Easy Mediterranean Oat Bars (Any Fruit)

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Easy mediterranean fruit oatmeal crumble bars
Easy Mediterranean fruit oatmeal crumble bars

Easy Mediterranean Oat Bars (Any Fruit)

Let’s kick it off with a delightful and nutritious recipe that brings a taste of the Mediterranean to your kitchen: Easy Mediterranean Oat Bars. These bars are versatile, allowing you to use any fruit of your choice, making them a perfect year-round treat.

Importance

Mediterranean oat bars are not only delicious but also packed with nutrients. The Mediterranean diet is renowned for its health benefits, emphasizing whole grains, nuts, fruits, and healthy fats. Incorporating these bars into your diet can help you enjoy these benefits in a convenient and tasty way.

Top Benefits

1. Nutrient-Dense Ingredients These bars are made with oats, nuts, and fruits, providing a rich source of fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
2. Heart Health The healthy fats from nuts and seeds, combined with fiber-rich oats, contribute to cardiovascular health.
3. Versatility You can use any fruit available, making this recipe adaptable to seasons and preferences.
4. Convenience These bars are easy to make and store, perfect for a quick breakfast or snack on-the-go.

What Other Experts Say

Nutritionists and dietitians often praise the Mediterranean diet for its balanced approach to healthy eating. “Incorporating elements of the Mediterranean diet, like whole grains and fruits, into everyday meals can significantly improve overall health,” says a registered dietitian.

Mental Health & Wellness

A balanced diet plays a crucial role in mental health. The combination of complex carbohydrates, healthy fats, and natural sugars in these oat bars can help stabilize blood sugar levels, potentially reducing mood swings and enhancing cognitive function. Additionally, the act of baking can be therapeutic, providing a sense of accomplishment and relaxation.

My Experiences as a Psychiatrist and Therapist

From my experience, dietary choices can profoundly impact mental well-being. Recommending Mediterranean oat bars to my clients has often resulted in positive feedback. These bars are not just a nutritious snack; they also offer a comforting routine that can be grounding for many.

More Key Takeaways

• Easy to make
• Adaptable to dietary restrictions (gluten-free oats, dairy-free options)
• Kid-friendly
• Great for meal prep

Key Ingredients and Their Alternatives

1. Oats Primary: Rolled oats Alternatives: Quick oats, steel-cut oats (requires longer cooking time), quinoa flakes

2. Sweeteners Primary: Honey Alternatives: Maple syrup, agave nectar, coconut sugar, date syrup

3. Fats Primary: Olive oil Alternatives: Coconut oil, avocado oil, melted butter, nut butters (almond, peanut, cashew)

4. Nuts and Seeds Primary: Almonds and walnuts Alternatives: Pecans, pistachios, sunflower seeds, chia seeds, flaxseeds

5. Dried Fruits Primary: Raisins and cranberries Alternatives: Dried apricots, dates, figs, prunes, dried cherries

6. Fresh Fruits Primary: Apples and berries (blueberries, strawberries, raspberries) Alternatives: Bananas, peaches, plums, pears, mixed tropical fruits (mango, pineapple)

7. Spices and Flavorings Primary: Cinnamon and vanilla extract Alternatives: Nutmeg, allspice, cardamom, almond extract, citrus zest (lemon, orange)

8. Binders Primary: Eggs Alternatives: Flax eggs (1 tbsp ground flaxseed + 3 tbsp water), chia eggs (1 tbsp chia seeds + 3 tbsp water), applesauce, mashed banana

More Key Takeaways

• Experiment with different combinations to suit your taste and dietary needs.
• Ensure your alternatives maintain the balance of wet and dry ingredients for optimal texture.
• Consider using organic and locally-sourced products for added health benefits and sustainability.

Easy mediterranean fruit oatmeal crumble bars

Easy Mediterranean Oat Bars (Any Fruit)

Discover how to make easy Mediterranean oat bars using any fruit of your choice. These nutritious, heart-healthy bars are perfect for a quick snack or breakfast on-the-go.
Servings: 6 people
Author: Thomas Campi MD
Cost: $12

Ingredients

FOR THE CRUST

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 3 cups cup extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
  • 1/8 cup extravirgin olive oil (EVOO) or cooking spray to grease the pan
  • few pinches a few pinches powder sugar (optional for dusting the top to make it look pretty)

FOR THE FILLING

  • 5 cups freshfruit - strawberries, blueberries, etc. (I usually purchase organic)
  • 1/4 cup cane sugar (unprocessed for depth of flavor) or simply 1/4 cup granulated white sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 whole lemon zet
  • 1 whole lemon juiced

Instructions

  • To begin, start by preheating your oven to 350°F (175°C).
  • In a big mixing bowl, combine the flour, oats, and brown sugar, ensuring a thorough mixing.
  • Incorporate the extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) into the mixture, mixing it with a large sppoon until it reaches a crumbly consistency. Set aside 2 - 2.5 cups of this crumbly mixture. Use your hands to firmly press the remainder of the mixture into the base of a extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) 7x11 baking pan.
  • For the filling, mix together the fruit (strawberries, blueberries, etc.), sugar, cornstarch, lemon zest, and lemon juice in a medium-sized bowl. Evenly spread this mixture over the oatmeal crust in the baking dish.
  • Now, sprinkle the reserved 2-2.5 cup oatmeal crumb mixture over the fruit filling, ensuring complete coverage. Bake in the oven for approximately 30 minutes or until and the fruit filling starts to bubble (strawberry for example will start to disintegrate if you cook longer, blueberry may be able to take more heat if you can to brown the top more - experiment but it's safer to just take it out at the 30 minute mark the first time you try this recipe.
  • Allow it to cool completely before cutting it into 12 bars! In fact, it cuts so much better after you overnight in the refrigerator. If desired, you can dust them with powder sugar before serving - this makes these fruit bars look pretty.

Notes

 
 
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