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A&E >  Food

Fruity snack bars cheap treats

Oatmeal, Raspberry and Peach Snack Bars are budget-friendly alternatives to pricey, store-bought snacks.  (Associated Press / The Spokesman-Review)
Oatmeal, Raspberry and Peach Snack Bars are budget-friendly alternatives to pricey, store-bought snacks. (Associated Press / The Spokesman-Review)
Jim Romanoff Associated Press

Store-bought, packable snacks for school can be pricey and some of the ingredients are less than desirable. Sure, there are all-natural brands, but they usually cost even more.

For about 50 cents each, you can make these oatmeal, raspberry and peach snack bars, which kids (and adults, for that matter) would love to find tucked into their lunch bags.

The soft, chewy bars are made with plenty of fruit and aren’t too sweet, so they even make a great on-the-go breakfast treat.

Oatmeal, Raspberry and Peach Snack Bars

1/3 cup orange juice

2 tablespoons cornstarch

2 tablespoons, plus 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar, divided

1 1/2 cups frozen or fresh raspberries

1 1/2 cups diced frozen or fresh peaches

1 1/2 cups quick rolled oats

3/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 cup butter, softened

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 large egg, lightly beaten

In a medium saucepan, whisk together the orange juice, cornstarch and 2 tablespoons of the brown sugar. Add the raspberries and peaches, then stir over medium-high until the mixture is simmering and thickened, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.

Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 7-by-11-inch (or 9-by-9-inch) baking dish with cooking spray.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the oats, flour, remaining 1/2 cup of brown sugar, butter and baking soda. Mix together with a fork until the dough is crumbly but beginning to hold together. Set aside 1 cup of the mixture.

Mix the egg into the dough remaining in the bowl. Transfer the dough with the egg to the prepared baking dish and press it evenly over the bottom. Spread the reserved fruit filling on top, then sprinkle the reserved crumb mixture over it.

Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until lightly browned and bubbling. Transfer the dish to a wire rack to cool completely, about 1 hour. Cut into 16 bars.

Approximate nutrition per serving : 155 calories, 7 grams fat, (58 calories from fat), 22 grams carbohydrate, 26 milligrams cholesterol, 2 grams dietary fiber, 87 milligrams sodium.

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