Quick, easy, and full of oaty goodness, these bars work multiple jobs: they can be a snack, dessert, or even part of breakfast. They are also a good way to use up jam or preserves if, like us, you have a variety of half-full jam jars in the fridge (a state of affairs that arises when family members each have a favorite). Whenever I want to clear out the fridge, I make these bars. But truthfully, fridge clearing isn’t the main reason to make these; we quite frequently open new jars of jam just for this recipe, starting the cycle all over again. The bars are worth it.
This weekend, I actually did use up all that remained of a jar of regular raspberry preserves, but there wasn’t quite enough for the recipe. Solution? I topped up the measuring cup with a bit of black raspberry jam. That’s the other good thing about these oatmeal bars –they are very versatile: a blackberry, blueberry, cherry, or strawberry/rhubarb filling would work quite nicely, too.
Raspberry Oatmeal Bars
9 or 16 servings
3 c. quick-cooking oats
2/3 c. whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp. salt
2/3 c. canola oil
1/2 c. maple syrup
2 tsp. vanilla
2/3 c. raspberry (or other fruit) preserves/jam, stirred until smooth
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9×9-inch baking pan with cooking spray (or lightly oil the pan).
2. Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl.
3. Combine wet ingredients, and add to dry ingredients, mixing well.
4. Put half of oat mixture into baking pan, and press firmly and evenly into place with the back of a spoon.
5. Spread the preserves/jam evenly over the oat layer. Loosely cover the filling with the remaining oat mixture.
6. Bake for 35-40 minutes; let cool 15 minutes before serving.
7. Cut into 9 squares for hearty servings, or 16 squares for smaller bites.