Save money with these fruit bars

  • By Jim Romanoff Associated Press
  • Monday, July 27, 2009 9:02pm
  • LifeIn Our View

Store-bought, packable snacks for school can be pricey and some of the ingredients are less than desirable. Sure, there are all-natural brands, but they usually cost even more.

For about 50 cents each you can make these oatmeal, raspberry and peach snack bars, which kids would love to find tucked into their lunch bags.

The soft, chewy bars are made with plenty of fruit and aren’t too sweet, so they even make a great on-the-go breakfast treat.

Oatmeal, raspberry and peach snack bars

1/3cup orange juice

2tablespoons cornstarch

2tablespoons, plus 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar, divided

11/2cups frozen or fresh raspberries

11/2cups diced frozen or fresh peaches

11/2cups quick rolled oats

3/4cup all-purpose flour

1/2cup butter, softened

1teaspoon baking soda

1large egg, lightly beaten

In a medium saucepan, whisk together the orange juice, cornstarch and 2 tablespoons of the brown sugar. Add the raspberries and peaches, then stir over medium-high until the mixture is simmering and thickened, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.

Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 7-by-11-inch (or 9-by-9-inch) baking dish with cooking spray.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the oats, flour, remaining 1/2 cup of brown sugar, butter and baking soda. Mix together with a fork until the dough is crumbly but beginning to hold together. Set aside 1 cup of the mixture.

Mix the egg into the dough remaining in the bowl. Transfer the dough with the egg to the prepared baking dish and press it evenly over the bottom. Spread the reserved fruit filling on top, then sprinkle the reserved crumb mixture over it.

Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until lightly browned and bubbling. Transfer the dish to a wire rack to cool completely, about 1 hour. Cut into 16 bars.

Makes 16 bars. Per bar: 155 calories; 58 calories from fat; 7 g fat (4 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 26 mg cholesterol; 22 g carbohydrate; 2 g protein; 2 g fiber; 87 mg sodium.

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