Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Fruity oaty awesome, or how I learned to stop worrying and love parchment paper.

I am a breakfast kinda girl. I have to be, because without it I either throw up or pass out. While either of those can be a serviceable ending to a hella fun evening, I prefer to start my mornings off with a little less excitement.

Anyway, breakfast. Cereal and PBJ on toast are both delicious options, but I found myself getting bored. I wanted an easy breakfast that was filling yet tasty and didn’t involve hauling out the pots and pans at 6:00 am. Imagine my delight when my newly acquired Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar featured an entire chapter full of healthy, won’t-give-you-a-sugar-high cookies!

I settled on making Fruity Oaty Bars, and they did not disappoint. I was a little leery at first, because the recipe calls for both brown rice syrup and barley malt syrup, but the bars aren’t too sweet at all (or sticky, which is a problem with some granola bars). They don’t jack up my blood sugar, either. The benefits of using unrefined sugar, represent. They were very easy to make, with the only minor annoyance being chopping the dried apples. But whatever, you’re probably tougher than I am and don’t mind hacking through desiccated fruit. After that, it’s a veritable orgy of mixing and smushing and squishing everything into a baking pan before shoving it into the oven and digging oatmeal out from under your fingernails. Half an hour or so later, you have 16 delicious little breakfasts waiting for you.

What’s in here? Apples, cranberries, ground flax, sesame seeds, pepitas, oats, cinnamon....

For my first batch, I stuck close to the recipe and only used apples and cranberries, which seemed like a safe combo. The second time around, I found some stray dried blueberries, maybe a quarter-cup, and tossed those in as well. They added a nice little something, so if you like blueberries, go for it. I’m sure they’d be extra-awesome with chocolate chips, but that might skew away from the wholesome aspect.

Here’s where my newfound obsession with parchment paper comes in. For batch #1, I lined the pan with my old standby, aluminum foil. It worked fine. I always thought that parchment paper was an extravagance I didn’t need; after all, what could it possibly do that foil couldn’t do better and, well, shinier? I like shiny. Ask my husband. Still, we ended up buying parchment paper out of curiosity and I gave it a try with batch #2. You probably already know this, my lovelies, but it is SO WORTH IT. You don’t have to grease anything. It’s amazing. It’s so easy. It’s even compostable. Once your bars have cooled, just lift that paper out of there and you’re good to go. Parchment paper, I love you. I even suspect that I can reuse you after baking non-greasy cookies, like dog treats.

Um, so evidently I have kind of a thing for parchment paper now, but you’ve always known I was a little weird. These tasty little granola bars are incredible, and you should make them. (Hint: Search on Google Books. Maybe that’s cheating, I don’t know. Take it up with Google.) I thought a single bar wouldn’t fill me up, but it totally does. I’ve given the recipe to two omni coworkers, both of whom are stoked to try them.

Best of all, they are perfect with coffee. Good morning, indeed.


  1. I have been wanting to make bars! Those look super!

  2. These look so good, but I've gotta tell you I really love your writing! You are awesome!

  3. Thanks, ladies! You warm my bitter little heart. :)

  4. very cool! Andrew was thinking of making his own... i will let him know about this post :D

  5. They sound and look really good! I've been getting bored with breakfast for a while now, too, so I'll have to look them up. :)