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Coconut Strawberry Oat Bars

When I got home yesterday, another package awaited me.  It was a sample of coconut oil, along with a note from Jen at Kelapo Coconut (aka my new favorite person).
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Who doesn't love getting things in the mail?

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Delicious looking recipe

While perusing blogs (and the recipes I’ve saved), I had already decided to use up some overripe strawberries with Angela’s Strawberry Oat Square recipe.  I wanted to reduce the fat and sugar a bit (as I always try to do), so I figured I’d use some coconut oil and applesauce.  I’m also to plain and simple to have some of the fancy ingredients that Angela called for, so I made my own adaptations and other suggestions for whatever you have on hand.

Coconut Strawberry Oat Bars (adapted from Oh She Glows)

For strawberry filling:

1 1/4 cups strawberries, chopped

2 Tbsp sugar

1.5 tsp cornstarch

For oat mixture:

1 1/4 cup oats (I used old-fashioned)

3/4 cup whole wheat flour

1/2 cup white flour

1 tsp baking powder

1/4 cup Brown Sugar Splenda Blend (or 1/2 cup brown sugar)

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/4 cup coconut oil, melted

1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce (or mashed banana)

1 egg, lightly beaten (or flax egg)

1-2 Tbsp milk (or water, or non-dairy milk)

1/2 tsp vanilla

1/4 cup sweetened coconut flakes

1/4 cup unsweetened raw coconut

1) Pre-heat oven to 375.  Combine cornstarch and water. 

2) In a saucepan over medium heat, combine chopped strawberries and cornstarch mixture.  Stir often, until bubbly and thick.  Remove from heat.

3) Combine dry ingredients (except for coconut).  Add oil, applesauce, egg and water/milk until the ingredients mix together (I needed a little more than 1 Tbsp).  Add vanilla.

4) Coat a small brownie-sized baking dish with cooking spray  (I used a shallow rectangular dish (about 7 x 13), but it would also work with a 9×9; there may not be enough batter to do a larger pan).  Spread 3/4 of the oat mixture into an even layer. 

5) Remove gelled strawberry mixture from heat and spread lightly over oat layer. 

5) Combine coconut flakes with remaining oat mixture and drop on top of strawberry layer. 

6) Bake, uncovered, 18-22 minutes (or 15-18 minutes on convection setting), until the top and edges are lightly browned.  Cool at least 15 minutes and cut into squares. 

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Strawberries + water + cornstarch

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Ready for topping

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I wish you could smell this!

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Coconut + strawberries = heaven

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Layers of flavor

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There may have been more that didn't last long enough to be photographed...

Approximate nutrition (1/15th of recipe): 145 calories, 6 grams of fat, 20 grams carbs (7 grams sugar), 3g protein

Not a bad nutritional profile! 

The bars had great flavor and a moist, chewy texture.  I’m sure other flours could be substituted and might yield a lighter crust than the whole wheat.  Let me know if you try them!  I had one for my pre-smoothie breakfast treat this morning (after being refrigerated overnight), but now I think I’d leave them in an airtight at room temperature once they’re completely cool.

My MOH and I are going to our very first hot yoga class tonight!  We bought a group deal for 8 classes to Glow studio in Pittsburgh’s South Hills.  I’m hoping that it’s not too tough on my ankle (and that I don’t die in the heat).  Any advice for complete first timers?  I’m nervous!

Happy Tuesday!

xox

C

PS – I’m getting married 4 months from today.  4 MONTHS!

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20 responses to “Coconut Strawberry Oat Bars

  1. loftyappetite May 3, 2011 at 1:05 pm

    oh how cool! i love this idea since i’ve been making homemade granola bars pretty much once a week instead of buying my own because i think they taste so much better! the strawberry twist is great! Also, where did you find coconut oil? was it at a specialty store or a regular grocery store? I’ve been looking for it for a while!

  2. allieksmith May 3, 2011 at 1:31 pm

    4 months! WOO!!! 🙂
    I love getting things in the mail as well and the strawberry bars look great.. I bet they smelled even better!

  3. Shanna, like Banana May 3, 2011 at 2:47 pm

    Those look fantastic! I have all the ingredients minus the coconut oil..how perfect for summer picnics.

    Enjoy hot yoga. I’m in love with Bikram!

  4. char May 3, 2011 at 3:09 pm

    Mmm, strawberry bars!! I live in a small town, but lived in a bigger one last summer, so I actually got to do some hot yoga. People really scared me before my first time, so in order to NOT do that I’d say: just drink a ton of water, wear shorts (lol) and bring an extra towel – I know I needed it! Now that I’m back home in my small town, no hot yoga here yet 😦 Enjoy it!!

  5. Jess (In My Healthy Opinion) May 3, 2011 at 3:11 pm

    I loooove coconut oil… not sure why it took me so long to discover it, but it works in so many things! These bars look great. 🙂

    4 months is SO soon!!

  6. beyondbananas May 3, 2011 at 4:45 pm

    Those bars look great.. definitly a great nutritional profile. I think you will love hot yoga! Def bring water, a towel.. I would stay away from cotton yoga capris or pants as well – try something that does not absorb sweat so much.. because you sure will be sweating.

    Be sure you are hydrating throughout the day – and do not eat anything too heavy before you go! Have fun!

  7. Jenny May 3, 2011 at 5:34 pm

    When I saw the recipe from Angela’s blog I knew they had to be win. They look amazing 😀
    And hooray for the upcoming wedding!! 4 months is nothing

  8. ihearteggs May 3, 2011 at 5:50 pm

    Oh how I wish I could smell those! they sound AMAZING!

    Enjoy hot yoga! it’s the only kind of yoga I truly ENJOY!

  9. Caitlin @ Southern Curls & Pearls May 3, 2011 at 7:47 pm

    Those look DELICIOUS! When I get home from school, I’m definitely making them (since I’ll have a kitchen.. woohoo!) 🙂

  10. Katie @ Real Food Katie's Way May 4, 2011 at 12:12 am

    Those bars look fantastic!!!

    4 months is going to come VERY fast…I’m excited for you!

  11. Nicole, RD May 4, 2011 at 12:17 am

    Such an exciting time!!! Congrats! 🙂

    These look excellent! I am putting them on my must-make breakfast list of recipes 🙂

    P.S. Thanks for your comment on my blog! I love reading other RD’s blogs!

  12. Claire @ livingspreethegoodlife May 4, 2011 at 2:06 am

    OMG, those bars look so gooey and amazing!

    I’ve only done Bikram yoga a few times but I just get really panicky in the hot room. My friends LOVE it though and it’s a great workout! 🙂

  13. Heather May 4, 2011 at 2:32 pm

    These look so good! I love the coconut idea, I just tried it recently and am excited to try old recipes a new way!

  14. Presley May 4, 2011 at 3:08 pm

    4 months!!! That is so exciting 🙂

  15. Andie @ CanYouStayForDinner.com May 4, 2011 at 3:58 pm

    These look fabulous, Claire!! I can’t believe it’s four months away!! CELEBRATE 🙂

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