Oat Nut Fruit Gems

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(Becky, the Mama)

My mother, Ruthie, went from loving her sugary desserts (a la last week’s Honey Slice cookie recipe) to a diet almost completely without sugar a couple of decades ago.  A health crisis with her blood pressure and heart, meant major changes in her daily diet – all for the better.  Out went everything white: sugar, white flour and white rice… and in came the brown and fiber-filled replacements.  But, we are not the sort of women to suffer deprivation in our family.  Being the creative and resourceful cook, Mother found several ways to satisfy her sweet tooth while also getting healthier, sporting an adorably slim figure, and having more energy than women decades younger than she!

This is one of my all-time favorite sweet, healthy, satisfying treats that she baked. She served them in a pretty cloth-lined basket at a family supper and they disappeared in what seemed like minutes. Everyone from kids to adults raved about them.

The basic ingredients are so simple:  oats, mashed bananas and grated apples.  From there you can throw in the kitchen sink:  any nuts, seeds, flavorings or dried fruit that you like.   Another bonus is that you can serve this recipe to most of the people in your family (or friends) on special diets.  The recipe is naturally vegan, and if you use gluten-free oats, it is gluten-free and can easily be adapted to use less sugar or made sugar-free.  Kids not only love them, but as you can see from my little helper below, they also love to help make them.

My grandson Georgie, furiously mashing the bananas with a potato masher.

My grandson Georgie, furiously mashing the bananas with a potato masher.

If you want to create warm memories of baking with little ones this Christmas, but prefer not to send them into a Sugar Orbit in the process: this is the perfect mom and child, or grandma and grandchild project, to whip up together.

The texture is somewhere between a muffin, an oatmeal cookie, trail mix, and baked oatmeal.  Made with sugar they get a nice crunch on the outside but are moist and slighty chewy on the inside.  Perfect for quick breakfasts-to-go, they also make great snacks for school lunch boxes and any outdoor enthusiasts in your family.  Wrapped in foil they are wonderful sources of energy when hiking, camping or snow-boarding.

This recipe makes a dozen normal size muffins plus a dozen mini muffins.  I enjoy having both sizes around.  They freeze well.  Best stored in fridge and then heated for a few seconds in microwave.

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 Oat Nut Fruit Gems

Preheat Oven to 350 degrees

Ingredients

2 bananas, mashed

2 peeled apples, grated

3 cups oats (I like Old Fashioned Oats for the chewier texture)

½ t. sea salt

½ c. raw organic sugar (can reduce to 1/3 c. or use other sweeteners such as Stevia, according to taste)

½ c. dried chopped fruit (I used dates and dried cranberries. Coconut also works well in this recipe.)

1 c. nuts and/or seeds (I used walnuts and pecans)

½ almond extract (or 1 t. vanilla or other flavoring of your choice)

Grated zest of one orange

Directions

Mix all of the above together in a large mixing  bowl.  Spray or oil muffin pans.  Fill them about 2/3 full and gently press down with back of spoon.

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Bake for 20 to 30 minutes or until just golden brown around edges and top.

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When cool to touch, gently remove from pan.  If not eaten in a day, store in fridge in a sealed bag or plasticware and zap for a few seconds in microwave to warm.

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This was printed from: We Laugh, We Cry, We Cook
The site URL: http://welaughwecrywecook.com
The Title: Oat Nut Fruit Gems
The URL: http://wp.me/p1UwM9-Pz
This was printed from: We Laugh, We Cry, We Cook

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2 Comments on “Oat Nut Fruit Gems”

  1. Katy McKenna says:

    I’m going to make these for my grandson Silas to snack on over the holidays. He is 2, underweight, and very picky–but he likes these ingredients. Thank you!

  2. I’m very excited the you included zest of orange in this yummy recipe. Zest of orange, like the peel of many citrus fruits, contains hesperidin, which has been linked in many studies to amazing health benefits, such as fighting high cholesterol, varicose veins, cancer and more. Check it out at Fruit Basket Secret: Oranges Fight Cancer and 4 Other Surprising Health Benefits of Oranges. and for more inspiration to eat healthy check out my blog post 10 Reasons to Eat More Organic Fruits and Veggies Thanks!


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