Peanut Butter Jelly Oatmeal Bars

Healthy baking substitutions have become a popular way to continue to enjoy some of our favorite treats without feeling guilty! Among a variety of popular ingredient substitutions, removing eggs and adding apple sauce is a commonly used trick for those watching total calorie and fat in their diet. Have you ever wondered why that works? Or perhaps if it always works?

Using eggs in a baking recipe usually serves two main purposes. One is to add moisture, the other is to develop a desired consistency. Both of these outcomes can be achieved with applesauce. There are a few rules, however. To ensure a successful baking experience. When a cake recipe has a leavening agent such as baking powder, the eggs will add the moisture needed as the cake rises while baking. Applesauce can function in the same way in these recipes, and you can substitute ¼ cup of it for each egg in the recipe. Also adjust the baking powder up by 25-30% more and bake for just a few minutes longer, checking the cake with a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake before removing it from the oven.

For cookie recipes, the more appropriate substitution is for 1/3 cup of applesauce per egg. In this case, you may also use a sweetened applesauce and decrease the amount of refined white sugar the recipe requires.  The ideal times to use this substitution is for when the recipe has another source of moisture and fat in the recipe. For example, a recipe that calls for oil and eggs is a perfect candidate for apple sauce substitution. If the only source of moisture is the eggs, consider starting out by just substituting half the amount of eggs for applesauce.

As you can see below, in the recipe for Baked Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars, there are no eggs, instead we used applesauce. However, notice the additional fat source in the recipe is peanut butter which allows for this substitution to yield a perfectly baked treat! It makes it possible for those following a vegan or more plant-based diet to bake without compromising when it comes to flavor. This recipe is a gluten-free (use gluten-free certified oats) and vegetarian with  a vegan option, if you use maple syrup instead of the honey.

These bars are not very sweet. They rely on the jelly or jam you choose to use as a topping. Alternatively, you could double up on the honey or vegan sweetener and increase the oat flour to ¾ cup, if you desire a sweeter desert version versus a less sugary breakfast bar.

Once Again Nut Butter’s variety of products helps you stay in control of what you eat by offering you no salt, and unsweetened varieties for each of our nut and seed butters. When baking, choose which one you prefer and adjust the other ingredients in your recipe accordingly! The difference between eating pre-packaged cookies and homemade cookies is quantum, amounting to the ability to choose quality ingredients and keep your recipes clean, that is, free of additives. Once Again Nut Butter products were designed with rare marketplace ideals in mind. Minimal, highest quality ingredients allow each nut or seed flavor to really shine through no matter how you use the butters!

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Peanut Butter Jelly Oatmeal Bars

2 cups of oats

½ cup of oat flour

½ teaspoon of baking powder

¼ cup of honey (or maple syrup, if vegan)

½ cup of unsweetened apple sauce (You may use sweetened apple sauce, if preferred.)

3 tablespoons of Once Again Peanut Butter

½ cup of milk of your choice

½ cup of strawberry preserves

In a large mixing bowl, combine oat flour, oats and baking powder. In a separate medium bowl, mix honey, applesauce, peanut butter and milk. Then combine wet ingredients into dry, mixing well. Pour into baking pan, about 7 by 11 inches in size, prepared with coconut oil non-stick spray. Lastly, spread the ½ cup of preserve or jam as a thin layer on top. Place in a preheated oven at 350 Fahrenheit for 30 minutes or until edges are lightly golden. Remove the baked result from the oven, and once cooled, cut it into bars or squares and store in an airtight container for up to 3 days. These bars are best stored in refrigerator.

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