Disclosure: I received monetary compensation (and kiwifruit, natch) to develop this recipe for Zespri® SunGold Kiwifruit. That being said, I love these kiwifruit and so do my kids, and I’d recommend them (and eat them) anytime without reservation. As usual, I would never take money or promote a product from a company whose nutrition philosophy is not aligned with my own.
When I was asked by Zespri® to develop a few recipes with their Zespri® SunGold Kiwifruit, I could not imagine saying no. Having tried these golden orbs of sweetness for the first time a few years back, I’ve loved them ever since!
I wanted to make some recipes that you all could give to your kids – and eat yourselves, of course – for back-to-school. I wanted to make them healthy, but also delicious. Easy, but unique. And each recipe had to highlight the golden sweetness of the Zespri® SunGold Kiwifruit. This wasn’t such a hard task, since I found cooking with this variety of kiwifruit really simple. Essentially, I found that Zespri® SunGold Kiwifruit would go well in most recipes where you’d typically use blueberries or strawberries, and the results are scrumptious!
Zespri® SunGold Kiwifruit Oat Bars came together in a snap! No pre-baking the crust, no messing around with pureeing the fruit. Simply mix the crust and topping ingredients together, layer the sliced fruit in, and you’re on your way to the perfect after-school/after-work snack (and a delicious smelling house TBH). The kids can also bring them to school, since they’re nut free…and, they’re vegan as well!
Some fruit bars use pre-made preserves or jam as filling. Why would you do that? Zespri® SunGold Kiwifruit retains its shape perfectly in baking, and why use pre-sweetened stuff when my filling contains only 1 tablespoon of sugar?
I also used 100% whole wheat flour in the crust along with large flake oats, making a hearty, higher-fiber recipe. You can use butter in this recipe if you’re not into coconut oil, but I’m obsessed with coconut, and kiwi + coconut = heavenly.
- 2 cups whole wheat flour
- 1.5 cups large flake oats
- 1 cup coconut oil melted
- 2/3 cup coconut
- 1/3 cup dark brown sugar
- 1 t baking powder
- 1/2 t cinnamon
- 1 t vanilla
- ¼ t salt
- 6-8 Zespri® SunGold Kiwifruit
- 1 T lime juice
- 1 T sugar
- 1 t cornstarch
- Zest of 1 lime
Preheat your oven to 350F.
Peel the kiwifruit and slice into ¼-inch thick rounds. Toss in a bowl with the cornstarch, 1T sugar, lime juice, and lime zest.
Combine the flour, oats, coconut, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt in a large bowl, mixing well. Slowly pour in the coconut oil and vanilla, stirring until the mixture resembles large coarse crumbs.
I actually use my hands for a lot of this step – it’s a great way to get everything mixed efficiently.
Line a 9x9 square pan with parchment and press 2/3 of the oat mixture firmly and evenly into the pan to make the bottom crust.
Layer the kiwifruit slices on the bottom crust, then sprinkle the remaining oat mixture on top of the kiwi. If you have liquid in the bottom of the bowl that held the kiwifruit, go ahead and pour it over the fruit before putting the topping on.
Bake in a 350F oven for 40 minutes, until the topping is browned and your kitchen smells like heaven.
Let cool and cut into squares.