A quick breakfast for late risers

I enjoy having a healthy meal to start my day. As for the rest of my day… well, at least I knew I ate something nutritious in the morning.

My mother found the recipe for these oat and apricot breakfast bars on the Weight Watchers website a couple of years ago and I completely forgot about it until recently. I realized I had all of the ingredients and just went for it. Dried apricots are one of my favorite snacks and I’ve been wanting to use them in a baked good for a while. I had to put my own spin on the recipe, so I added dried cranberries, ground flax seeds, and I cut the sugar and substituted honey.

The bars came out much better than I expected. While they’re not particularly moist, they are tender and just sweet enough. I also like the bit of crunch that the sunflower seeds add. The cranberries were an excellent addition, if I do say so myself. I love the base of this recipe and I think it can really be customized according to one’s taste. A banana nut version of this would be awesome, or omitting the apricots in favor of blueberries would work, too.

Since I never seem to have enough time to enjoy breakfast in the morning, I made them over the weekend so I could eat a bar quickly in the morning or take one with me to work which has worked out great for me, the procrastinator that I am.

And if you don’t think you’ll eat them all in a timely manner (or don’t want to eat them for a week straight), WW suggests freezing the bars individually.

Oat and Apricot Breakfast Bars adapted from Weight Watchers

  • 1 cup whole wheat flour (I ran out of wheat, so I used ⅔ wheat, ⅓ all purpose flour)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ cup packed brown sugar
  • ½ cup uncooked quick oats
  • 2 tablespoons ground flax seeds
  • 15 pieces dried apricot halves, diced
  • ¼ cup dried cranberries
  • 2 tablespoons sunflower seeds
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 1 tablespoon reduced-calorie margarine, melted (I used I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter)
  • ½ cup fat-free egg substitute (I used 3 large egg whites)

Preheat oven to 350°. Spray an 8-inch square baking pan with nonstick cooking spray. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, brown sugar, oats, and flex seeds. Then add the apricots, cranberries, and sunflower seeds and stir.

In a separate bowl, mix honey, margarine, and eggs. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and stir. Pour batter into baking pan. Bake for 20 minutes, or until firm. Cool completely in pan on a wire rack and cut into 8 rectangles. Store in an airtight container.

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