These sweet, and simple to prepare snack squares will satisfy a sweet tooth without adding to your waistline. Use these Low-Fat Cherry-Oatmeal Squares to replace your sugar-laden store bought granola bars . With the soluble fiber from the oats and the antioxidants from the cherries, you won’t miss the crazy chocolate squiggles or sugary sweet icings of most store bought brands. Put some in the kid’s lunchboxes this week, and enjoy the satisfaction and piece of mind that goes along with knowing exactly what their snacks are made of. Unlike the bars from the store, these contain no artificial flavors, no funny chemicals, and no preservatives. Just wholesome delicious ingredients. Just don’t forget to pack one in YOUR lunchbox as well!!
Low-Fat Cherry-Oatmeal Squares
- 1 8 inch square baking pan
- 1 large strip of aluminum foil
- 1 large bowl
- ⅔ cup whole wheat pastry flour
- ¾ teaspoon baking powder
- 1 whole egg and 1 additional egg white
- ¾ cup light brown sugar, packed
- 4 tablespoons unsweetened applesauce
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ cup oats (quick cooking but not instant)
- ½ cup dried cherries
- ¼ cup chopped walnuts
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees and coat an 8-inch square baking pan with non-stick spray.
- Line the bottom with a large strip of aluminum foil (it should cover the bottom of the pan and hang over two of the sides). Coat the foil with non-stick spray as well. In a large bowl, beat together egg, egg white, sugar, applesauce and vanilla until smooth.
- Beat in flour, baking powder and oats. Stir in cherries and nuts. Transfer mixture to the prepared pan and spread evenly. Bake for 20 - 22 minutes. Allow to cool completely in the pan before cutting into squares.
Alternative Method: Air Fryer
If you’re looking for a quicker and more energy-efficient way to prepare your Low-Fat Cherry-Oatmeal Squares, look no further than your trusty air fryer! This versatile appliance can work wonders in creating a perfectly baked treat with a delightful texture. Here’s how you can make these squares using an air fryer:
- 1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 2 tablespoons honey or maple syrup
- 1/4 cup low-fat milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 cup pitted cherries, halved
- Preheat your air fryer to 325°F (160°C) for 5 minutes while you prepare the batter.
- In a mixing bowl, combine the rolled oats, whole wheat flour, brown sugar, salt, and baking powder. Mix well to ensure the dry ingredients are evenly combined.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the applesauce, honey or maple syrup, low-fat milk, and vanilla extract until smooth and well blended.
- Gradually add the wet mixture to the dry ingredients, stirring gently until just combined. Be careful not to overmix the batter.
- Gently fold in the halved cherries, ensuring they are evenly distributed throughout the batter.
- Lightly grease a baking dish that fits inside your air fryer basket with cooking spray or a small amount of oil.
- Pour the batter into the greased baking dish and spread it out evenly.
- Place the baking dish in the preheated air fryer basket and cook for approximately 20-25 minutes, or until the squares are golden brown and cooked through. You can check for doneness by inserting a toothpick into the center; it should come out clean.
- Once cooked, carefully remove the baking dish from the air fryer and allow the squares to cool in the dish for a few minutes.
- Gently transfer the squares to a wire rack to cool completely before serving. Cut into squares and enjoy!
By using an air fryer, you can achieve the same delicious Low-Fat Cherry-Oatmeal Squares with a slightly quicker cooking time and a lovely golden crust. Embrace the convenience of this alternative method and indulge in these delectable treats with a guilt-free twist!
To ensure the best results with your Low-Fat Cherry-Oatmeal Squares, here are some invaluable cooking tips and insights:
- Opt for Fresh or Frozen Cherries: While fresh cherries are ideal, you can also use frozen cherries if they’re not in season. Just be sure to thaw and drain them before incorporating them into the recipe.
- Use Old-Fashioned Rolled Oats: Old-fashioned rolled oats provide the perfect texture and chewiness for these squares. Avoid using instant oats, as they will result in a softer, less substantial texture.
- Don’t Overmix the Batter: When combining the wet and dry ingredients, be careful not to overmix the batter. Overmixing can lead to a tougher texture. Mix until the ingredients are just combined for a tender, melt-in-your-mouth result.
- Adjust Sweetness to Taste: The sweetness of the squares can be adjusted according to your preference. If you prefer a sweeter treat, add a touch more sweetener, such as honey or maple syrup, to the batter.
- Allow for Proper Cooling: Once baked, allow the squares to cool completely in the baking dish before cutting into them. This will ensure that they hold their shape and maintain the perfect consistency.
The Best Ways To Serve Low-Fat Cherry-Oatmeal Squares
When it comes to presenting your Low-Fat Cherry-Oatmeal Squares, let your imagination run wild! Here are some delightful serving suggestions to elevate your dessert experience:
- Pair with Vanilla Yogurt: Top each square with a dollop of creamy vanilla yogurt for a delightful contrast of flavors. The coolness of the yogurt complements the warm, fruity notes of the cherry-oatmeal squares.
- Drizzle with Honey: Enhance the natural sweetness of the squares by drizzling a touch of golden honey over the top. The subtle floral undertones of the honey add an extra layer of decadence.
- Create a Sundae: Transform your squares into a sundae by layering them with a scoop of your favorite low-fat ice cream. Add a sprinkle of chopped nuts or a drizzle of chocolate sauce for an indulgent twist.
- Serve with Fresh Berries: Elevate the fruity essence of the squares by garnishing them with a handful of fresh berries. The vibrant colors and bursts of juiciness will create a feast for both the eyes and the taste buds.
- Enjoy with a Cup of Tea: Pair your Low-Fat Cherry-Oatmeal Squares with a soothing cup of herbal tea. The warm, comforting flavors of the squares blend harmoniously with the aromatic nuances of tea, creating a moment of pure bliss.
Can I store any leftover Low-Fat Cherry-Oatmeal Squares?
Absolutely! To store any leftover squares, place them in an airtight container and keep them at room temperature for up to three days. If you want to extend their shelf life, refrigerate them for up to a week. Simply reheat them in the microwave or enjoy them chilled, based on your preference.
Can I use a different fruit in this recipe?
Definitely! While cherries are the star of this recipe, you can experiment with other fruits such as blueberries or raspberries. The tartness of berries pairs wonderfully with the oatmeal base, creating a refreshing twist on these squares.
Can I make these squares gluten-free?
Absolutely! If you require a gluten-free option, ensure that the oats you use are certified gluten-free. You can find gluten-free oats at specialty stores or online. By making this simple substitution, you can enjoy these delectable squares without compromising your dietary needs.
Can I freeze these Low-Fat Cherry-Oatmeal Squares for later consumption?
Yes, you can freeze the squares for future enjoyment. Once they have cooled completely, wrap them individually in plastic wrap and place them in a freezer-safe container or zip-top bag. They can be stored in the freezer for up to three months. Thaw them in the refrigerator or microwave before serving.
Can I add nuts or chocolate to the recipe?
Absolutely! Feel free to add a handful of chopped nuts, such as almonds or walnuts, to the batter for an added crunch and nutty flavor. You can also fold in some dark chocolate chips for a decadent twist. Get creative and customize the recipe to your liking!
Elevate your dessert game with Low-Fat Cherry-Oatmeal Squares. From expert cooking tips to creative serving suggestions, this recipe guide has it all. Get ready to tantalize your taste buds and impress your guests. Share the recipe and subscribe to our blog to stay updated on more culinary delights.