Giada De Laurentiis is one of my absolute favorite Food Network chefs. I get enraptured by her Italian dishes as she flows through the motions – mixing, sauteing, baking all the way up until her first bite. However, they are not always the most healthy dishes…
Again, one of the keys to making the most for your health if you love trying new, gourmet, flavorful dishes is moderation.
I decided to take Giada’s Apricot Oat Bars, which I have made once before, and make a gluten-free, dairy free spin. These are not sugar-free and the inclusion of coconut oil instead of butter does remove the dairy and add the health benefits of coconut oil, however coconut oil is not known for being a low-cal food. These are definitely a more healthy substitute as opposed to cookies or brownies, but this doesn’t imply that eating the entire tray is good for you!
Giada DeLaurentiis’ Apricot Oat Bars (the gluten & dairy free version)
1 Jar Apricot Jam or Preserves
8 Dried Apricots, chopped into 1/4-inch pieces
1 3/4 Cups Oat Flour (you can make this by pulsing Oats into a powder/flour)
1 Cup Packed Light Brown Sugar
1 teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon Sea Salt
3/4 teaspoon Baking Soda
1 3/4 Cups Old-Fashioned Oats
1 Cup Chopped Walnuts
1 Cup Coconut Oil, melted
1 Egg (or vegan substitute), beaten
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a a 9 x 13 inch baking dish with sunflower oil spray. Line with parchment paper and spray/coat again.
In a small mixing bowl, mix together the filling ingredients and set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together the oat flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, salt and baking soda. Stir int he oats and walnuts. Add the coconut oil, eggs and vanilla and stir until incorporated.
Press half of the crust mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan (using hands or spoon). Using a spatula, spread the filling over the bottom layer of crust, leaving a 1/2 inch border around the edge of the pan. Cover the filling with the remaining crust mixture and press to flatten. Bake until light golden, about 30-35 minutes. Cool for 1 hour (refrigerating works great!). Cut into bars and store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
Oats are an excellent energizing snack, so making your oat flour to substitute for white flour not only cuts out the gluten but ups the fiber, and healthy carbs. Check out my post on energy boosting snacks from examiner.com to get more info!
According to my boyfriend, they were the best things I’ve ever made. Hope you enjoy!