The Breakfast Series – Strawberry oat bars

Growing up, my mother often preached the importance of eating breakfast. Turns out she was right… see here, here, and here!

According to WebMD.com, eating breakfast provides a wide range of benefits including improved concentration and performance, improves strength and endurance to engage in physical activity, and helps with weight control.

I’m not sure about the rest of you, but I never prioritize time for breakfast in the morning, often opting to pick something up in the morning when I get to the office….normally a black coffee and when I’m trying to be healthy, a breakfast wrap from Freshii (hold the sauce please!) and on other sad, cold days, a ham and cheese croissant…

In the quest to save costs and my waist line, I am making a conscious effort to bring breakfast from home. The breakfast bars I am featuring today are great! They are full of nut butters and healthy sugars and are really filling, a small squares get me through the morning! The breakfast bars are also very versatile and different ingredients can be subbed in to your taste. The best part is, you make them ahead and leave them in your fridge for up to five days!

Strawberry Breakfast Oat Bars (original recipe here)

White chocolate, strawberry oat bars
White chocolate, strawberry oat bars

Ingredient list:

Oatmeal base:

  • 2 and 1/4 cup quick oats
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup unsalted almond butter (or any type of nut butter you prefer)
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup apple sauce*
  • 1 ripe banana*
  • 1 large egg beaten

Filling:

  • 3 tablespoons strawberry jam
  • 1/3 cup white chocolate chips

*Modifications to the recipe…
The original recipe called for apple butter which I did not have one hand so I used apple sauce and added a banana in to keep the base moist. 

Also, you can choose to make your own fruit filling (see link to the original recipe). I just used jam instead because it was more time efficient for me to do so. 

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line an 8×8 baking pan with parchment paper or aluminum foil.
  2. Mash in banana, egg, apple sauce, maple syrup and almond butter together into a paste. (Or mix it in a Kitchenaid like I did). Once well integrated, mix in the oats.
  3. Step 2

3.  Press the oat mixture into the baking pan. Make sure you press the oats down to make a solid base. Hold back 1/2 cup of the oat mixture.

Step 3
Step 3

4.  Spread strawberry jam over the oat base and sprinkle white chocolate chips on top.

Step 4 - this bar is half covered by the remaining oat mixture.
Step 4 – this bar is half covered by the remaining oat mixture.

5.  Spread the remaining oat mixture over the jam and white chocolate chips.

Step 5
Step 5

6. Bake for 30 minutes. Allow to cool completely before cutting the bar into squares.

7. Cut into squares and enjoy! (And put leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge).

Step 7
Step 7

A few comments:
I personally found these a bit sweet likely due to the addition of the white chocolate chips. I would probably only add 3 tablespoons of maple syrup next time to account for this. The maple syrup can be replaced with honey if preferred. I have made similar breakfast bars before with honey and they turned out great!

The bars also hold their shape better when they are chilled, so eating them out of the fridge is best.

Hope you enjoyed this recipe! Happy baking! – J

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