Oatmeal Raisin Bars with a pear filling
These oatmeal raisin bars are super tender, nutritious and filled with a creamy pear mixture. They make for a perfect on-the-go breakfast or snack. Vegan, freezer-friendly and gluten-free.
For the oat mixture:
- 3 ½ cup old fashioned oat - certified gluten-free, if necessary
- ¼ cup pumpkin seeds
- 1 cup raisin
- 4 tbsp chia seeds
- 3 tsp cinnamon
- 1 cup bananas - mashed
- 2 tbsp peanut butter
- 1 ½ cup vegan plain milk - unsweetened
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
For the pear filling:
- 2 pears (about 2 cups) - unpeeled and diced in small cubes
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
- 2 tbsp corn starch
- 1 tsp cinnamon
Make the oat mixture:
In a large bowl, combine the oats, raisins, chia seeds, pumpkin seeds and cinnamon. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, combine the mashed banana and peanut butter until smooth (it will get nice and creamy), then add the vegan milk, maple syrup and stir to combine.
Transfer the banana mixture to the oats mixture and combine. Set aside.
Build the bars:
Transfer half of the wet oat mixture (about 2-2 ½ cups) in the bottom of the prepared dish and press well to make it an even base (I like to use my hands for this step). You want to press enough so the bars will hold well together after cooking.
Then, scatter the pear mixture on top, spread it evenly and press with a spoon so the pear mixture slightly squeeze inside the oat mixture underneath.
Finally, top with the rest of the oat mixture by first scattering small amount over, then spread it evenly and press with your hands. Press enough to make sure everything is tight and make sure there are no loose corners! This will ensure that the bars are holding well after being cooked.
Cook in the oven uncovered for 35-40 minutes or until the top is browned. Let cool completely before removing the preparation from the baking dish, this will help set the bars before cutting them.
Cut in bars and enjoy!
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- I like these rolled oats from the brand 365 for their good quality/price ratio, but these gluten-free certified rolled oats from Bob's Red Mill are a better choice if you are following a gluten-free diet. Anyhow, make sure to choose rolled oats (or quick cooking) for this recipe and avoid both instant oat or steel-cut oats.
- As already mentioned, make sure you press enough and that there are no loose corners. This is essential for the bars to hold well together.
- Recipe variations:
- You can use other dried fruits in place of the raisins. Try using dried cranberries, cherries or chopped apricots. I have not tried using chocolate chips for this recipe, but it would also be a delicious variation. If doing so, then use ½-3/4 cup of chocolate chips instead of the full one cup of raisins (the chocolate chips will melt and if there are too many, it might prevent the bars from holding well together).
- You can use apples instead of pears.
- You can use other seeds and nuts in place of the pumpkin seeds. Try using sunflower seeds or chopped walnuts, almond or hazelnut. Make sure the nuts are chopped small enough.
- Storage: The bars can be kept in a air-tight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. They can also be frozen for up to 3 months. I like to cut them before storage so they are easy to grab-and-go. After storing in the fridge, I like to slightly warm them in the microwave for a few seconds before eating them.
- For nut-free recipe: choose oat milk and sunflower or pumpkin seed butter instead of peanut-butter.