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Looking for a healthy way to ring in the New Year?

Try a make-your-own oatmeal bar for breakfast. This one features one of my favorite winter fruits– roasted pears.  If you have never tasted them before then you are in for a real treat.

Start the oatmeal bar with hearty steel cut oats like the Trader Joe’s 8 minute Quick Cook Steel Cut Oats pictured below.  Traditional (20 minute) steel cut oats, old-fashioned oats or quick oats will also work.  Cook the oats according to package directions and add cinnamon, a little bit of brown sugar, and a pinch of salt as desired.

Set out a variety of dried fruit and nuts.  We used orange flavored dried cranberries, golden berry blend (golden raisins, dark raisins, cherries, blueberries), honey roasted almonds, spiced pumpkin seeds, and chopped pecans.

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For the star ingredient, simply spread chopped ripe pears on a large baking sheet with a rim (to catch the juices that they will release in the oven).  Bake at 400 degrees F for 10-15 minutes until they are slightly softened and fragrant.  The flavors intensify and they taste amazing!

I first learned about roasted pears from a blender baby food cookbook  many years ago.  When my children were babies I cooked different types of vegetables and fruits and blended them to make baby food.  This was one of our favorites.  I probably snuck two spoonfuls of roasted pear puree for every one that I fed to my kids.  As a puree, it can also be used to spoon over plain yogurt or vanilla frozen yogurt.

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Serve the warm oats and roasted pears with a make-your-own oatmeal bar at the table. A delicious way to begin the new year!

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