Something came over my daughter and me at the local produce stand. Juicy Alabama peaches piled high in baskets cast a spell on us, and we wound up buying way too many, considering we were leaving on vacation in just a few days. So, in an effort to leave no fruit behind, the whole family feasted on peaches at (and between) every meal. Still, the day before we were to leave, two succulent, ripe fruits were left, but by that time, we were all peached out. I could have frozen them, but instead I decided to transform them into bars that we could take along with us on the plane.
As it turned out, these moist and fruity bars never made it to the plane. They never even made it to the next day because somehow the peach magic spell was still at work, and bar by bar, the plate grew emptier as the day went by. Good thing they were low in sugar and fat because they turned out to be irresistible.
These are soft, chewy bars, not hard and crunchy like granola bars, so if you plan to take them along on your next trip, be sure you carry them in something sturdy, like a BPA-free plastic storage container.They’re equally delicious as a breakfast or as a dessert–if you can keep them around that long!
- 2 cups old fashioned or rolled oats
- 1/4 cup chopped dates
- 2 tablespoons chopped almonds
- 1 tablespoon chia seed or ground flax seeds
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon pure stevia extract powder (optional)
- 3/4 cup (plus 2 tablespoons) non-dairy milk (I used vanilla soymilk)
- 2 peaches, peeled and diced (about 1 1/4 cups)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
- Preheat oven to 350F. Line a 8×8- or 9×9-inch baking pan with parchment paper (this makes sure they don’t stick and makes clean-up a breeze).
- Combine dry ingredients (oats through stevia) in a large bowl. In a medium bowl, combine remaining ingredients. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry, making sure that they are thoroughly combined. Spread into prepared pan. Bake for about 25 minutes. If you’d like a crunchier top, put the pan under the broiler for a minute or two, watching carefully to make sure they don’t burn.
- Remove from oven and allow to cool for at least 15 minutes. Remove from pan by lifting up parchment paper. Cut into 9 squares and enjoy.