The transition from summer to autumn means a few things for me:
- The 90-100 degree weather seems even worse than it usually does.
- I start to plan my move to a cooler place where there are not only trees, but trees with leaves that GET THE CLUE and change color.
- The thought of wearing a sweater brings me so much joy and so much sadness at the same time, because there’s no way I’ll be able to wear one for another two or three months.
- I start to crave soups, pumpkin, and anything remotely autumn-like.
Even though I’ll admit to buying a can of pumpkin yesterday, I’m trying to roll with Arizona’s version of September this year by continuing to enjoying those warm summer nights, wearing lots of shorts and dresses, and eating up the last of summer’s abundant produce. We’ll see how long I can last until I cave in to a cup of hot tea.
My inspiration for these Peach Pie Oat Bars came from a batch of not-so-great peaches I bought last week. They weren’t awful. I suppose you could describe them as “end-of-the-season just okay”. A little dry and less tasteful than they had been in the previous few months, I knew that they would go perfectly in some sort of baked good. Then these Strawberry Oatmeal Bars that I made last year popped into my head. Could I do something similar (and healthier)? The answer is yes. Yes I could. Can. Did.
I started off by slicing the peaches and simmering them with some water and agave nectar. No, you do not have to peel the peaches. Yes, you can breath a sigh of relief.
Next, I got to work on the buttery crust, which also doubles as a crumbly topping. Instead of using butter, I used coconut oil, applesauce, and ground walnuts, which give it a buttery texture and (you guessed it) nutty undertone. What else is good about this recipe?
- Whole grains. Lots of whole grains.
- No white sugar. Less sugar.
- Healthy fat. Less fat.
- Fruit! Happiness! A dollop of coconut whipped cream on top.
That’s right. You can eat these all by themselves or warmed up with coconut whipped cream on top. Or with your favorite vanilla ice cream. Basically, however you damn well please, as long as the warm, sweet, crumbly goodness that these Peach Pie Oat Bars are makes it into your mouth.
- 4-5 Medium Ripe Peaches, Sliced
- 1 Tablespoon Agave Nectar
- ½ Cup Whole Wheat Pastry Flour
- ¼ Cup Oat Flour
- ¾ Cup Whole Oats
- ½ Teaspoon Baking Powder
- ⅛ Teaspoon Salt
- ¼ Cup Ground Walnuts
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ Cup Brown Sugar
- 2 Tablespoons Coconut Sugar
- ¼ Cup Solidified Coconut Oil
- 3 Tablespoon Unsweetened Applesauce
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit.
- In a medium sauce pan, combine ½ cup water, sliced peaches, and agave nectar.
- Simmer over medium-low heat for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the peaches have softened and the water has evaporated.
- Grease an 8x8 baking dish.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine whole wheat flour, oat flour, oats, baking powder, salt, ground walnuts, cinnamon, brown sugar, and coconut sugar.
- Add the coconut oil and applesauce to the dry ingredients and use a pastry blender or fork to combine the ingredients. The mixture will have a crumbly consistency once everything is combined.
- Place half of the mixture into the baking dish and distribute it evenly. Press the mixture down until it is tightly packed.
- Add the cooked peaches on top of the first layer and distribute them evenly.
- Sprinkle the remainder of the crumbly mixture on top of the peaches and lightly press it down.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until the bars are golden brown.
- Let the bars cool for about 1 hour before you cut them.