You know that saying, “so good I could slap my momma?”. Well don’t stand next to her when you make these homemade gluten free strawberry oatmeal bars.
Gluten free baking can be risky. Sometimes it’s going to resemble a brick and taste like a loaf of paper. Other times whatever you’re trying to bake might just refuse to do anything but fade into a cloud of dust. It can be hard to find good gluten free recipes.
You know what’s harder? Trying to find a great replacement meal for people on the go when you have to dance a fine line between food allergies for some and a gluten free diet for another family member.
Right now my kids are participating in daily swim practice for their summer swim league. Basically that means that we sit at the pool for an hour and a half a day right before dinner time. Then there’s the days, like Wednesday, when we have to leave to go to another activity as soon as they get out of the pool.
On Wednesdays we head straight from the pool to the church where the kids are in activities until 7:30pm. By the time we round everyone up from their different classes and arrive home, it’s after 8pm. So on Wednesdays I need something that I can hand to them to eat on the go or right before we run out the door and know that it will hold them over until 8:30pm when they can eat dinner.
When I saw these Strawberry Oatmeal Bars from The Pioneer Woman, I knew they’d be the perfect fit. But they needed to be gluten free (GF) so I played around and have found a version that works well for my family.
They might be called oatmeal bars but honestly, they’re heaven on a plate. The first day I made them half of the pan was gone.
These are the perfect filling meal for breakfast or to eat on the go. Truthfully these would also be amazing served warm with ice cream as a dessert. (I’m going to try serving them hot with ice cream when my dad visits this weekend. It will solidify my favorite daughter status.)
A word about the gluten free preparation: When I bake gluten free I want it to be simple. I bought a highly rated cook book of gluten free recipes but it required you to buy many specialty ingredients online. I don’t have time or energy for that. I need ingredients that I can find at any local grocery store. Thankfully gluten free has come a long way and my local Kroger has an amazing section of gluten free products.
For this recipe I used King Arthur Gluten Free Multi-Purpose Flour, which is my favorite one. They’re not paying me to say that. I’ve just tried a lot of different GF flours and this one never fails me.
I also added a little bit of Tapioca Flour, or Tapioca Starch. Tapioca flour simply helps hold the other flour together. If you don’t have this or can’t find it, you can skip it. I simply added a little just to give it a boost. These bars are crumblier than non GF bars because of the missing gluten properties, so every little bit that you can do to help hold it together will help.
For the oats I used GF Quick Oats from Bobs Red Mill. These are a great alternative to any recipe that requires oats.
If you want to make these non GF just use regular flour, omit the tapioca flour and use regular oats.
So are you ready for the recipe?
- 1 and 1/2 cup GF baking mix
- 1 and 1/2 cup GF quick oats (not steel cut oats)
- 2 tablespoons Tapioca Flour
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 small jar strawberry preserves
- 1 and 3/4 sticks cold butter - cut into small pieces
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Line a 9X13 pan with parchment paper and butter or grease lightly.
- In a bowl mix all the dry ingredients. Stir the ingredients well to mix. Cut the butter into the mix with two knives or a pastry cutter until it resembles course meal.
- Put a little more than 1/2 of the mixture into the pan and push it down into the pan to pack it down.
- Gently spread strawberry preserves on top of this packed down mixture. If you spread it too rough, the oat mixture will pull up from the bottom of the pan. The amount of strawberry preserves depends on taste. If you really like strawberries, use the entire small jar. If you want just a hint of strawberries do a light layer.
- Sprinkle the rest of the mixture on top of the strawberry layer.
- Place in the oven and let it bake for 30-40 minutes.
- Remove from oven and let cool or serve warm with ice cream.
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