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Baked oatmeal apple squares

I’ve been in denial for a while but fall is coming. This week alone, we have been waking up to chilly mornings, I’ve had to swap my shorts for leggings, and I’ve had to find my jean jacket which I had forgotten in the back of my closet since June. On top of that, I went blueberry picking with my daughter last weekend only to find out that blueberry season was over and that they were starting apple picking. We didn’t pick apples because I wasn’t there yet, and we ended up picking some delicious corn which I have been eating ever since. But to get back to fall, it is coming and delicious apple snacks and treats are what’s next, and I do love them. Once I allow myself to dive into this season, I will love it!!

And I tested a delicious recipe for you this week which sort of made me more excited for this new season to come. It’s an oatmeal bake with apples and cinnamon. You can cut it into squares and have an on-the-go ready to eat breakfast or you can warm up a piece at home and eat it with some fruit, nut butter, and yogurt. It’s packed with fiber, it’s completely gluten free (as long as you use gluten free oats) as well as vegan and refined sugar free. It can serve as a snack or as a nutritious breakfast. My son, who is a picky eater and who has started high school this week, has been eating it for breakfast and he absolutely loves it!!

I made my own apple sauce for the squares because I was looking for a chunkier texture. I love how there are some actual apple pieces in the squares. That being said, I did not try it with store bought apple sauce. It would probably work although store bought apple sauce is more on the liquid side and you would definitely not have any apple pieces in the bake.

 

 

Ingredients

Homemade chunky apple sauce:

  • 4 Granny Smith apples, peeled and cored
  • 2 tbsp. water

 

Squares:

  • 1 ¼ cup of chunky apple sauce (as per above instructions)
  • ¼ cup coconut oil, melted
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • 3 tbsp. ground flax seeds
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1 cup oat flour (you can grind 1 cup rolled oats to make your own)
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp. baking soda
  • ½ granny Smith apple, peeled, cored, and thinly sliced for decoration

 

Preparation

  • Set your oven to 350 F.
  • To make the chunky apple sauce, cut peeled apples into thick slices and place in a saucepan with 2 tbsp. water.
  • Close the lid and turn heat to high.
  • Once it starts steaming (or boiling), turn down the heat to medium low and let steam approx. 10 minutes. Check apple doneness with a fork. You want the fork to easily plant through the apple chunks but you do not want the apples to be so cooked they turn into automatic apple sauce. We are looking for a chunky apple sauce therefore, we need a slight firmness to the apples.
  • Transfer the apples to a food processor or blender. There should not be much liquid left. If there is, discard it. Pulse or activate blender just so that the apples turn into a very chunky and thick apple sauce.
  • Transfer to a large mixing bowl. You should have approx. 1 ¼ cup apple sauce (see photo below).
  • Add liquid coconut oil and flax seeds. Mix well, so that the flax can gel into the liquid ingredients.  Wait five minutes and add oats, oat flour, cinnamon, and baking soda. Mix everything very well.
  • Transfer batter into a greased 8 X 8” baking pan, top with apple slices (see photo below) and place in the oven for 20-25 minutes or just until the edges are golden.
  • You can cut out a square while still hot and enjoy with some vanilla ice cream or plant based yogurt or you can let cool completely and cut into 9 squares and refrigerate.
  • If you eat this for breakfast, you can warm up your slice and top it with yoghurt, nut butter, more apples, or other fruit.
  • Enjoy!

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