Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Three Bean and Flax Bars with Marmalade Glaze

I'm always faced with bits and pieces of things, the bottoms of jars, cans, bottles, bags... you know the like. It's the kind of stuff that savvy bloggers and Rachael Ray thrive on, whether its recipes for salad dressings and stir fry sauce or using those last stale Cheerios for a kid's craft. When our dog was still living, empty (plastic) jars instantly became the best.toys.ever. for her, especially the peanut butter ones (we'd toss in 3-4 kibbles to make noise and just watch the show). Plus, back then, we bought all our condiments, sauces, etc, since we both didn't have the garden we do now, and I wasn't sitting at home whipping up jam, chutney, hummus and salsa with the goodies we harvested. Now that I do make some of these things (and tomato sauce and mincemeat for days when the harvest comes in), I'm more invested in seeing that as much of the things in our kitchen be used and enjoyed in one way or another. The recession and my student-into-unemployment status, plus the ever rising cost of living, is another huge push for me (and my similarly frugal mom) to try our best - we simply can't afford to waste anything. This year I was lucky enough to get a contact at the Feed the Need in Durham program and let him know that come harvest time they'll be getting our excess produce too (fingers crossed it's a good year!). At least people who truly need good nutrition will be able to enjoy it.

But what does all of this have to do with the delicious, nutritious baked good you see below you? Well, I had the scrapings of a jar of my Citrus & Sweet Wine Marmalade and about a cup of my rich, luscious Three Legume Butter hanging out and taking up space in the fridge, threatening to turn green at any moment (probably not, but you never know around here), and the need to bring "sample-y" things with me when I was passing out info flyers for my Easter workshop. Not really feeling the "drop cookie" vibe (too messy, too much of a hassle on a short timeframe, insert-excuse-here...) I figured why not make a variation on the bar cookie theme: a nut butter based bar cookie-cake topped with a jam (or in this case, marmalade) glaze. I went the uber health-freak route with these ones (I was trying to market a health seminar!) by using 100% whole wheat flour, flaxseed, stevia and SucaNat and eschewing eggs, dairy and all other animal products.

The resulting bars turned out slightly cakier than I thought they'd be, but they were tasty nonetheless and the roasted nuances of the three legumes in the "butter" played well with the wheat flavour and added a nice contrast to the sweet-tart marmalade topping. The topping itself soaked into the batter but still stayed its own entity, almost making a "crust" of sorts. Different, yet delicious... yup, that's what I do!
 

Three Bean and Flax Bars with Marmalade Glaze
Serves 16 (one 9" pan)
1/4 cup ground flax seed
1/2 cup hot water
1/3 cup vegan margarine (I used Becel)
1/3 cup SucaNat (or regular sugar)
1/3 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 tsp stevia extract
1 tbsp pure vanilla
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
  1. Preheat oven to 350F, line a 9" square pan with parchment or foil.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together flax and hot water. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, cream margarine, SucaNat, brown sugar, stevia, 3 Legume Butter and vanilla.
  4. Add soaked flax and beat well.
  5. Stir in flour, salt, nutmeg, baking powder and baking soda.
  6. Spread evenly in the pan and spread with the marmalade.
  7. Bake for 35 minutes.
  8. Cool completely in the pan before cutting.
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 201.3
Total Fat: 12.8 g
Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
Sodium: 108.9 mg
Total Carbs: 20.3 g
Dietary Fiber: 3.2 g
Protein: 5.3 g