Strawberry Season Finally Arrives

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strawberries

After a long winter, I welcome warmer weather along with the sweet taste of strawberries. Local to every state, they’re an original “fast food” that require only rinsing for a great-tasting snack.

The average person eats nearly five pounds every year off the stem, or as a delicious fortifier in smoothies, green salads, fruits salads, and jam. Even more is better, since strawberries contain compounds with potent antioxidant power to keep you healthy.

Try this hearty bar recipe for a balanced breakfast or snack that’s just sweet enough.

strawberry nut bars

Nutty Strawberry Oat Bars

Strawberry Filling:

  • 2 cups chopped strawberries
  • ¼ cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 Tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 Tablespoons water

Base + Topping:

  • 2 ¼ cup quick oats
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup unsalted almond butter (or peanut butter or sunflower seed butter)
  • ¼ cup pure maple syrup
  • ¼ cup apple butter
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • ½ cup sliced almonds
  1. Combine the strawberries, maple syrup, and sugar together in a small sauce pan over medium heat. While stirring occasionally, bring to a boil then allow to boil for 1 minute. Mix the cornstarch and water until it all of the cornstarch has dissolved and there are no more clumps. Remove strawberries from heat and stir in the pre-mixed cornstarch. Whisk together, then set aside to thicken and cool.
  1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Line an 8×8 baking pan with aluminum foil with enough overhang on the sides for easy removal. Spray with non-stick spray and set aside.
  2. Make the oat crust/topping: In a large bowl, combine the quick oats, cinnamon, almond butter, maple syrup, apple butter, and beaten egg. Mix until all of the oats are moistened and the mixture is thoroughly combined. Reserve 1/2 cup of the oat mixture. Press the remaining oat mixture into prepared baking pan. Make sure it is firmly pressed down and even. Spread the strawberry filling on top.
  3. To the reserved 1/2 cup oat mixture, add the sliced almonds. Crumble this over the strawberry filling and press the topping down firmly into the strawberry filling.
  4. Bake for 30 minutes or so, until the topping is lightly browned. Allow to cool completely before cutting into squares.
  5. Makes 9-12 squares, depending how large you cut them. Squares stay fresh covered tightly in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Also freezes well.