Pre- or post-workout, or as a snack on the go, these oatmeal crumble bars deliver a protein kick to keep you fueled with energy throughout the day. Sandwiched with dried apricot filling, there is a little bit of sweet to make these bars feel like a treat.
2 cups (500 mL) dried apricots
½ cup (125 mL) water
¼ cup (60 mL) apricot or peach jam
1 cup (250 mL) large flake oats
1 cup (250 mL) whole wheat or all-purpose flour
⅔ cup (150 mL) brown sugar
¾ tsp (4 mL) baking powder
½ tsp (2 mL) salt
⅓ cup (75 mL) peanut butter
⅓ cup (75 mL) unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
¼ cup (60 mL) peanuts, coarsely chopped
Preheat oven to 350°F (180° C). Line an 8x8-inch (2 L) baking pan with parchment paper. Place apricots and water in a large saucepan. Bring to a simmer, cover, stirring occassionally until apricots have absorbed water, about 7 minutes. Stir in jam. Remove from heat, then puree in a food processor. It doesn't need to be perfectly smooth.
Meanwhile, in a large bowl, stir oats with flour, brown sugar, baking powder and salt. Stir in peanut butter. Mixture should be clumpy and will not be smooth. Using your fingers, work in butter until mixture is crumbly. Place slightly more than half the mixture, about 1¾ cups (425 mL), onto the parchment paper in the pan. Press firmly to form a single layer. Top with apricot mixture then gently spread to cover.
Toss peantus into remaining oat mixture, keeping the crumble as best you can. Crumble evenly over apricot mixture. Bake in centre of preheated oven 30 to 35 minutes, or until golden. Cool completely before cutting into bars.
Per 1 bar: 170 calories, 7 g fat (2.5 g saturated fat, 0.1 g trans fat, 2.5 g monounsaturated fat, 1 g polyunsaturated fat), 10 mg cholesterol, 3 g protein, 24 g carbohydrate, 2 g fibre, 14 g sugars, 95 mg sodium.