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Sep 18, 2015

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Strawberry-Rhubarb Fruit Bars

Active time:40 minutes

Start To Finish:2 hours, 45 minutes (including 1½ hours of cooling time)

Difficulty:

Yield: 18 bars

Source: From EatingWell

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Ingredients:

CRUST:
1 cup chopped nuts (walnuts, pecans, almonds or hazelnuts) or old-fashioned rolled oats, divided
¾ cup whole-wheat pastry flour (see Note)
¾ cup all-purpose flour
½ cup sugar
½ tsp. salt
4 Tbs. cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 large egg
2 Tbs. canola oil
1 tsp. vanilla extract
¼ tsp. almond extract
FRUIT FILLING:
3 cups diced strawberries (fresh or frozen), divided
3 cups diced fresh rhubarb, divided
¼ cup orange juice
½ cup and 2 Tbs. sugar
¼ cup cornstarch
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Directions:

Crust:

Combine ¾ cup nuts (or oats), whole-wheat flour, all-purpose flour, sugar, and salt in a food processor. Pulse until the nuts are finely ground. Add in butter and pulse again to mix in.

Whisk egg, oil, 1 teaspoon vanilla, and almond extract in a small bowl. While running the food processor, add this mixture in. Process, then pulse, scraping down the sides, if necessary, until the mixture begins to clump, 30 to 45 seconds (it should look crumbly).

Remove ½ cup of the mixture and combine in a bowl with the remaining 1/4 cup chopped nuts (or oats). Set aside for the topping.

Preheat oven to 400°F. Coat a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with cooking spray.  Spread the dough evenly into baking dish and press into the bottom to form a crust.

Fruit filling & bars:

Combine 2 cups strawberries, 2 cups rhubarb, orange juice, sugar, and cornstarch in a large saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture is very thick (4 to 5 minutes). (Note it may take longer to get a thick result if starting with frozen fruit.) Stir in the remaining 1 cup strawberries and 1 cup rhubarb and 1 teaspoon vanilla.

Spread the fruit filling over the crust. Sprinkle the reserved topping over the filling.

Bake for 15 minutes, then reduce oven temperature to 350° and bake until the crust and topping are lightly brown, about 25 to 30 minutes. Cool completely before cutting into bars (at least 1½ hours).

Notes:

If preparing ahead, you can cover and refrigerate the crust and topping (Steps 1-2) for up to 1 day.

Whole-wheat pastry flour is lower in protein than regular whole-wheat flour and has less gluten-forming potential. You can find it in the natural foods section of large supermarkets and natural foods stores. Store it in the freezer.


Nutritional Information

Calories: Per ; Fat: 9g; Saturated: 2g; Mono: 2g; Protein: 3g; Carb : 26g; Fiber : 2g; Chol : 19mg; Sodium : 71mg;


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