OKANAGAN CHERRY OAT BARS

How To Store Cherries

  • Store refrigerated and unwashed for several days
  • Choose plump, bright-coloured fruits; avoid soft cherries
  • To maintain optimum flavour and texture, keep cherries chilled
  • Forget about regular ice cubes: freeze some cherries to use instead of ice cubes in the beverage of your choice

    Health Benefits of Cherries

    Cherries are a good source of fibre, vitamin C, folic acid and minerals, including potassium, calcium.  One cup of cherries has about 90 calories in it if you’re counting.  They are also a source of antioxidants, anthoycyanins and cyanidin, which may help the body fight inflammation in conditions such as arthritis.  They have also been studied for their ability to reduce muscle pain and stress after a hard work out: try throwing them in your next smoothie after hitting the gym!


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    Okanagan Cherry Oat Bars (gluten-free & vegan option)

     Course Baking, Breakfast, Dessert
     Keyword bars, cherries, Cherry, Oats
     Total Time 1 hour
     Servings 24 bars
     Author Fraîche

    Ingredients

    For the Filling

    • 8 c. fresh pitted and halved cherries
    • 1/4 c. sugar
    • ¼ cup plus 3 tablespoons water divided
    • 3 tablespoons corn starch

    For the Topping

    • 1 cup old fashioned oats
    • ¾ cup sliced almonds
    • ¼ cup brown sugar
    • ¼ cup melted butter, vegan butter or coconut oil
    • 1/4 cup oat flour
    • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
    • Pinch salt

    For the Base

    • 1 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
    • 3 cups large flake oats
    • 1/2 cup oat flour
    • 1/2 cup brown sugar
    • 2/3 cup melted butter, vegan butter or coconut oil
    • 1 teaspoon almond extract
    • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 1/4 cup honey, maple syrup or brown rice syrup

    Instructions

      1. Combine the cherries, sugar and ¼ cup of water in a medium pot and bring to a simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the cherries have softened, about 15 minutes.
      2. Mix the corn starch and water in a small glass and slowly pour it into the cherries, stirring constantly. Cook for an additional 2-3 minutes and remove from the heat.

      3. Preheat the oven to 350 F and line a greased 9×13” pan with parchment paper.

      4. Prepare the topping by combining all of the ingredients together in a medium bowl and stirring to combine. Set aside.

      5. Place all of the base ingredients in a food processor and process until the mixture sticks together, about 30-45 seconds.
      6. Press the mixture in the bottom of the prepared pan to form an even, packed layer: I use the bottom of a flat glass cup to do this.
    1. Bake the base for 8 minutes and remove from the oven.
    2. Pour the cherries on top of the base and smooth to even. Sprinkle the prepared topping evenly on top of the base and bake until the top is lightly browned, approximately 35-45 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool completely.  Best if refrigerated before cutting.