Monday, December 7, 2009

Gluten-free Pineapple Bars

I made these pineapple bars based on the recipe for pineapple-filled bars in a previous post. I used oatflour made in the vitamix from organic quick oats. Most sources now seem to agree that oats are suitable in a gluten-free diet as long as you are able to purchase pure oats. There are several such products available on the shelves of Planet Organic. The brand name is Only Oats and the company, FarmPure Foods Inc., from whom they purchase this line of oats is located in Regina, Saskatchewan. They have some nice gluten-free recipes on their website using oatflour.


3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
1-1/4 cup oat flour
1/2 cup hard margarine
(such as Earth Balance vegan buttery sticks)
1/8 tsp. salt
1-1/2 cups shredded coconut
(such as Let's Do Organics brand coconut)

1/2 cup granulated sugar
1-1/2 tbsp. lemon juice
1-1/2 cup crushed pineapple with juice (14 oz can)
2 tbsp. margarine
3-1/2 tbsp. cornstarch

Bottom layer: Mix first 5 ingredients together until crumbly. Spread about 2 cups in greased 9x9 pan. Press down firmly with your hand. Save the remainder for the topping.

Filling: Stir next 5 ingredients together in saucepan. Bring to a boil while stirring over medium heat. Cool slightly. Spread over bottom layer. Cover with remaining crumbs pressing down with your hand. Bake in 350F oven for 25 minutes or until golden brown in color. Cut while warm into desired number of squares but don't take out of the pan until totally cooled.

Veggie Prairie Girl Rambles
I made several changes to this recipe including cutting down the sugar by 1/2 cup as I believe that after all these years my tastes are changing slightly. As much as I have loved the original recipe for years this is the first year that I thought they were a little too sweet. I also decided to increase the amount of pineapple so that the layer of fruit is much thicker in this version. Oat flour acts differently than wheat flour with margarine so it seems to taste a lot less fatty than the original recipe. A note of caution -- make sure to use a "hard" margarine for the base part of this recipe as the "soft" will result in a mixture that won't hold together well once baked.

I was surprised that my taste testers also preferred this version so this will now be our "new standard " pineapple-filled bar. Try both if you are able and see which you prefer. The original version is going to be preferred for the times when you are serving a larger crowd (and if obviously gluten is NOT a concern) as they are a little more compact and slightly less fragile. The gluten-free version is great for family when you are able to serve the same on individual plates. They both freeze well and taste good even after only 1 hour out of the freezer. If you are looking to indulge a litte further the gluten free version, with it's much larger volume of pineapple filling, would taste great with a scoop of soy vanilla ice cream.

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