Wheat seems to have a bad rep these days, but in its natural unrefined state, the grain has a host of important nutrients. Always try to opt for whole-wheat products, which haven’t been refined and stripped of their natural goodness. Whenever we can, we also like to add wheat germ into the mix — the nutrient-rich embryo of the wheat kernel that is removed during the refining process. Packed with important B vitamins, such as folate, thiamin and vitamin B6; and the minerals zinc, magnesium and manganese, wheat germ is a super grain that’s easily incorporated into baked goods. In this recipe, we replaced some of the flour with germ, but the wholesome breakfast bars are also filled with fiber from oats, flax seeds and raspberries. Enjoy one with a cup of yogurt for a well-rounded morning meal.
Whole-Grain Raspberry Jam Bars Recipe
Prep time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes
Cooking oil spray
2 cups whole-wheat flour
1/2 cup wheat germ
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 sticks butter, cut into 16 pieces and softened
1/2 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
1/2 cup walnut pieces
1/4 cup light brown sugar
2 tablespoons ground flax seeds
3/4 cup sugar-free raspberry jam
3/4 cup fresh raspberries
1 tablespoon lemon juice
- Preheat oven to 375° F. Line a 13 x 9-inch pan with foil by spreading two sheets of foil perpendicular to each other over the pan, with extra foil hanging over the edges. Grease the foil with cooking spray.
- Whisk the flour, wheat germ, granulated sugar and salt in a large bowl. Beat in 14 tablespoons of butter with an electric mixer on low until the mixture looks like wet sand, about 1½ minutes. Reserve 1¼ cups of the mixture for the topping and put the rest into the pan. Use the bottom of a measuring cup to press it into an even layer. Bake the crust until the edges begin to brown, about 14-18 minutes.
- Mix the reserved flour mixture with the oats, nuts, brown sugar and flax seeds. Add the remaining butter and pinch the mixture with your fingers into small clumps.
- In a separate bowl, lightly smash the raspberries, jam and lemon juice together.
- Spread the berry mixture over the hot crust and sprinkle the crumb streusel on top. Bake until golden brown, about 22-25 minutes.
- Let the bars cool completely in the pan. Remove bars from pan by lifting up the foil edges. Cut into 24 squares.