We all need a go-to snack that tastes delicious, is healthy, and is portable. Bonus if it can appease all your gluten free friends.
Granola Bars Oat Cakes.
Why not granola bars? Well, it turns out granola bars, especially the homemade chewy ones, can have a lot of sugar in them. There’s nothing wrong with that, but if I want sugar, I’m gonna spring for a delicious bakery-fresh donut, not a granola bar. Just saying.
Another reason granola bars got the boot is because I have found that many store-bought granola bars fail my eating clean test. *Sigh* The hippies must be so disappointed.
But don’t you worry my friends. I found oat cakes at my local natural foods store and was hooked. This was a problem, however, because these delicious snacks were definitely high in sugar and packed a mean punch to my wallet at over $2 a pop! After plowing my next mortgage payment into the local natural foods bakery, I decided it was time to DIY the suckers.
Luckily, I found out that somone else had taken a crack at breaking the Oat Cake Code. Being overly creative (read: incapable of following a recipe), I decided to iterate and improve upon it over time (IMHO). Here is my version.
TIME TO TASTINESS: 30 minutes total
10 minutes active prep
18 minutes cooking
3/4 cup yogurt*
1/2 cup brown sugar, not packed
3 cups rolled oats (Note: If you do not own a blender or food processor, substitute quick cooking oats for the rolled oats).
2 cups flour**
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup dried apricots, chopped***
*Yogurt Note: If you use greek-style yogurt, you will need to use more yogurt to achieve the right dough consistency. You can also use vanilla yogurt if you want, just reduce the brown sugar in the recipe by half or to taste.
**Flour Note: Almost any combination of all purpose, whole grain, nut, or gluten free flours will work here. Note, however, that I have found that regular all purpose flour results in fluffier oat cakes while nut flours and whole grains result in a denser ones.
If you do decide to use something other than all purpose flour, you may need to increase the amount of yogurt or egg you add to get the right dough consistency. Also note – if you are making these for gluten free friends or family, you will need to use a gluten free flour to keep these oat cakes gluten free.
***Dried Fruit Note: You can use any chopped dried fruit here to change up the flavor, but dried apricots are my favorite. The second most popular in our house is raisins (with some cinnamon added in).
DIRECTIONS FOR DELICIOUSNESS:
Preheat the oven to 325 F.
In a large bowl, mix the yogurt, egg, vanilla and brown sugar.
If you are using rolled oats, put them in a blender or food processor and process them lightly so that approximately half of them are ground into small pieces or “flour”.
Add the oats, flour, baking powder, salt, and dried apricots to the bowl of wet ingredients. Mix them together until they form a thick, moist dough that maintains its shape when it’s pressed together in your hand. If needed, add more yogurt to achieve this consistency.
Take small handfuls of dough out and press them in your hands so that they end up looking like a small hockey puck in size. I usually put a ball of dough in the palm of my hand, make my middle finger and thumb touch, and then take my other hand to squish the top and the bottom of the dough together. Note that if your dough does not hold its shape, it is too dry and you will need to add more yogurt.
Make 12-16 oat cakes and place them on a non-stick or lined cookie tray. Bake in the oven for 18-22 minutes. They will be done when you press them lightly and they slightly spring back. (Note: If they turn golden brown on the top, it means you’ve cooked them too long. Remove promptly.)
Place oat cakes on a baking rack (or plate) to cool.
Enjoy them over the next few days or freeze them immediately for future consumption. I highly recommend enjoying them with peanut, walnut, or almond butter and/or some jam. Add a cup of coffee or some milk and you’ve got yourself a very filling breakfast.