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Strawberry Oatmeal Bars

Who said desserts had to be filled with sugar to be enjoyable? These strawberry oatmeal bars are a healthy option, filled with natural sweetness from fresh strawberries. Packed with under 100 calories, this is a perfect dessert for adults and kids alike. If you are vegan, you can substitute butter for coconut oil. We hope you will love this delicious healthy dessert option that is easy to make and refreshing for the Spring season.

Ingredients

For the Strawberry Bars:

  • 1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 3/4 cup white whole wheat flour (substitute all-purpose flour or 1:1 baking flour to make it gluten-free)
  • 1/3 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/3 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter (melted)
  • 2 cups small-diced strawberries
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice (from 1/2 small lemon)
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar

For the Vanilla Glaze (optional)

  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar (sifted)
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon milk

Instructions

  1. Place a rack in the center of your oven and preheat to 375 degrees F. Line an 8×8-inch baking pan with parchment paper so that the paper overhangs two sides like handles.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the oats, flour, brown sugar, ginger, and salt. Pour in the melted butter and stir until it forms clumps and the dry ingredients are evenly moistened. Set aside 1/2 cup of the crumble mixture, then press the rest into an even layer in the bottom of the prepared pan.
  3. Scatter half of the strawberries over the crust. Sprinkle the cornstarch evenly over the top, then sprinkle on the lemon juice and 1/2 tablespoon of the granulated sugar. Scatter on the remaining berries, then the remaining 1/2 tablespoon sugar. Sprinkle the reserved crumbs evenly over the top. You will have some fruit showing through.
  4. Bake the bars for 35 to 40 minutes, until the fruit is bubbly and the crumb topping smells toasty and looks golden. Place the pan on a wire rack to cool completely (you can speed this process along in the refrigerator).
  5. While the bars cool, prepare the glaze: In a medium bowl, briskly whisk together the powdered sugar, vanilla, and milk until smooth. Feel free to add more milk if a thinner consistency is desired. Using the parchment paper handles, lift the bars from the pan. Drizzle with glaze, slice, and serve.

Recipe courtesy of Erin Clarke – wellplated.com.