A few months ago, when rhubarb was out, I discovered Smitten Kitchen’s recipe for Rhubarb Crisp Bars — it’s a crisp, but it’s a bar, like a cookie. Magical!
And they were everything you imagine they would be. I’ve made them several times since with various fruits and one day, I took up Deb’s recommendation of eating these for breakfast — just add Greek Yogurt instead of ice cream or whipped cream!
We’ve always liked yogurt and fruit/granola for lunch, more so than breakfast, because lunch is always kind of a pain. But, I haven’t found too many store-bought granolas that I like, and fresh fruit can be limited seasonally or expensive (not to mention having to prep it every time you want it).
The crisp-yogurt combo fixes all of that.
However, after the first time we ate it as breakfast/lunch, we did feel it could be made a healthier, since it was a meal and not a dessert. With vanilla yogurt, which has some sugar in it, and the fruit, the sugars started adding up. Also, could we balance out the butter with some healthier fats/fiber?
It turns out, it was very easy to make some adaptations that made it more suitable for a meal than a dessert.
I tried two versions:
One with only 2tbs butter and no refined sugar; I added just a dollop of honey. I didn’t make the crust so that the fruit let more juice soak into the drier topping. We still polished off the entire dish, but ultimately it wasn’t nearly as good as the original. For one thing, it didn’t have that yummy baked crust.
I went back to the original recipe with a few more changes, though keeping the spirit of the original, and I managed to come up with one offering the taste and texture of the original, but with a slightly healthier profile. Let’s just say we’ll probably have a pan of this in our fridge on a regular basis. 🙂
Fruit Crisp Bars a la Smitten Kitchen w/ slightly healthier changes for Breakfast/Lunch
- 1 cup Old-Fashioned Oats
- 1/2 cup white flour
- 1/4 cup wheat flour
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- 1tbs ground flaxseed (wheat germ could also be added here)
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 2-3 cups of any mixed fruits/berries
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice (I only use this on fruits that might brown)
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch (optional, but helps firm up the filling)
- 1/4 cup rough chopped walnuts, pecans or slivered almonds
Spray an 8” square dish and mix the first 6 ingredients in the dish. Then add the butter and mix with your fingertips in a pinching motion until all the dry is incorporated and you have a “crumble” mixture. Put a little more than half aside in a bowl and press the remainder into a crust on the bottom.
Add your chopped fruits and berries over the crust (sprinkle the lemon juice and sprinkle the cornstarch over the fruit here)
Add chopped nuts to the crumble that you set aside in the bowl. Sprinkle that mixture evenly over the fruit
Bake at 375 for 30-40 min. Serve in a bowl with plain or vanilla Greek Yogurt for lunch or breakfast!
Should provide 6 individual breakfasts or lunches, depending on how much you use. 🙂 Easily doubled in a 9X13 pan.