Today’s apricot oat bars recipe has become somewhat famous around these parts after I mistakenly make a super huge double-batch and was forced to share the bright, golden goodness with dozens of shiny, happy people.
After my first batch of classic oat bars I decided to make a version that was both gluten-free and egg-free, which is a baking goal that I have in mind for future dessert recipes.
I have a few reasons for going gluten-free and egg-free in my baking, but the biggest one is that it's going to be easier to digest.
Although everyone loves sweets, unfortunately people tend to have trouble digesting them, and it's because they usually contain a pile of "difficult to digest" ingredients.
This is true even for people who don't have food allergies or food intolerances.
Most desserts typically contain a good amount of sugar, fats, wheat, and eggs.
These four food groups are all in the “difficult to digest” category, according to Ayurveda, which is India’s ancient healthcare system.
You may observe this yourself, that after the sugar high wears off, you don’t feel so good (even if you are smiling in the moment).
My goal is to reduce that uncomfortable feeling with the recipes I give you, while still achieving an incredible taste and experience with the dessert.
Cooking with fruit is one way to reduce the sugar. I used sugar-free apricot jam in my batch.
I also used an egg made from ground flax seeds soaked in water. It gets mucilaginous after about 20 minutes, with a consistency similar to egg whites.
I am happy to share with you that this apricot oat bars recipe is even better than an oat bars recipe made with regular flour and eggs.
I hope you give these oat bars a try.
You can follow Buttered Veg for more recipes that use the same gluten-free alternatives that I am about to introduce to you.
My Two Favorite Gluten-Free Flours For Gluten-Free Baking
I am relatively new to gluten-free baking, so I hope that we can learn together.
As the experimentation happens here, I am starting off with the following two products.
If you want to invest in these too, then we can make gluten-free desserts together, starting with today’s apricot oat bars recipe.Jump to Recipe
Gluten-Free 1:1 Baking Flour
This is a popular gluten-free flour made by Bob's Red Mill that is designed to work as a one-to-one substitute for all-purpose flour, which is extremely handy for any type of gluten-free baking.
This particular product, sold in the light blue package, contains sweet rice flour, whole grain brown rice flour, potato starch, whole grain sorghum flour, tapioca flour and xanthan gum.
It is important to note the last ingredient here. The xanthan gum. This is a very common food additive in processed foods because its property is to thicken, stabilize, and bind.
In this gluten-free flour it takes the place of the gluten, and this is very important to note if you are trying to make breads, muffins, and cakes that require rising.
Bob’s Red Mill has another all-purpose flour replacement sold in a red package. This product does not contain xanthan gum.
For cookies and squares like this apricot oat bars recipe, the xanthan gum is not essential, and the red pack will also work.
Gluten-Free Whole Grain Millet Flour By Bob’s Red Mill
I choose this gluten-free flour option because millet is an incredibly healthy grain that I think is under-appreciated in the world today.
Even in India, where the cereal grain has ancient roots, millet has fallen out of favor.
The nutritional profile of millet is very comparable to wheat. Depending on the variety of millet, millet actually beats wheat in iron and B vitamins.
The major different between millet and wheat is millet’s high fiber content. Millet has around 5-7 times more fiber than wheat.
Another huge advantage of millet is its ability to grow on marginal lands, and even survive drought conditions.
I have a feeling we are going to need millet around in the future. And for now, it has a mild, pleasant taste that promotes health, so yay!
The package says millet flour gives a delicate, cake-like crumb to baked goods.
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A Story About These Apricot Oat Bars
The first time I made these oat bars I made a mistake by putting twice the amount of butter into the food processor than what my recipe called for.
This meant I had to made a double batch.
Now that's a lot of bars, because this recipe makes quite a few. Depending on how you cut them up, you will get at least 24 good-sized pieces from a single batch.
So here I am with around 60 apricot oat bars. What to do? Send them with my hubby to his workplace of course!
Well, my hubby happens to love promoting Buttered Veg when he has food that I've made to share.
So this prompted a tsunami of feedback from people who tried the apricot oat bars, with many of them asking for the recipe.
I would like to thank my hubby, and his colleagues, for their generous and kind appreciation, and for taking the time to give their feedback.
This recipe is dedicated to you. You know who you are!
And in full disclosure, you should also know that your bars were made with regular all-purpose flour and wheat flour, three-quarter cup of each.
I have also increased the amount of jam in my instructions below.
Apricot Oat Bars Recipe
- 1 ½ cups almonds, toasted
- 2 cups rolled oats
- ¾ cup gluten-free baking flour, (all-purpose 1:1 substitute)
- ¾ cup millet flour
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon powder
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 ½ cups brown sugar
For the second step
- 1 tablespoon flax meal, (a vegan egg substitute; see notes)
- 1 ¾ cup apricot jam (18 ounces)
- Make your flax egg. Mix flax meal with 2 tablespoons warm water in a small bowl and let it rest for 20 minutes while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. You will need a 10x15-inch baking tray. Roast almonds in the baking tray until golden brown (about 12 minutes).
- Remove almonds from tray, allow tray to cool, then lightly grease the baking tray and set it aside until needed.
- Place all ingredients, except the flax egg and apricot jam into a food processor. (To do this by hand, chop almonds finely, blend oats into course flour, and combine with remaining ingredients.)
- Remove half the mixture and set aside. Add the flax egg to the remaining mixture and mix to combine.
- Transfer the mixture with egg into the prepared baking tray and press down evenly to create a bottom crust. Bake for 15 minutes until the crust is firm to the touch and lightly browned around the edges.
- Allow crust to cool slightly, then gently spread the apricot jam evenly over the entire surface. Sprinkle the remaining oat mixture over the top and return to the oven.
- Bake for 25 minutes, until the top crust is golden brown and inviting. Cool and cut into bars.