Saturday, September 21, 2013

Oatmeal Breakfast Bars

When it comes to breakfast, I have stayed away from cereals for the last couple years. After eating them almost every morning for breakfast for 20+ years, they have kind of lost their appeal.  I have gone through different phases when it comes to breakfast since giving up the cereal. I have done eggs, yogurt, oatmeal, etc for different periods of time. Currently, my usual breakfast is some toast with peanut butter made from home made whole wheat bread. It is simple, quick (provided that I already made the bread), and healthy.

But, one of my favorite treats to make myself for breakfast is Oatmeal Breakfast Bars. They are quick to throw together and only take 20 minutes to bake. Plus, they taste delicious and can be vegan, fat free, and sugar free (with the exception of the chocolate chips, which are totally optional). And they taste sooo good that I'll have them for breakfast and as a late night treat. 

My recipe is adapted from this: Healthied Up Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Bars

Her recipe is pretty healthy and she also has a second version of the recipe that isn't so healthy for when you want something a little more indulgent.

I took her recipe one step further and use applesauce as the main sweetener. Success? I think so. It is still tasty and it makes it even healthier. This bar is hard to describe. It is not fluffy. It is chewy, moist and dense. Not really muffin like or quick bread like. I guess you'll just have to try it and see for yourself.

What makes this recipe quick is it is a one bowl recipe. Just throw everything in the bowl and mix it. The first ingredients are some regular rolled oats and whole wheat flour. I grind my own wheat and use soft white wheat from Wheat Montana.

 And here are the rest of the ingredients in the bowl. The applesauce is sugar free. The chocolate chips are not sugar free, but you could omit them or use sugar free ones. The red stuff is some freeze dried strawberries. This makes them extra yummy and even more healthy! 

 My freeze dried strawberries are from Thrive Life. They have a ton of freeze dried berries to choose from. I think you could easily use freeze dried raspberries or blueberries instead of the strawberries, or even do a combination. Amber Larson is my consultant and you can order from her here.

 Once it is all in the bowl, just give it a quick mix. My kids love the batter and since there are no eggs, you could totally eat it as just batter.

 Here it is all ready for the oven. I like to line my pan with foil for easy clean up. This recipe makes a small batch for an 8x8 pan. If you have a big family, you may want to double the recipe. 

 And here it is fresh out of the oven. This tastes good warm from the oven, cold, or even reheated in the microwave. 

 Here is my breakfast. I love topping this with a little peanut butter and a glass of water to wash it down. It would probably be even better with a glass of milk, but as part of my healthier diet I drink only water during the day and stay away from dairy.

So here is my recipe:

Oatmeal Breakfast Bars

§  2 C. Whole Wheat Flour (you could also try all purpose or GF flours)
§  1/2 C. Rolled Oats 
§  1 C. unsweetened Apple Sauce
§  1 T. Ground Flax Seed
§  1/2 C. Almond Milk
§  3 t. Vanilla
§  1 t. baking powder
§  1/2 t. salt
§  1/2 -2/3 C. mix ins of choice (I did 1/4 C. choc. chips and 1/4 C. freeze dried berries)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix all ingredients together in a bowl. Line an 8x8 pan with tin foil and press batter into pan. Bake for 20 minutes. 

Be sure to let me know if you try it!

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