Strawberry Oat Bars

Having nutritious snack options is a must in my house. Though I personally am not a big snacker, my two growing boys ARE. And with the amount of food they can put away in a day, I need to make sure they are making the most of those snacking opportunities. No empty calories here!

This recipe is similar to the raspberry bars but are made slightly different. The addition of the banana in this recipe changes it quite a bit.

I am categorizing this one under snacks and breakfast because they can be either. A nutrient dense breakfast or a nutrient dense snack. With the addition of chia seeds (you can read about why chia seeds are so amazing in this post here), plus the highly antioxidant power of strawberries, fiber from the oatmeal, and no processed sugar these strawberry oat bars are sure to please.

Making the jam:

2 cups frozen strawberries

2 tbsp maple syrup

2 tbsp chia seeds

1 tsp vanilla extract

Making the bars:

2 cups oatmeal (divided)

1 tsp baking powder

2 medium over-ripe bananas, mashed

1/4 cup maple syrup

1 tsp vanilla extract

  1. Make the jam first, because you need it cooled before baking the bars. In a medium sauce pan add the strawberries and maple syrup and heat until the strawberries break down and thicken. Keep stirring occasionally.
  2. Add in the chia seeds and vanilla and cook another 3-5 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool.
  3. You could make this ahead of time, maybe the night before or in the morning before baking the bars in the afternoon/evening.
  4. To make the oat bars put 1 cup of the oats in a food processor and grind into a flour. Pour the oat flour and remaining 1 cup of oats in a mixing bowl and mix in the baking powder.
  5. Add the mashed bananas, syrup and vanilla. Stir until combined.
  6. Transfer 2/3 of the oat mixture into a baking dish and gently press down tightly and evenly. Spread the jam on top. Crumble the remaining oat mixture on top of the jam and press down gently.
  7. Bake at 375 for 25-30 minutes. The top should be a light golden brown. Remove from oven and allow to completely cool before cutting.

These taste great using blueberries, too! Just substitute the frozen strawberries for frozen blueberries when making the jam. Everything else stays the same. You could even use 2 cups of frozen mixed berries, too!

   

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