Chocolate-Oat Bars easier on the heart

If heart health is one of your goals, the new “Betty Crocker Cookbook Heart Health Edition” can help.

The book is Betty Crocker’s signature red, with features that can make heart-healthy eating easier.

The introduction includes information about heart health, including details about reducing your risk factors with diet and exercise. There are 10 recipes for family cooking that are lower in fat and calories. It also includes an index of recipes that meet heart-health guidelines.

Betty Crocker has made a donation to WomenHeart, the National Coalition for Women with Heart Disease.

Here’s one of the recipes in the book for a healthier treat:

Chewy Chocolate-Oat Bars

From “Betty Crocker Cookbook Heart Health Edition”

1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips

1/3 cup fat-free sweetened condensed milk

1 cup whole wheat flour

1/2 cup old-fashioned or quick-cooking oats

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup packed brown sugar

1/4 cup canola oil

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/4 cup fat-free, cholesterol-free egg product or 1 egg

2 tablespoons old-fashioned or quick-cooking oats

2 teaspoons butter, softened

Heat chocolate chips and milk in 1-quart heavy saucepan over low heat, stirring frequently, until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth; set aside. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 8- or 9-inch square pan with cooking spray.

Mix flour, 1/2 cup oats, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl; set aside. Stir brown sugar, oil, vanilla and egg product in a medium bowl with fork until smooth; stir into flour mixture until blended. Reserve 1/2 cup dough in small bowl for topping.

Pat remaining dough in pan (spray fingers with cooking spray or lightly flour if dough is sticky.) Spread chocolate mixture over dough. Add 2 tablespoons oats and the butter to reserved dough; mix with pastry blender or fork until crumbly. Drop small spoonfuls of oat mixture evenly over chocolate mixture.

Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until top is golden brown and firm. Cool completely, about 1 1/2 hours. For bars, cut into 4 rows by 4 rows.

Yield: 16 bars

Nutrition per cookie: 160 calories, 6 grams fat (1.5 grams saturated, 31 percent fat calories), 3 grams protein, 25 grams carbohydrate, no cholesterol, 2 grams dietary fiber, 115 milligrams sodium.


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