Fruit and nut oatmeal bars

I made these today and I am almost certain that I’ll want them again, so I’m writing up my notes before I forget what I did.

Ingredients

  • 2.5 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon (tsp) baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Half cup sugar
  • Three fourths cup of old-fashion oatmeal (retain for later)
  • Half cup of honey (or skip the sugar and use a full cup of honey)
  • 2 eggs
  • 2/3 cup canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Good dash or two of cinnamon
  • One and a half cups of cooked steel cut or pinhead oatmeal
  • Half cup chopped walnuts (or preferred nuts)
  • Half cup raisins (or other dry fruit)
  • Half cup chopped prunes (optional)

Instructions

Cook the steel cut oats as per the instructions. While the oats are simmering, you can work on the rest of the recipe. I found that I had to let the oats sit a bit to absorb excess water; you may want to try reducing the amount of water a bit from what the instructions say. I’m very much a newbie in the kitchen, so if you’re a quick worker, you may want to start the oats a bit earlier so that they’re ready when you need them.

In a medium bowl, mix the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt.

Measure a half cup each of nuts and raisins; chop prunes to make a half cup. Set aside for a moment.

In a larger bowl, mix the eggs, oil, cooked oatmeal, honey, and vanilla. Set aside.

Gradually add the dry mixed ingredients to the larger bowl, stirring well to blend them with the wet ingredients.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Once your batter is smooth and well mixed, fold in the fruit and nut mixture.

Add small amounts of the dry old-fashioned oats to the mix until it reaches a firmer consistency; it will flow all over the cookie sheet otherwise.

Prepare your cookie sheet as you normally would (we use parchment paper, which makes this super easy), if you’re planning to turn any of the batter into cookies. I made a dozen medium cookies and still had plenty of batter for the bars I was aiming for.

Use a tablespoon or medium cookie scoop to portion out the batter onto a cookie sheet (9-12 cookies per sheet). Bake for about 13 minutes, or until the cookies start to firm up and begin to brown.

While the cookies are in the oven, pour the rest of the batter into a 9-inch round or square baking pan. When the cookies are done, take them out and put the baking pan into the oven. Cook the bars for 35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out of the center dry.

Transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool. Store them in an airtight container, or freeze for later.

When the bars are cooked, cool the entire cake for at least 20 minutes before cutting into bars. Wrap the bars individually for ease of taking for your lunch or breakfast.

Enjoy!

NOTE: I adapted this recipe from one on “Real Food Real Deals:” https://realfoodrealdeals.com/steel-cut-oats-cookies/

How do you handle yourself mentally knowing you will gain weight during the holidays?

If you’re really upset at temporarily gaining a few pounds, just remember that your weight is not an ethical issue. You’re not poisoning babies or something equally bad.

Try to get some perspective on your situation. I mean that literally. Try to consider this problem as if it belonged to someone you care about, not you.

If you wouldn’t hate someone else for gaining 5 pounds that they’re going to lose after the holidays when they get back on track with their eating plans and workouts (or even if they don’t), then why would you hate yourself?

If it turns out that your real reason for being upset is that you’re angry at yourself for not reaching a goal or maintaining perfect self control, then I’d suggest learning some techniques for self forgiveness, and understand that if you berate yourself for not being perfect, you’re likely to have even worse results.

If you’re willing to read an article on ‘messing up,’ I suggest Stephen Guise’s article “The Hidden Cause of Downward Spirals.”

Remember: We’re not robots!