Chewy Fruit and Oatmeal Bars

You can’t beat bars for a quick solution to the cookie craving, and this one is both delicious and healthy. This recipe was inspired by the original printed on the back of a Quaker Oats oatmeal container. Every time I make them I’m asked for the recipe. It’s very versatile — you can use any dried fruit, nuts, and even chocolate chips. Any way you make it, it’s a great, nutritious energy snack.

3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 8-oz. container vanilla or plain low-fat yogurt
2 egg whites, lightly beaten (or 1 whole large egg)
2 Tbsp. melted butter or coconut oil
2 Tbsp. milk or buttermilk
2 tsp. vanilla
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt (optional)
3 cups oatmeal (quick or old-fashioned, uncooked)
1 cup diced dried mixed fruit, raisins, or dried cranberries
Optional: Semi-sweet chocolate chips, nuts

Heat oven to 350F. In large bowl, combine sugars, yogurt, egg whites, oil, milk, and vanilla; mix well.

In medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt; mix well. Add to yogurt mixture; mix well. Stir in oats and fruit (and nuts and chips if you choose to use them).

Spread dough onto bottom of ungreased 13×9-inch baking pan.

Bake 28-32 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool completely on wire rack. Cut into bars. Store tightly covered.

About 2 dozen bars.

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