Summer brings sales in the fresh produce section. This shopping trip I loaded up on grapes and strawberries. I got home, ripped all the grapes off the twigs they come on and put them in freezer bags. My husband loves eating frozen grapes in milk. I didn’t have a plan for the strawberries so I went online for some inspiration. I decided to try a recipe by YummiestFood.com and adjusted it to fit a vegan diet.
I pulled out a medium sized bowl and started gathering my ingredients. I dumped in a cup of rolled oats first. I prefer rolled oats to quick oats because quick oats tend to lose texture after baking. I don’t like mushy oatmeal bars. Next I added three quarters of a cup all purpose flour, a half cup of light brown sugar, one half teaspoon ground ginger, and a sprinkle of salt. I stirred everything together thoroughly. Make sure to break up any clumps of brown sugar so it mixes evenly throughout.
After the dry ingredients were mixed up I set the bowl aside. I put eight tablespoons of I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter in a small glass bowl and heated it until it melted. About thirty seconds in the microwave. I added the resulting fluid to the dry ingredients and mixed it up thoroughly. I took out a half cup of the mixture to use for the topping later. I turned my oven on and heated it to 375 degrees. This was a tricky part for me because my oven is a bit old and doesn’t heat itself properly. Thankfully I have a little hanging oven thermometer that I put inside to tell me what the real temperature is. For my oven, 410 is equal to 375 degrees. I got out my eight by eight inch pan and lined it with oven-grade parchment paper. The kind I use has information on the side that says how high of a temperature it can withstand. I put the bowl of oat mixture into the pan and pressed it down until it was entirely flattened into the pan. Then I set about dicing the strawberries.
It took almost a whole thirty-two ounce container of strawberries to get two cups worth of shredded bits. I dumped the strawberries in the pan and spread them out. Then I sprinkled three teaspoons of flour on top, two tablespoons of lemon juice and a tablespoon of granulated cane sugar. Last but not least, I crumbled on the oat mixture that I saved earlier.
I baked it for about 30 minutes until the top became golden brown. I put it on a wire rack to cool down. Once it was safe to touch, I transferred the whole thing, including the wire rack, into the refrigerator to finish cooling for about an hour. Once it was finished cooling I removed it from the refrigerator and lifted the parchment paper out of the pan. I spread the parchment out flat, pulling it away from the sides of the bars. Then I used a knife to slice the bars and lifted them off the parchment onto the plate with a spatula. This recipe makes about 9-12 bars, depending on how big you cut them.