Tuesday, October 6, 2009

The Neverending Quest

I'll never give up my quest to incorporate spinach into all foods.  Total spinach world domination...quite an endeavor for a deserving little veggie.  Adding spinach into savory dishes has been more successful than the spinach desserts.  The last batch of brownies was not too shabby really, but let's not lie here...it could not have held its own next to a warm, super fudgy brownie.  Today's Blueberry and Oatmeal bars with Spinach however--well I think it might hold its own against another blueberry bar.  Stay with me here...I am telling the truth.

If I learned anything from the spinach brownies, it's puree, puree and then puree some more just to be safe.  Nothing can ruin dessert faster than pulling a long veggie stem out of the bite you just took.  This time I pureed like a mad woman.  It was spinach goo at that point really.

I based this off a recipe with in Jessica Seinfeld's Deceptively Delicious cookbook with the following adaptations:
  • Instead of the 3/4 cup of margarine, I used 1/2 a stick of real butter and 1/2 c of lowfat yogurt.  I'm more of the school of eating real foods vs. man made substititions. If you haven't ever cooked with yogurt before--a heads up that it produces a chewier textured baked good. If you want a crispy cookie type crust, then you'll have to replace the yogurt with butter or margarine.  It's the law of fat in baked goods.
  • Instead of a low sugar preserve, I used an all fruit spread, and threw in a pint of fresh blueberries for good measure.

The look scrumptious, because they were. I'm guessing that 1/2 a cup of cooked spinach isn't enough to flavor anything, but it just made me happy to be able to put it in there.


Blueberry Spinach and Oatmeal Bars

2 cups oats (not fast cooking)
1 1/4 cups  flour
1/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 stick butter chilled
1/2 cup plain lowfat yogurt
1 cup blueberry all fruit spread
1/2 cup spinach puree
1 pint fresh blueberries

  1. Preheat oven to 375°.
  2. In a large bowl, combine oats, flour, sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, salt and vanilla and stir to mix well.
  3. Add the butter and cut it quickly into dry ingredients with pastry cutter or two knives until the butter is the size of peas. Stir in plain yogurt and stir just to combine, being careful not to overmix.
  4. Set aside about half of the oat mixture; press the rest firmly into the pan. Bake until lightly browned at the edges, about 15 minutes.
  5. Mix the all blueberry all fruit with the spinach puree.
  6. Spread blueberry mixture over the partially baked oat layer,  then top with frest bluberries.  Top with reserved oat mixture. Bake until topping is slightly browned, 20 to 25 minutes. Set the pan on a rack to cool completely before cutting into 12 bars.


Leslie said...

this is amazing!!! they look fantastic. i bet my kids would eat these and have no idea...after all they ate popeye smoothies that were actually green and never were clued in to how much spinach was in there.

Chocolate Shavings said...

I'm intrigued by the addition of Spinach!

Reginald@CeramicCanvas said...

I love it!

Nice idea. Now if you

could only help me sneak

veggies in my kids Pop-Tarts

we're in business. :)

Great Post.


Patti said...

So can you taste the spinach much in here? I'm a nutrition grad student, and this nutrition group I'm in has a "Secret Ingredient Bake Sale" where we have to use a healthier replacement for something unhealthy in a baked good. I think I might try your recipe. :)

MaryMary said...

Surprisingly, you cannot taste the spinach in these at all. Not even a little.... :)