1.03.2014

Hazelnut Maple Oat Bars


I'm not really a big resolution girl but I do love taking the time each January to refocus my eating habits a bit, try to embrace some healthier choices and take a break from refined sugar.  Sugar and pastry blogging pretty much go hand in hand so I thought I'd challenge myself a bit this month by making a few recipes with only natural unrefined sugars.


First up on the list are these delicious oat bars.  As much as I love savory breakfast food there will always be a part of me that craves pastry for breakfast.  My unmitigated love of almond croissants is famous for a reason. This recipe couldn't be simpler and makes a lot so I think we'll be in good breakfast and snacking stead around here for awhile.

The beauty of this recipe is that it can be eaten just as it is or you can toast the slices in the oven to make them crispier and serve them with a hard cheese for the cocktail hour. Chock full of heart healthy nuts and bound together with a maple syrup, dried date emulsion it's slightly salty, definitely crunchy and ultimately sweet. A perfect way to start the year and the day.


Hazelnut Maple Oat Bars
Recipe adapted from Bon Appetit

1 C. pure maple syrup
1/2 C. dried dates, pitted and chopped
2 T. virgin coconut oil
2 C. old fashioned oats
1/2 C. hazelnuts
1/4 C. pumpkin seeds
1/4 C. whole almonds
1/2 C. shelled sunflower seeds
2 T. amaranth
1 tsp. kosher salt

In a sauce pan combine the maple syrup and dates.  Heat over medium for 10 minutes until the dates soften.  Add the coconut oil and stir to melt. Remove from heat and blend with an immersion blender.  You can also do this step in a blender if needed.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Spray a 8 1/2"x4" loaf pan with vegetable spray.  In a medium bowl combine the seeds, nuts, amaranth and salt and toss.  Add the date syrup mixture and stir to thoroughly coat.  Add half of the mixture to the loaf pan and use a piece of parchment paper to compress the mixture.  PACK THE MIXTURE TIGHTLY.  As tightly as you can, as this will ensure that it holds together when you cut it.

Add the rest of the mixture and press again.  Bake for 40-45 minutes until the mixture is golden brown. Allow the mixture to cool completely in the pan before cutting. Cut slices using a serrated knife.  Store tightly wrapped in the refrigerator or at room temperature if desired.

23 comments :

Laura (Tutti Dolci) said...

What beautifully golden bars, perfect for breakfast or a healthy afternoon snack!

Grandbabycakes said...

Maria this is so stunning! I want these right now! The maple oat combo is so lovely.

Adam said...

These look delicious and such a great healthy snack for the kids! Thanks for sharing!

Emilie@TheCleverCarrot said...

This looks so yummy... love the ingredients. I have everything on hand except the amaranth and would love to make these (we're snowed in!) Do you know of a quick sub?
PS- We have almond & chocolate croissants for xmas morning breakfast every year. I know what you mean... ;)

Pink Patisserie said...

Emilie, I can't think of another grain to sub for it. It's pretty unique, but I think extra sunflower seeds would work nicely! How fun to be snowed in, send some snow our way ok?

Erika said...

Love the flavors of dried dates and hazelnuts. These bars would be my go to snack on the go too.. Great way to start off 2014!

Milk and Honey said...

This looks so good. I'm always looking for healthy snack recipes, for balance... you know?

Susan said...

I am so making this. Looks delish!

Bianca @ Confessions of a Chocoholic said...

Sounds delicious. I'd definitely want to eat this for breakfast, too. Happy New Year!

Paula @ Vintage Kitchen Notes said...

Once in a while I come across recipes like this one that have all ingredients I love so much, I don't know where to begin! This is such a winner in my book Maria! Will try it as soon as I'm in the mood for turning on the oven, it's too hot right now here! Happy belated New Year!

Stacy | Wicked Good Kitchen said...

Love this loaf, Maria! I can totally relate with the sugar, baking and blogging thing. Lately, I've been snacking on Flackers (flax seed crackers). My favorite sweet of late with cinnamon and currants. Can totally see me toasting up those slices for a nice snack! Thanks for sharing and have a great weekend!

Alice @ Hip Foodie Mom said...

oh my goodness, I love these! I feel the same way every January. . wanting to reduce the refined sugar intake. Love that you challenged yourself here! This would definitely be gobbled up by me if this were in my house. . love it! Happy New Year and can't wait to see what else you have in store!

Marie Matter said...

YUM! Great start to the year, Maria!

Stephanie @ Girl Versus Dough said...

I love these bars are healthy yet made with normal ingredients (instead of those weird things I a) can never seem to find at the store or b) find but cost like a bajillion dollars). I'll have to try these soon!

Anne@FromMySweetHeart said...

This looks pretty delicious! I'm like you, I love pastry for breakfast. But this sweet, salty, nutty stuff would certainly jump start my day!

AdriBarr said...

I hear you about refocusing in January. I was doing well until my sister gave me a box of caramels... these bars look great. Happy New Year to you!

Gintare @Gourmantine said...

I think we are all in need of cutting down sugars when New Year rolls in, especially after stepping of plenty festive tables, but I could not survive without a sweet start to the day, this looks wonderful!

Jessica @ A Kitchen Addiction said...

I would love to have these around to take with me when I'm on the go!

laurasmess.me said...

I love the fact that these are made with a loaf tin rather than a large flat pan. So nice to be able to cut through a cross-section and see all those beautiful golden seeds! I'm also trying to eat a bit healthier at the moment... I'm never one to eliminate foods but I definitely feel that it can be wise to cut down on refined sugars every now and then! These bars are a perfect healthy fix. And I completely agree, almond croissants = breakfast heaven. Darn it, why can't they be healthy?!

Tiffany | baking at tiffanys said...

Happy New Year and hope you had a very Merry Christmas too! (I know I'm so late with that!) I'm also thinking about making healthier choices with my sweets, and like you, that includes choosing unrefined sweeteners. This looks nice and hearty and a great way to start the day, yum!

MoonLight said...

I love how healthy this looks! All those nuts and seeds in a caramel roasted colour: it looks beautiful! Amaranth is a curious ingredient though.. (where did you get the idea?) I'll have to see if I can find that there.. Thanks so much for sharing! :)

Hannah | Healthy Foodie said...

These look great, I've made some similar ones adding peanuts and a bit of peanut butter to bind with honey and tasted great, will give these a try.

Iwona said...

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