Full of chewy goodness and a touch of sweetness, these oat bars from cook Sarah Warmker are a delicious and wholesome way to start your morning right. She lends us some thoughts on oats, from Nourishing Traditions:
“Folklore values oats as contributing to strength, endurance, beauty, and perceptiveness. Although first discovered growing wild in barley fields in Russia, northern Africa and the Near East, oats thrive in colder climates of Scotland, Ireland and England. They were planted in Massachusetts in the 1600’s and served as porridge for the growing nation. Oats are rich in B vitamins and in calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus and potassium. They contain more oil than most grains. Oats are low in gluten but contain more phytates than almost any other grain. Thus, it is very important to soak oats before preparation.”
Another wonderful benefit of these oat bars- coconut oil. Among it’s many health benefits, coconut oil strengthens the immune system because it contains antimicrobial lipids, lauric acid, capric acid and caprylic acid which have antifungal, antibacterial and antiviral properties. Try adding coconut oil to a wide variety of foods such as porridge, curries, smoothies or simply as a butter/oil replacement in most recipes.
Without further ado, her recipe:
1 3/4 cups steel cut oats
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 1/2 cups whole milk buttermilk
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup coconut oil, virgin unrefined
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 cup diced cranberries (or other dried fruit)
Grind 1 1/4 cup of the steel cut oats until they are finer – even better if they are more flour like. Mix the ground oats with the remaining 1/2 cup oats, the flour, and the buttermilk. Allow to soak for approximately 24 hours.
Mix in the remaining ingredients – a stand mixer works well.
Spread the dough onto the bottom of an ungreased 13 X 9-inch pan.
Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes or until light golden brown.
Cool on wire rack. Cut into bars. Store tightly covered. Serve with butter if desired.