Oat and barley bars a simple solution for many food needs

You’ll find the simplest foods often serve the most varied of needs. These oat and barley bars can serve multiple purposes for children and adults alike.

You’ll find the simplest foods often serve the most varied of needs.

These oat and barley bars can serve multiple purposes for children and adults alike.

They are a quick and very nutritious breakfast on the run or they can be packed into school lunches.

They also hold up very well in a camper’s backpack or picnic basket, and provide a quick energy burst for hiker sand campers.

And unlike commercial bars, they contain few preservatives or additives. Plus. the recipe is very forgiving, allowing you to experiment with other ingredients, to your heart’s content!

In all, this is a recipe you’ll want to keep handy all summer.

Hearty Oat and Barley Bars

375 ml (1 1/2 cups) rolled oats (large or quick flakes)

250 ml (1 cup) barley flakes

125 ml (1/2 cup) shredded coconut

125 ml (1/2 cup) dried cranberries

50 ml (1/4 cup) unsalted sunflower seeds

250 ml (1 cup) light peanut butter

250 ml (1 cup) brown sugar, packed

75 ml (1/3 cup) unsalted butter

10 ml (2 tsp) vanilla

5 ml (1 tsp) cinnamon

1 large egg

Preheat oven to 180 C (350 F). Grease and line a 23-cm (9-inch) square pan with parchment paper so the paper hangs over the sides of the pan.

In a bowl, toss together oats, barley flakes, coconut, cranberries and seeds. Set aside.

In a saucepan, combine peanut butter, brown sugar, butter, vanilla and cinnamon and stir over medium-low heat until melted.

Pour melted mixture over dry mixture and stir together. Blend in egg and spread mixture into pan, patting down evenly.

Bake for 30 minutes and then let cool for 20 minutes. Cut into bars and store in an airtight container.

Makes 12 bars.

Source: Oat and Barley Council of Ontario.