Strawberry Nectarine Oat Squares
so many… a few… one or two…ok, there’s one good thing about the quarter system, and that’s the fact that while all the other kiddies are wrapping up their endless days of summer and getting ready to ship off back to school, there’s still another month before our fall quarter starts.
HOWEVER,…and that’s a big-time HOWEVER, I love the “back to school” fever that seems to infect students and moms alike, spurring sales on school supplies & shelves stocked with fall clothes, and by the time I’m actually supposed to be doing my “back to schooling,” the hype is all hyped out, the sales are done salesing, and all the good fall clothes are all tapped out.
I think the fact that I haven’t actually had a summer break and have been attending classes basically non-stop since Christmas break of 2010 is completely irrelevant in this situation, too, so let’s not bring that up. Just because I haven’t gotten my fix of bright, summery fun, carefree, class free summer days filled with the beach, boys, and iced coffee doesn’t mean I can’t lament the fact that summer will soon be coming to an end, and then self medicate that loss with a hefty dose of hope that back to school is truly more about good times with friends at football games and frat parties rather than hours of mind-numbing, soul crushing classwork. That’s what all the magazines and ads say, anyway.
So anyway, the moral of this babbling is, I want the “back to school” time of year to last longer. Ya, maybe stretch those sales out til say, the end of September? I wanna get on that band wagon when that time actually comes for us quarter system kiddies (not to mention us Californians, who dread the thought of cool weather clothing well into October), and not a moment sooner…because obviously, I don’t want summer to end at all, EVER! But, if it has to, it should end in crisp, cool weather, new school supplies, fluffy sweaters, pumpkin spice lattes, tailgate parties, and all the hype that everyone else gets to embrace when the summer gravy train departs until next year.
The other moral of the story is, make these yummy strawberry nectarine oat-y bars for busy, get the kids or yourself out the door mornings! They’re like strawberry topped oatmeal on the go =)
Strawberry Nectarine Oat Squares
Adapted from Oh She Glows
* 1 1/2 Cups Oats
* 1 Cup Whole Wheat Flour (I needed to add about 1/2 cup more to get a thick enough “dough”)
* 1/2 tsp Baking Soda
* 1/2 tsp Salt
* 1/2 Cup Brown Sugar
* 1 Egg
* 1/2 Cup + 2 Tbsp Margarine, melted
* 1/4 Cup Maple Syrup
* 2 Tbsp Almond Milk
* 1 Tbsp Sesame Seeds to sprinkle on top
Strawberry Nectarine Jam:
* 2 1/4 Cups Chopped Strawberry & Nectarine (Any ratio is fine- I used 1 nectarine and the rest strawberry)
* 3-4 Tbsp Sugar
* 1 Tbsp Cornstarch
Preheat oven to 350*F. Grease or line an 8 x 8″ pan.
For the oat base, combine the oats, flour, baking soda, salt, and brown sugar in a mixing bowl.
Combine the melted margarine, maple syrup, almond milk, and egg in a separate bowl.
Add the wet mixture to the dry oat mixture, and stir to combine. You should get a pretty thick “dough”…if it seems too wet, add in a little extra flour, or more oats, or both until you get the right consistency.
Reserve 1/2 cup of the oat dough and set it aside. Press the dough evenly into the bottom of your pan.
Add your strawberry and nectarine mixture into a saucepan and heat on low for about 5 minutes. Add the sugar slowly, to taste. Heat for another 5 minutes until the mixture is juicy- use a spoon to pull out a few teaspoons of the juice in a mug or small bowl. Stir in the cornstarch. Add the juice and cornstarch mixture to the saucepan and simmer on low for about 10 more minutes, or until the jam thickens up. Take off heat and let cool for about 10 minutes.
Pour the jam on top of the oat base and spread evenly. Crumble the 1/2 cup of oat dough you reserved on top of the jam. Sprinkle with Sesame seeds.
Bake for 25-30 minutes, depending on how hot your oven gets. Allow to cool for 30 minutes before slicing.
For now, I think I’ll call these “back to summer school bars.” The calm before the fall!