One thing I love about summer is all the fruits and veggies on sale. At Reading Terminal Market (in Philadelphia), there is a little produce market that sells bags of different fruit and veggies in season for .99 cents. 😮 Needless to say, I was obsessed with this place. When I used to frequent that part of the city more, I would go to that produce market almost every week and end up buying so much produce, even some I had never cooked before, that I would sometimes be sore from carrying my bags. Then I will get home and come up with recipes that incorporated the produce I just bought. Since I haven’t been in the city as often for a while, it had been so many months since I had been to Reading Terminal. I happened to be having lunch with a friend there and decided to take advantage of the proximity and stop by that produce market. My obsession is back.
This post was originally going to be a strawberry crumble but their produce is discounted for a reason. I bought a 32oz container of very ripe strawberries with no idea what I was going to do with them. When I had settled on a strawberry crumble and came around to making it, half of my strawberries were bad. No worries though because that led me to making these strawberry oatmeal bars. Or I should say strawberry oatmeal bars with a lemon glaze. The glaze is optional but I highly recommend it.
This is a good recipe to make if you want to have a non junky snack available at home, or in your office? at a gathering? or if you want to justify having something like a pastry for breakfast. They are sweet but not too sweat and the oatmeal makes them more dense and filling. If you want to make them even more hearty you can use whole wheat flour instead of all purpose flour.
The lemon juice and zest mixed in with the strawberries give these bars a slight tart lemony flavor. The lemon glaze brings some more tartness to these bars (which I love) and makes them a little sweeter. BUT if you want the additional sweetness without the tartness, you can use milk instead of lemon juice.
Strawberry Oatmeal Bars
This recipe yields one 9×13 inch pan.
- 1.5 cups all purpose flour
- 1 cup oatmeal
- 6 tablespoons light brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup butter (softened)
- 3 cups strawberries (chopped)
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon flour (or 2 teaspoons cornstarch)
Lemon Glaze (Optional)
- 1/2 cup confectioners sugar
- 2 tablespoon lemon juice
Preheat oven to 375ºF.
For the crust, mix the flour, oatmeal, sugar and salt in a bowl. Mix in the softened butter until everything is incorporated but still crumbly. (Mixing by hand is the way to go). Line a 13×9 inch pan with parchment paper. Press about 3/4 of the flour mixture into the pan and set it aside. Reserve the remaining mixture for the top.
For the strawberry mixture, mix the chopped strawberries, sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice and flour (or cornstarch) in a bowl. Spread this mixture on the crust in the pan.
Crumble the rest of the flour mixture over the strawberries. There should be enough to spread all over the strawberries but without covering them completely. Place the pan in the heated oven and let bake for 30 to 40 minutes or until the top starts to brown. When ready, take it out of the oven and let it cool then take it out of the pan and cut into squares.
For the glaze, mix confectioner’s sugar and lemon juice together until smooth. You can also use a little less lemon juice for a thicker glaze. Drizzle the glaze all over the bars. Enjoy!