squares to loosen them. Serve immediately or store the oatmeal bars in a glass jar in refrigerator.
12. Halloween oatmeal bars will keep, refrigerated, up to two weeks.
Text and Photograph ©2015 Nancy DeLucia Real