Saturday, April 17, 2010

Carrot Pumpkin Bars

Path to the Barn by Frances Robson

Good evening. Ya'll come on in for a spell to the 'Net Porch. I am about to get ready to go to Tifton, GA for a concert by the contemporary, Christian group - New Song. Their roots are in Valdosta but have since gone on to being famous and will be in a free concert in Tifton. We are praying for several thousand people to come and enjoy the wonderful music and the message brought by these singers about what God is doing in their lives and what He can do in our lives. At least 2 of the group are ministers and have a great message for all. I am so looking forward to it and will be in the team which will be praying throughout the concert for those in attendance.

I baked some really good bar cookies yesterday which are also loaded with things which are good for you. I began with a pumpkin muffin recipe from Weight Watchers and experimented with what I had in the kitchen cabinet and it turned out well. So here it is and enjoy.

Carrot Pumpkin Bars (Snacks or Breakfast bars)

1 box carrot cake mix
1 can pumpkin
1/2 cup oatmeal
½ cup milled flaxseed
2/3 cup applesauce
2/3 cup mixed nuts – toasted walnuts, pecans, slivered almonds (see below for instructions)
2/3 cup mixed fruit – raisins, craisins and blueberries or mixture of your choice. I buy this specific mixture at the Dollar Tree but you can make your own of whatever dried fruits you like
2/3 cups chopped apples with peeling
2/3 cups grated carrots
1 orange – zest and juice

For the toasted nuts – mix 2/3 cup chopped walnuts, 2/3 cup chopped pecans, 2/3 cup slivered almonds. Spread on foil lined baking sheet and toast at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes. Check after 5 min. and shake several times. I buy the packages of these nuts at the Dollar Tree and there is 2/3 cup in each pkg. and they are chopped already. After I use the 2/3 cup in this recipe I store the others in a plastic bag in the freezer.

Instructions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray sheet cake pan with cooking spray and line bottom with parchment paper.

Mix cake mix, oatmeal and flaxseed in large mixing bowl. In smaller bowl mix nuts, dried fruits, apples and carrots and add about 2 Tbsp. of the cake mix and toss until fruit and nuts are slightly coated. Add the pumpkin,applesauce and orange juice to the dry ingredients and combine well. Stir in the nuts, fruit,& orange zest. Mix well and pour into prepared sheet cake pan.
Cook for about 30 minutes but check after 25. Cook until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from oven and cool in the pan for about 10 min. Place cooking rack over the pan and invert to remove. Let cool, cut into bars and store in tight container. It is a dense bar cookie and delicious. Next time I think I will add some chopped dates. You can just throw in whatever is in the cabinet that you like. You can also leave out the milled flaxseed but not the oatmeal.

We ate it for breakfast this morning and it is good with a cup of coffee or a cold glass of milk. As dense and moist as it is I may have to store it in the refrigerator plus leave it on the cooking rack until completely cooled.
You add whatever ingredients you like and let me know your spin on it.

Well, I guess I better begin the bath, hair washing, painting the old barn (makeup) and trying to find some clothes which will not make me look older than I am and go enjoy the concert with all those wonderful young people.

Take cake and ya'll come back to see us.

Nuff said,

The Georgia Peach
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