Sweet Sixteen Oatmeal-Raisin Bars are vegan and fat-free. Photo and recipe by Linda Watson, copyright 2012 Cook for Good

Make 16 bars in just 16 minutes: sweet!   They’re perfect for budding athletes, full of whole grains and fruit with no cholesterol or added fat. The bars hold together well and aren’t sticky, so you can bring a plate of them into the TV room without hesitation. Of course, they pack well in a lunch bag too.  

Make them your own buy using local nuts and whatever scraps of dried fruit you have on hand.  (Mmmm, pecans and dried cranberries.) I’ve included the weights because I love, love, love baking with my kitchen scale. It saves time in cooking and means fewer dishes to wash.

A recipe from Linda Watson of  Cook for Good, a devoted to thrifty, real-food vegan cooking. Please join her on Facebook for more recipe ideas.

serves 16

  • 2 tablespoons ground flaxseed (14 grams)
  • 6 tablespoons water
  • 1/2 cup apple sauce (128 grams)
  • 2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats (190 grams)
  • 1 cup white whole wheat flour (120 grams)
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar (165 grams)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup walnut pieces (110 grams), coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup raisins (160 grams)

Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 13 x 9-inch baking pan. Make flax eggs by heating ground flax seed and water in a microwave-safe bowl on high for 45 seconds, then stir until texture becomes eggy. Stir flaxseed eggs into applesauce and let come to room temperature.
Put oats, flour, brown sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt into a mixing bowl. Mix on low speed using an electric mixer until well combined, about 30 seconds. Add apple-sauce mixture and vanilla and mix on low until mixture is well combined and evenly moist. Stir in walnuts and raisins.
Spread dough evenly in prepared baking pan and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until top just begins to turn golden brown. Let cool in the pan set on a wire rack, then cut into 16 bars. Keeps covered at room temperature for about four days and freezes well.

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