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Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Secret Fruit Bars: Snack #2
Unlike Jessica Seinfeld, I prefer to call a carrot, a carrot, rather than hide it inside a brownie and pretend it doesn't exist. I have always wanted Izzy to recognize that vegetables are healthy and flavorful (unless they were prepared by my first stepmother). There are no secret fruits or vegetables around here. We eat them right out in the open, imagine that.
As for these "Secret" Fruit bars, they hail from one of my favorite children's cookbooks, The Baby Bistro Cookbook. This book is full of recipes, vegetables included, that you would want to cook, with child or without.
These bars are full of fiber and make for an ideal snack. Not sure why the ingredients in this recipe need to be kept under wraps. The filling, encased within a sweet oaty crust, is packed with apples, carrots, dried fruits and berries. I brought them in for snack and decided to use their name to create a mystery. The kids could guess the ingredients. Not sure if they could or did, even adults have a hard time identifying each fruit and most can't discern the carrots. But at least they ate them.
As for the recipe, I won't be keeping any secrets...
Secret Fruit Bars
2 apples, cored and chopped
1 1/2 cups shredded carrots
1 cup dried cranberries (or cherries)
1 cup fresh or frozen thawed blueberries, cranberries or strawberries
1/2 cup water
4 cups quick-cooking oats (I used old-fashioned which worked fine)
2 cups all purose flour (half whole wheat works well)
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter
1.Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line a 13" x 9" baking pan with parchment paper.
2. In a medium saucepan, bring the fruits, carrots and water to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes or until apples are soft. Remove from heat and cool.
3. In a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients. Using a pastry blender or mixer, cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse brumbs.
4.Evenly press the half of the oat mxture on the bottom of the pan. Spread fruit over the top. Cover the fruit with remaining oat mixture and gently press.
5. Bake for 35-45 minutes or until golden. Cool completely and cut as desired (I usually cut about 28 squares).