Thursday, January 17, 2013

Strawberry oat squares with coconut flour


I think I am gradually getting used to coconut flour. I have learnt not to use it as the sole or main flour when baking. I have definitely learnt that it is a dangerous when combined with purple carrots. And I have learnt that it works rather spectacularly in no-bake chocolate brownies with avocado.

I didn't like these squares as much as I liked the brownie bites, but I did enjoy them nonetheless. They are very low in sugar; free of wheat, dairy and eggs; and incorporate sesame seeds as well as oats and coconut flour. They are crumbly, but in an appropriate way - crumbly on top, but holding together underneath.



I think the only thing I'd change if making them again is the fruit filling. Strawberry was fine, but it lacked punch. I think raspberries would have more zing and lift this slice from enjoyable to wonderful.

For now, here is the strawberry version I made last weekend. I have listed possible variations at the end, and if you are catering to 'regular' tastes I would advise increasing the sweetener. I liked the reduction in sweetness for a change, but the taste was different to commercial oat bars or squares.

Strawberry oat squares with coconut flour
Vegan and wheat free
Makes 16 squares


Ingredients
For the filling
1 punnet (250g) fresh strawberries, washed, stems removed and cut in half
2 tbsp water
2 tbsp coconut flour
1 tsp vanilla

For the base and topping
1/2 cup + 1/2 cup rolled oats, divided
1/4 cup sesame seeds
1/4 cup coconut flour
1 tbsp vanilla
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 - 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk (or milk of choice)
1 tbsp + 1 tbsp maple syrup, divided

Method
Preheat your oven to 180'C and line a square baking dish with baking paper.

Place the filling ingredients in a medium saucepan and roughly mash the strawberries. Bring the mixture to the boil. Reduce heat immediately and simmer for approximately 10 minutes, uncovered and stirring regularly, until the mixture thickens. Set the filling aside while you prepare the base and topping.

In a food processor, process half of the oats (1/2 cup) and the sesame seeds until finely processed. Transfer to a large mixing bowl and add the remaining oats, coconut flour, vanilla, baking powder, cinnamon, milk and 1 tbsp maple syrup. Mix well.

Transfer approximately two-thirds of the oat mixture into the bottom of your lined baking dish. Press down firmly.

Pour the filling over the base and smooth out evenly. Cover with the remaining oat mixture, and then drizzle the remaining 1 tbsp maple syrup across the top.

Bake for 25 minutes or until golden. Allow to cool before cutting into squares. 

First oat layer

Strawberry filling

Oat topping, drizzled with maple syrup

Baked

And sliced

I enjoyed these more when eaten from the refrigerator, but am aware that might be a climate-specific preference. They certainly paired well with a cup of tea, and made for an enjoyable mid-afternoon snack most days this week.


As for possible variations? As noted, I would probably use raspberries (defrosted from frozen) instead of strawberries next time. If you want a sweeter product, I would recommend adding 1 - 2 tbsp maple syrup or brown sugar to the filling, and using 2 - 4 tbsp syrup or sugar in the oat mixture. If you don't have or don't like coconut flour, you can of course use regular flour instead.

Submitted to Healthy Vegan Friday 26co-hosted by Gabby and Carrie.

Have you had any recent experiments with coconut flour (or other non-wheat flours)? I have no problem with wheat / gluten so my experimenting is more for the fun of it than anything else.

41 comments:

  1. I am sure they are very delicious with oats and strawberry. I am not very experienced at this kind of sweet making.

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    1. They're really easy, so I am sure you'd pick it up quickly :-)

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  2. Wonderful! No...I have not experimented with coconut flour and very little on other non wheat flours and I think that is b/c I am not really a baker, persay. I do LOVE coconut though and this looks so quick and creative. Yum YUM!!

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    1. Thanks Teri! I haven't used many other non wheat flours either, but coconut is quite fun.

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  3. I really haven't experimented much with coconut flour, but this sounds like a wonderful recipe. Haha I remember the purple carrot experiment ;). I would gladly eat anything you bake.

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    1. That's so sweet Min, thank you.

      And yes, that purple carrot experiment was quite memorable! ;)

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  4. They look great! I agree that coconut flour is hard to use by itself - i find it really 'dry'.
    I am definitely going to try these - they sound very delicious!

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    1. Thanks Sandy! Please let me know how you find them if you do - I'd love to know how you found them :-)

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  5. Raspberries > strawberries ALWAYS. Also, those are such tiny tiny little squares! The photo with your hand makes me giggle :)

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  6. I really want to make this today but it's way too hot to put the air con on!!! Hope you are doing okay today. We just took the outside temperature - 50C :|

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    1. I heard you set a new record in Sydney, which is pretty impressive :( I am so grateful that yesterday and today have been cooler here - we got <20'C over night which makes such a difference! It heats up again tomorrow though, although hopefully not to the 46'C you clocked today...ugh.

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  7. oh my gosh i LOVE these!!! now i have the urge to make a strawberry shortcake cartoon to photoshop into that first pic. hehe

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    1. Ah, strawberry shortcake - I loved her as a child, and in fact may still do :)

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  8. This looks great! I'm yet to expand my coconut flour repetoire, but this is a great recipe to get me started :) great post!

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    1. Thank you Christine! I have definitely had a lot of trial and error with coconut flour, so I hope this helps if you give it a go.

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  9. I've actually never used coconut flour but I"m thinking I need to start! These bars sound delicious and I love the idea of making them with raspberries to up the tartness!

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    1. I am sure you'll enjoy coconut flour when you try it - it takes a bit of getting used to but adds something over regular flour in certain products. A slightly different taste and texture, in a good way!

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  10. Oh my goodness these look amazing! :) Great job as always Kari!

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  11. Wow, this is so up my alley. I might try this with cherries...They seem more seasonal in my neck of the woods! ; )

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    1. Ooh, yes, cherries would be fantastic!

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  12. Yum! These look so delicious and healthy! ...and now I am imagining them with raspberry too :) Yum Yum Yum :)

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    1. I'm glad you like the look of them!

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  13. I haven't cooked with coconut flour and it seems a little tricky. I think these look like great snacks that would fill you up without being bad for you xx

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    1. They do indeed fall into that category :-) I used to feel defeated by coconut flour as I just didn't know how to use it - but it is getting less tricky with practice, and I think using it with other flours / grains too is the trick.

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  14. oh wow! these oat squares look incredible!

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  15. Wow! What a great blog! And I love the sound of these:)

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    1. Thanks so much, and thank you for stopping by! I'm glad you like the look of these :)

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  16. The color in the filling is beautiful! I've still not tried coconut flour. I generally stick to sweet sorghum flour and general all-purpose gluten-free flour. I like the sweet sorghum flour the best in baked goods. I find that it tastes quite similar to regular flour and doesn't make things come out too dense.

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    1. I've never tried sorghum flour, so now I'll have to try that!

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  17. I need to experiment more with coconut flour - love these sort of crumble bars and the ingredients look like my sort of thing - I know what you mean about strawberries - plums would work well - esp the ones I have on the bench that are in need of being used

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    1. Plums sound like a fantastic alternative. I have plums on my counter in need of being used (or eaten asap) too, so these would have been a good option if I'd thought of it a week ago. Let me know how you get on if you give a plum version a try!

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  18. These look delish. I love how you make such delicious things that are healthy too.

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