I’ll admit—these are not my favorite jam bars I’ve ever had. My usual recipe uses Bisquick, but I decided to try this more “natural” recipe from Nava Atlas. It’s pretty good, just less sweet than I’m used to. I also had problems with the crumbly oat topping sticking to the bars, but in retrospect I should have patted it down into the jam before baking.
The real star of these is my jam—I went on a canning spree one day in October 2006, and made a TON of raspberry and blackberry jam, so much that I’m still in the process of using it up. It turned out great for being my first (and as yet only) experience with canning. I left the seeds in, because to me, they are the best part of berries. I know a lot of people hate getting seeds in their teeth, but I love the crunch factor. I call it “Amber’s Must Love Seeds Jam.” My friend Brian thinks I should call it “Amber’s Seedy Jam”…but I digress. Whatever type or flavor of jam you use in these, make sure it’s one you love on its own.
For the bars:
3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/4 cup quick-cooking oats
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/3 cup applesauce
1T canola oil
3/4 cup jam or preserves
For the topping:
1/2 cup quick-cooking oats
2T whole wheat pastry flour
1T canola oil
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9×9-inch baking pan. Unless your jam is naturally thin, put it in a small saucepan on the stove on medium-low while you make the crust. Combine the flour, oats, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt in a mixing bowl.
Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add the applesauce and oil. Stir together gently until combined. Spread the batter into the pan with a spatula and press down evenly, then pour on the warmed (and now easier to spread!) jam.
Carefully spread the jam evenly over the crust with the spatula.
In a small bowl, combine the ingredients for the topping and stir together until evenly coated with the oil.
Sprinkle evenly over the preserves, and pat down gently.
Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the topping is golden. Allow to cool until just warm, then cut into 9 generous pieces. That’s my favorite thing about this recipe—you get to eat a great big crumbly, oaty, fruity, jammy treat while barely making a dent in your calorie budget.
Yield: 9 big bars. Per bar: 109 calories, 4g fat (trace sat), 23g carbs, 2g fiber, 2g protein.
If you like this, you might also like…
Vegan lemon bars