Whether you are a workaholic, SAHM/SAHD, or world traveler, one thing we all need is a quick, on the go, healthy bite for breakfast. For me, Baked Oatmeal Bars fill the bill.
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Oats Are Nutritious
You are always hearing that whole grains are some of the best foods for us Humans to eat. I’m a fan of Bob’s Red Mill products and you can easily find them in most stores
There are a multitude of reasons, oats are one of the best foods for your morning meal. They are gluten-free and whole grain. Studies have found that eating oats can improve blood sugar control, lower cholesterol levels, and even help you lose weight.
Oats are very nutritious and loaded with “good carbs” and fiber. One-half cup of dry oats contains more than 20% of 9 essential vitamins and minerals like Zinc, Vitamin B5 and B1, Manganese and Phosphorus, 13 grams of protein and 8 grams of fiber. And get all this value in only around 300 calories
Many Ways to Eat Your Oats
When I was young, oatmeal was basic. Put oats in boiling water, cook till done and serve the gelatinous, paste-like mixture up. Depending on the type of oats you are using, cooking could take a while. There are steel-cut oats (sometimes called Irish Oats); old fashioned or rolled oats; quick-cooking oats; and lastly instant oats.
The difference in each type of oat is how the oats are processed. Steel-cut outs are minimally touched and will take the longest to cook 30 – 40 minutes. From there the cooking time drops off significantly just 5 minutes for old-fashioned oats, one minute for quick-cooking oats, and instants oat are well instant!
If you have the time steel-cut oats are the way to go as we all know the less processing the more healthful the food.
New Trends in Oatmeal
The newest trend in “oatmeal” is “overnight oats.” For good reasons: 1) no cooking, and 2) you make your oats the night before you need to eat them saving precious time in the morning.
The night before you want to eat the oats, you mix them with liquid (usually milk) in a small mason jar. Add your favorite toppings, fruit, coconut, whatever and put them in the frig. In the morning your oatmeal is ready to eat (cold, but ready).
However, if you are eating breakfast while in transit (planes, trains, and automobiles) like many of us do, this can get pretty messy. So I took a look at basic overnight oats and asked myself, could I bake it?
From Oatmeal to Baked Oatmeal Bars
Of course! Baking your oatmeal takes a little more effort, but you only have to do this once every couple of weeks or so (depending on how many people are eating your oatmeal).
Once you have the basic batter, you choose the way you want to spice it up. Take half of the brown sugar out and add in maple syrup for maple & brown sugar bars. If you love “pumpkin spice” flavors in the fall, add in ginger and allspice.
Also Just like any oatmeal, you can jazz up your bars with many different fruit and nut items. You can even go crazy and add chocolate chips.
This is an easy recipe and you really can’t mess it up. Feel free to play with the ingredients and find your happy bar.
Baked Oatmeal Bars
- Large Sheet Pan
- 3 eggs
- 1 Large Banana very ripe
- 1 Cup Unsweetened Applesauce
- 1 tbsp Vanilla Extract
- 1 Cup Brown Sugar Or use Swerve Brown Sugar Replacement
- 2 1/2 Cups 1% Milk I use !% to keep the fat content down
- 5 Cups Old Fashioned Oats
- 2 Cups Soy Protein Powder Unflavored is best
- 1 tsp Salt
- 3 tsp Baking Powder
- 1/2 Cup Flaxseed ground
- 1 tbsp Cinnamon
- 1 Cup Dried Cranberries Or choose your favorite: raisins, apples, peaches, apricots
- 1 Cup Chopped Almonds You can substitute any nut you prefer
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- Line a large sheet pan with parchment paper and spray lightly with non-stick cooking spray
- In a large bowl, mix eggs, vanilla, applesauce, and brown sugar until combined. Add dried fruit and nuts.
- In a second bowl combine oats, protein powder, flaxseed, salt, baking powder, and cinnamon.
- Dump the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and mix well.
- Pour in milk and stir until all ingredients are combined.
- Pour the batter on to the already prepared sheet pan. Level out the batter and make sure it reaches into all corners of the pay
- Bake in a 350-degree oven on the middle rack for 45 minutes or until batter is done
- Remove from the sheet pan from the oven and let the whole "bar" cool. When the "bar" is cool divide it into 24 even pieces.