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Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Sneaky, But Delicious

A few years ago I came across a cookbook called Deceptively Delicious by Jessica Seinfeld.  For anyone who has small children, or picky eaters, this book is a must!  Seinfeld does an amazing job at creating meals and snacks with hidden vegetables.  The basis behind this book is the vegetable puree.  As long as you have a blender, making purees is very simple.  This particular recipe uses spinach puree.  I used a bag of baby spinach, a little bit of water and made a puree in the blender.  Any leftovers can be stored in ice-cube trays and used later in another recipe (or even in a smoothie).  My son took this recipe to school for his snack day and his teacher told me that the kids loved it.  The recipe says to cut the bars into 12, but I cut them into smaller squares so they would fit into little hands.  Enjoy!!!

Blueberry Oatmeal Bars (with spinach)


Ingredients:

Nonstick cooking spray

2 cups old-fashioned oats

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

3/4 cup Smart Balance (trans-fat free soft tub spread), chilled

1 cup blueberry preserves

1/2 cup spinach puree


Directions:

1.  Preheat the oven to 375.  Coat and 8x8 inch baking pan with cooking spray.

2.  In a large bowl, combine the oats, flour, sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, salt, and vanilla, and stir to mix well.

3.  Add the margarine and cut it quickly into the dry ingredients with two knives until the mixture resembles coarse meal and is no longer powdery.  Do not over-mix, bits of spread will still be visible.

4.  Set aside about half of the oat mixture; press the rest of it firmly into the pan.  Bake until lightly browned at the edges (but not fully baked), 13 to 15 minutes.

5.  Meanwhile, mix the preserves with the spinach puree in a small bowl.

6.  Spread the blueberry mixture over the partially baked oat layer, then sprinkle with the reserved oat mixture.  Bake until the topping is slightly browned, 20-25 minutes.  Set the pan on a rack to cool completely before cutting.  Cut into either 12 large bars, or into smaller squares.