This delicious Cherry Oat Bars recipe has the added benefit of being gluten-free and relatively low in sugar.
It's a rare day that we have packaged cookies in our home, unless of course, it's Girl Scout Cookie time and my husband runs into those green clad cookie fairies, and then we'll have (no joke) 10 boxes in our home. But, because the aforementioned husband easily consumes a box a day, they don't stick around long.
During the holidays, we have many dozens of cookies in tins and containers throughout the kitchen. After Valentine's Day, we have boxes and bags of chocolates to consume.
But on a normal, run of the mill day, our home is typically sweet treat deficient and the reason is simple; if we don't have cookies in the home, I can't eat them. My self-restraint is probably relatively average, but it declines precipitously when there are homemade cookies, pies or bars within reach.
There could be a bowl of M&Ms on the counter and I could walk by them everyday and not have a single one. We have a half-gallon of ice cream in the freezer and I'm not the least bit tempted. And truthfully, there was no part of me that was even tempted to indulge when we were flush with Girl Scout Cookies last month (sorry gals). But if there is a homemade chocolate chip or oatmeal cookie in my home, I'm done for.
I wanted a little treat that would satisfy my sweet tooth, but still be somewhat healthy. Enter these Cherry Oat Bars.
I've been playing around with this recipe for a while. My first attempts were tasty,but yielded a crust that immediately crumbled. They were absolutely fine for eating on a plate with a fork, but I wanted something that I could hold with my fingers.
That not an easy thing to do if you are trying to avoid gluten. For all the eh-things about flour, it does create a great crust when mixed with a few other ingredients. These bars have a little bit of sugar and a little bit of palm shortening in the crust, which I feel help create the sturdier crust. Chia seeds help thicken the filling without having to use much sugar.
While these cherry oat bars do have a sturdier crust, they will soften at room temperature over a couple of days. If they disappear in your home as quickly as they do in mine, that won't be a problem, but I do keep mine refrigerated.
Other berries, especially raspberries, are higher in pectin than cherries and so will most likely need a little less chia. Not sure it'd make a big difference, but just something to know. You can play around with the amount of chia you use to get the desired thickness.
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