Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Warm and spicy…

I’m liking that the days are feeling a bit more Fall-like…crisp and cool.  It’s making me want to be in the kitchen more, making meals and goodies that warm the insides!  So, I tied on my apron and got to work…in the midst of the school work, going to the grocery story, and making a library run.  

There were still more apples begging to be sliced, chopped, and peeled.  Here’s what I had in store for them….
DSCN1434(A warm buttery crunch on the outside, with a warm apple-cinnamon center…Oh Yumm!) 
Apple Streusel Bars
(inspired by Angela @ Oh She Glows)
Yields 16 bars
For Base:
1 1/2 cups gluten free rolled oats
1/2 cup brown rice flour
1/2 cup almond meal
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 cup organic brown sugar, lightly packed
1 chia egg (1 Tbsp chia seeds + 4 Tbsp warm water, let soak for about 5 minutes)
1/2 cup Earth Balance, melted
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 Tbsp almond milk, unsweetened
For Apple Center:
3-4 apples, peeled, thinly sliced, and chopped
2 Tbsp Earth Balance
1 Tbsp pure maple syrup
1 Tbsp organic brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp nutmeg
pinch of sea salt
Streusel Topping:
2 Tbsp organic brown sugar
1 Tbsp Earth Balance
2 Tbsp brown rice flour
1/2 tsp cinnamon
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9x9 inch pan with parchment paper and spray the sides of the pan.
In a medium sized sauce pan, add the “Apple Center” ingredients (chopped apples, butter, maple syrup, and spices).  Heat over low, stirring frequently for about 10 minutes, until the apples soften and the mixture thickens a bit.
In a large mixing bowl, mix the “Base” ingredients together (oats, flours, brown sugar, baking soda, and salt). 
In a small mixing bowl, mix the melted Earth Balance, maple syrup, almond milk, vanilla, and chia egg.  Stir until well combined.
Add the wet mixture to the dry and mix well.  Set aside 1/2 cup of the “Base” mixture.  Pour the remaining mixture onto the prepared pan and press down with a spatula or the back of a spoon.  Pour on the cooked apple mixture and smooth out evenly. 
Prepare the “Streusel Topping” by mixing all the ingredients together with a fork or your fingers.  Sprinkle on the reserved “Base” mixture and the streusel topping over the apple mixture.
Bake for approximately 30 minutes.  Allow to fully cool in the pan (30-40 minutes) before removing to cut into bars.  

These bars make a wonderful addition to breakfast or wrap up individually and freeze for later use as dessert or an afternoon snack with a cup of tea!!

Don’t mind if I do…
DSCN1429(My new favorite tea…found it on our family outing to Julian)

DSCN1438(Just as much as I loved the comfort of the warm streusel bar this afternoon, I savored those words printed on the front of my tea cup!  God knew the words I needed to see today and He placed them right in front of me!)

Okay, it has literally taken me all day to finish up this post, so I’m ready to relax on the couch, watch Survivor with the hubs,  and inhale have another streusel bar (I think I’ve earned it!)  There is Apple Bread in the works, but the first loaf turned out a little dry for my liking.  There’s always tomorrow!


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