Baked Oatmeal Breakfast Bars —
Baked Oatmeal Bars | A Quick and Healthy Breakfast —
I love the kind of mornings where you can linger over a cup of coffee and allow the day to gently unfold. But realistically, that only seems to happen on the weekends. Instead, my mornings often begin in a crazy rush to get out the door with a long list of commitments already swirling in my head. You know what I’m talking about – the kind of days where you run out of hours long before your to-do-list is complete.
These healthy-baked oatmeal breakfast bars with carrots and coconut are a great grab-and-go option when you know you’ve got a hectic day ahead. Quick and easy to make, they remind me of carrot cake, but healthier and guilt-free. Made with wholegrain oats, ground flaxseed, and nut butter, the oatmeal bars are loaded with fiber and protein that is complimented with natural sweetness provided by the bananas and dates. Adding carrots is an easy way to boost their nutritional value by including vegetables to the first meal of the day! The streusel topping with shaved coconut, walnuts, and a touch of maple syrup adds a sweet crunch to each bite. This recipe is ready in about 30 minutes and best eaten the same week its made. I usually bake a batch on Sunday so I’m prepped for the busy week ahead.
A Replacement for Processed Sugar | Date Paste
I’ve been experimenting with reducing, or replacing the processed sugar in my recipes. Dates and bananas have become my new best friends as whole-food alternatives that add natural sweetness. Dates are moist and sticky and delicately flavored with hints of caramel, brown sugar and vanilla. They are high in fiber and easily digested into sustained energy. The problem with using chopped dates is that the sweetness doesn’t distribute evenly throughout the finished product. Making date paste instead is a much better alternative. Nothing fancy is required, just use the standard variety of dried dates (Deglet Noor) you can buy in a tub at Costco. Watch the Kitchen Minute to see how it’s done:
Watch: How To Make Date Paste
Date paste has become a new staple in my refrigerator. I’ve used it in muffin, brownie, cake and quick bread recipes to replace sugar using a 1:1 ratio, or it can be used in combination with a reduced amount of sugar. It’s great added to a smoothie, or stirred into oatmeal too. Date paste can be stored in the refrigerator for a few weeks, or in the freezer for a few months. I hope you give it a try, I’d love to hear your feedback!
PREP TIME - Minutes
BAKE TIME - Minutes
- 2 cups rolled oats (can use gluten-free)
- ¼ cup flax meal
- 2 bananas - very ripe
- 1 cup shredded carrots
- 2 tsp. cinnamon
- ½ tsp. baking powder
- 2 Tbs. coconut oil melted - (can substitute olive oil)
- 2 Tbs. almond butter (can sub any nut butter you have on hand)
- 1 egg
- ¼ cup date paste ( can sub ¼ cup honey)
- ⅓ cup raisins
- ½ cup rolled oats
- ¼ cup walnut pieces
- ½ cup shredded or flaked coconut (unsweetened)
- 2 Tbs. maple syrup
- 1 Tbs. coconut oil - melted (can sub olive oil)
- Preheat oven to 350
- Prepare 8 x 8 baking pan with non-stick cooking spray.
- In a large bowl, mash bananas, add almond butter, oil, egg, date paste (or honey) and combine well. Next add carrots and raisins, mix again to combine.
- Add cinnamon, baking powder, rolled oats and flax meal to the wet ingredients. Stir well - will become a sticky batter.
- Spread batter evenly over bottom of prepared baking pan.
- Prepare Topping: In medium bowl mix oats, walnuts and coconut - add maple syrup and melted coconut oil, mix well. Sprinkle the topping evenly over the batter and press firmly to help topping adhere.
- Bake 25-30 minutes until top is golden brown. Remove from the oven, cool in pan 1 hour. Cut into 12 bars. Store in a covered container up to a week.
Meals Are Always Best When Shared
Let’s share our culinary journey together – tag me on Instagram @seasonalmuse and share what inspires you, because that’s what inspires me! Bon Appétit!
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