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These healthy strawberry-rhubarb bars are perfect for spring. Strawberries add sweetness to balance the tart flavor of the rhubarb, while a nutty topping adds delicious crunch.

Source: The Simple Art of EatingWell

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Recipe Summary test

active:
40 mins
total:
2 hrs 45 mins
Servings:
18
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Ingredients

Crust
Fruit Filling

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • To prepare crust: Combine 3/4 cup nuts (or oats), whole-wheat flour, all-purpose flour, sugar and salt in a food processor; pulse until the nuts are finely ground. Add butter; pulse until well incorporated.

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  • Whisk egg, oil, 1 teaspoon vanilla and almond extract in a small bowl. With the motor running, add the mixture to the food processor. Process, then pulse, scraping down the sides, if necessary, until the mixture begins to clump, 30 to 45 seconds (it will look crumbly). Measure out 1/2 cup of the mixture and combine in a bowl with the remaining 1/4 cup chopped nuts (or oats). Set aside for the topping.

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Generously coat a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with cooking spray.

  • To prepare fruit filling & assemble bars: Combine 2 cups strawberries, 2 cups rhubarb, orange juice, sugar and cornstarch in a large saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture is very thick, 4 to 5 minutes. (It may take up to 10 minutes to get a thick result if you start with frozen fruit.) Stir in the remaining 1 cup strawberries and 1 cup rhubarb and 1 teaspoon vanilla.

  • Transfer the dough to the prepared baking dish. Spread evenly and press firmly into the bottom to form a crust. Spread the fruit filling over the crust. Sprinkle the reserved topping over the filling.

  • Bake the bars for 15 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees and bake until the crust and topping are lightly brown, 25 to 30 minutes more. Let cool completely before cutting into bars, at least 1 1/2 hours.

Tips

Make Ahead Tip: Cover and refrigerate the crust and topping (Steps 1-2) for up to 1 day. Cover or individually wrap and refrigerate the cooled bars for up to 5 days.

Note: Lower in protein than regular whole-wheat flour, whole-wheat pastry flour is milled from soft wheat and has less gluten-forming potential, making it a better choice for tender baked goods. You can find it in the natural-foods section of large supermarkets and natural-foods stores. Store in the freezer.

Easy cleanup: Dessert pans can be a headache to clean. Skip the soaking and scrubbing by lining your pan with parchment paper before you bake.

Nutrition Facts

1 bar
192 calories; protein 2.8g; carbohydrates 26.2g; dietary fiber 2g; sugars 14.7g; fat 8.9g; saturated fat 2.2g; cholesterol 17.1mg; vitamin a iu 126.2IU; vitamin c 19.7mg; folate 32mcg; calcium 32mg; iron 0.7mg; magnesium 18.3mg; potassium 147.6mg; sodium 70.6mg; thiamin 0.1mg; added sugar 13g.

2 other carbohydrate, 2 fat

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