These bars have been on my site for a while now, and a lot of folks told me they made them. Those accustomed to treats that are less sweet loved them, but I had a few people say their kids found the flavor a bit lacking. I decided to revamp the recipe; I increased the amount of honey and swapped wheat flour for almond flour making them gluten free. I increased the salt and added a buttery finish to the whole shebang. All good decisions – this bar is fab (and still mighty healthy).
We eat a lot of oatmeal in my house. The old fashioned variety still cooks in mere minutes and can be jazzed up in any number of ways. Since it’s gluten free, I make it for my husband for a snack all the time. For my kids’ breakfasts I add maple syrup, chia seeds, ground flax seeds and frozen blueberries. The chilly berries take the temp down so they can eat it right away, and I feel great because I can’t imagine a healthier breakfast for their little bodies.
The thing is, you have to clean the pot. And the bowls and spoons. I love an oatmeal bar for it’s ease of transfer, plus the kids think of it as a treat. Rich likes food that he can get in his system as fast as possible (the man would take a “food” pill if it were available), so bars are a-okay with him as well. These are great for pre- and post-work out, and ideal for a packed morning or afternoon snack. This is not a baked oatmeal – it’s a true bar. To my friends who’s kids turned their noses up the first time, I beg you to try again. These absolutely vanished in my house.
PS if you avoid dairy, just swap coconut oil for the butter. Will work great!
Blueberry Oatmeal Bars
Makes 20-24 bars
4 c. old fashioned oats
1 c. almond flour/meal
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1 egg plus 3 egg whites
1 1/4 c. unsweetened (natural) applesauce
1/2 c. honey
1 tsp. vanilla
1/3 c. finely chopped dried apricots
1/2 c. (heaping) dried blueberries (or 1 3.5 oz bag)
1/3 c. roasted almonds, finely chopped
2 tbsp. unsalted butter, diced
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray a 9×13 pan with nonstick spray.
2. Stir oats, almond flour and cinnamon and salt until combined in a large mixing bowl.
3. In a smaller bowl, whisk egg, egg whites, applesauce, honey and vanilla until smooth.
4. Fold wet ingredients into dry ingredients. Add dried fruit and nuts and gently mix until combined.
5. Transfer mixture to prepared dish and spread in an even layer. Pack down lightly.
6. Scatter diced butter across the surface of the oatmeal.
7. Bake, uncovered, for 25-30 minutes or until light brown. Let cool completely in dish and slice into squares.