Honey Nut Oat Squares

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Still on my quest for healthier, portable snacks to have on hand for Gv, I made these Cheerio‐like honey nut oat squares to bring a little more variety into her daily nibblesI have to confess, I have actually munched on these for dessert (with a tall, icy glass of milk) several nights this week.  They're not overly sweet, but to my taste buds, they provide a toothsome treat.

Gv enjoys dipping them into a bowl of yogurt.  I always add the leftover crumbs to a bowl of the creamy stuff myself after we've gobbled up the latest batch of squares.

They also remind me of one of my favorite cereals growing up, Cracklin' Oat Bran.  Because of this, I might fiddle with the recipe in the future and add some coconut flakes and nutmeg to see what effect they have.  I also might try adding some hemp powder or cold‐milled flax meal for even more added nutrition.  Hopefully I'll remember to come back and let you know how all of that works when I do.

Since Gv and I can both tend to be a bit anemic at times, I'm always on the lookout for ways to get more iron into our diets and oats are a great way to do this.  To increase this nonheme (since it's not from meat, poultry or fish) iron absorption, try having something high in vitamin C along with it, like freshsqueezed orange juice, to provide a more powerful boost. 

What You Need:

3 cups rolled oats

1 cup almonds

1/2 cup whole wheat flour

1 Tablespoon baking powder (read how to make your own here)

1 Tablespoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup honey

2 eggs

1/2 cup milk of choice (we use this one, but refrigerated from the store)

1/3 cup melted butter (I might try substituting bananas for this soon ‐ let me know if you try it)

1 1/2 Tablespoon vanilla

What You Do:

1. Process the oats and almonds in a food processor until they reach a flour‐like consistency.

2.  Mix this flour with the other dry ingredients in a large bowl.

3.  Mix the wet ingredients in another bowl and combine with the dry ingredients.

4.  Refrigerate for about 10 minutes.

5.  Roll the dough out (it's often easier if you place a sheet of wax paper over the dough while you're rolling, to prevent sticking) onto a silicone baking mat.  I just place the mat onto a large cutting board, roll the dough out and then slide everything ‐ mat and all ‐ onto a baking sheet.  This is my secret trick for crispy snacks like these.

6.  Use a pizza wheel to score the dough.  You can see that I was very precise with this process:

7.  Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.

8.  Flip the entire sheet over (don't worry if some start breaking apart during this process, just flip all the pieces over), reduce the oven to 300 degrees, and bake for at least 20 more minutes.  You'll want to check on the squares at this point to see if they're as crispy as you'd like.  Since I cut this batch so unevenly, I needed to continue baking them a bit longer to make sure the larger pieces were as dry as I wanted.

9.  Use a spatula/flipper to break them all apart at the seams.  Store them in an airtight container and enjoy!

Do you have a Cheerios lover in your house?  Have you ever thought about creating a healthier version at home?  I'd love to hear - leave a comment or email me at lisahealy (at) outlook (dot) com.

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