Many children do not eat enough vegetables. It is recommended that children eat 3 servings per day. If your child has sensory sensitivities to food, providing them with a balanced diet may seem impossible. This “deceptive” recipe sneaks spinach into yummy oatmeal bars. The cooked and cooled oatmeal bars will not have any spinach flavor. They are a delicious way to get niacin, fiber, folate, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, and B6 into your child’s diet.
This recipe is adapted from the oatmeal bar recipe in “Deceptively Delicious.”
Ingredients for the Oatmeal Bars:
- 4 cups of quick cooking oats
- 1 1/4 cups of white wheat flour (red wheat will work too, it just has a stronger flavor)
- 1 1/4 cups of white flour
- 1 cup of sugar
- 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder
- 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup of vegetable oil
- 3/4 cup butter
- 2 cups of fruit preserves (I prefer strawberry)
- 1/2 lb. frozen spinach
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Mix the dry ingredients together in a medium sized bowl. Melt the butter on low heat with the vanilla and oil. Pour the butter mixture into the oat mixture and stir until evenly combined.
Press half of this mixture into a greased 9 x 13 pan. Bake for 15 minutes.
While the bottom portion is baking, boil the spinach in a little water. Once cooked, drain the spinach and reserve the liquid. Place the spinach in a blender. I highly recommend a Blendtec. I went through several cheap blenders before buying a Blentec. Mine has lasted over 10 years and still works perfectly.
Puree the spinach. Your finished puree should be 1 cup of liquid. The Blendtec jar has easy to see measuring lines. If you are under the line, add enough of the reserved liquid to equal 1 cup. Then add in 2 cup of fruit preserves. Blend again until thoroughly mixed.
The spinach mixture is green, but I promise it will not stay green after it is baked. Pour the spinach/preserve puree over the baked oatmeal. Then top with the remaining uncooked oatmeal mixture. Bake for 25-35 minutes. The top should be lightly browned. Cool and then chill completely before cutting the bars and eating. Keep leftovers refrigerated. I love keeping mine in rubbermaid containers.