BERRY OATMEAL BARS

These berry oatmeal bars are made with just a few simple ingredients, plus berries of your choice. They are hearty, healthy, and perfect for the whole family! (Bonus: they’re also vegan!)

Berry oatmeal bars stacked with strawberries.

Hi, friends! Am I the only one who feels like I absolutely live in the kitchen these days?! Many of us are spending so much extra time in our kitchens these days, cooking three meals per day for our family. And as much as I love cooking, all of this extra time coupled with working from home, caring for a toddler, and keeping up with the regular household tasks…it’s a lot! Breakfast, in particular, is something that I never thought twice about during the week pre-quarantine, but now it’s more of a focal point since we’re all home. I created these berry oatmeal bars a few weeks ago because we discovered that Chloe loves oatmeal, particularly with berries. She loves it so much, though, that whenever we tried to feed it to her…she kept trying to grab it out of the bowl and feed it to herself (read: rub it all over her head and face 🙂 ). Then, after a while, she flat out refused to eat it unless we let her “feed herself.” Enter: berry oatmeal bars for the win!

These bars take all of the healthy goodness of oatmeal, and make it portable and easier to eat. A win for all of us! They also happen to be vegan and naturally sweetened, so they’re perfect for everyone to enjoy!

Berry oatmeal bar mix in bowl.

BERRY OATMEAL BARS INGREDIENTS

  1. Oats: I recommend old-fashioned oats, as they make for a thicker, heartier texture.
  2. Milk: Any type of non-dairy (or dairy, for that matter) milk works well.
  3. Unsweetened applesauce: This adds a hint of sweetness while making the bars moist.
  4. Maple syrup: Provides natural sweetness and delicious flavor.
  5. Coconut oil: Adds moisture and healthy fat.
  6. Dry ingredients: Just a few simple pantry items – baking powder, salt, and cinnamon.
  7. Pure vanilla extract: Another pantry ingredient that adds great flavor.
  8. Berries: Any berries of your choice will work in these – we used strawberries for the batch pictured in this post.
Berry oatmeal bars in pan.

HOW TO MAKE BERRY OATMEAL BARS

  1. Preheat oven & prepare the pan: Preheat oven to 350 degrees, and spray a 9×11 baking dish (I use mine from this set, which I love! It is not quite 9×11 but it works perfectly since these bars are forgiving 🙂 ) with nonstick spray.
  2. Combine ingredients: Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and and gently mix. Pour into the prepared pan and pat down the top with the back of a wooden spoon to flatten.
  3. Bake: Bake the bars in the preheated oven for 50 minutes, uncovered.
  4. Serve: Remove from oven and let cool completely. Cut into bars and enjoy!

NOTES AND SUGGESTIONS

  1. Either fresh or frozen berries work well – if using frozen, no need to thaw beforehand. Mixing a few types of berries is also delicious, too – sometimes we’ll mix a few of whatever berries we need to use up.
  2. If you taste this mixture before baking it (with the amount of maple syrup listed in the recipe), it will taste pretty sweet. However, once baked, the bars are just a tad bit sweet. Feel free to add more or less maple syrup to your taste.
  3. The baking time of 50 minutes will yield soft, somewhat crumbly bars. We found this baking time to be perfect for bars that our 15-month-old toddler can easily pick up and eat herself. Bake 5-10+ minutes longer for firmer bars (if bars start to brown too much, cover with foil while baking).
  4. Bars can stay in a tightly sealed container in the fridge for up to one week, and can be frozen in a freezer bag/container for up to three months. For a quick breakfast, we take one bar out of the freezer and thaw in the microwave until warm.
  5. This recipe is pretty forgiving, so if you don’t have a 9×11 pan (as I didn’t, if you read above), feel free to use whatever close sized pan you have – you will just need to keep an eye on them and adjust the cooking time as needed.

We hope you love this healthy breakfast as much as we do!

Berry oatmeal bars on plate.

BERRY OATMEAL BARS

Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time50 mins
Total Time55 mins
Servings: 12 bars

Ingredients

  • 3 cups old-fashioned oats
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup non-dairy milk (you can use cow's milk if you prefer a non-vegan option)
  • Heaping 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/4 cup + 2 Tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup melted coconut oil
  • 1 1/2 cups berries (fresh or frozen both work well. If using frozen, do not thaw)

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Gently mix all ingredients together in a large bowl.
  • Pour mixture into a greased 9×11 baking dish, and pat down the top with the back of a wooden spoon to flatten.
  • Bake for 50 minutes, uncovered.
  • Remove from the oven and let cool completely. Cut into bars, and enjoy!

Notes

Baking time:  Bake 50 minutes as instructed for soft bars. Bake 5-10+ minutes longer for firmer bars (if bars start to brown too much, cover with foil while baking).
Bars can be stored in a tightly sealed container in the fridge for up to a week, and in a freezer bag/container for up to three months.

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What are your family’s quick, go-to breakfasts?

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