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Es's Oatmeal and Dried Fruit Breakfast Bars

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2 cups steel cut oats
1 cup whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon Pink Himalayan salt
1½ cups unsweetened almond soy milk
4 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons almond butter
½ cup unsweetened applesauce
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
1 cup mixed dried fruit, I used a cake fruit mix (you can use any dried fruit you prefer)
1 cup boiling water
1 teabag, I used red bush tea (but you can use any flavor you prefer)
¼-½ cup candied ginger, cut into small pieces (optional)
1 quartered and diced banana
Lightly coat an 8×8” square pan/glass dish with cooking spray.
Boil the water, pour over the teabag and add to the dried fruit. Set aside for ½ hour and let the fruit soak up the tea. Discard any excess tea.
Preheat oven to 375F.
Blend together the oats, flour, cinnamon, baking powder, and salt.
Add the milk, applesauce, egg, honey, almond butter, and vanilla.
Add the soaked dried fruit (discard the excess fluid) and ginger (if you use it – optional) and stir to combine.
The mixture will be very wet.
Fold in the diced banana, then pour into the prepared baking pan.
Bake for 35 minutes till golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Cool, cut into bars, and enjoy. ***
***Bakers note:
I modified this recipe and added the soaked fruit and ginger, thus once cooled and cut into bars, I returned it to the oven at 200F for an hour (door opened with a spoon) as if drying biscotti, as it was still very moist inside, although baked through.
It turned out more like bread or cake but as I wanted to use it as a breakfast bar, I decided to add the extra step.  I just love it, hope you will enjoy it as well.
Inspiration and recipe credit: Well Plated
Modified, prepared, tried and tested by: Es Slabs

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