With wholesome ingredients and not a lot of added sugar, you can quickly bake up Healthy Breakfast Bars to serve for breakfasts or snacks throughout the week. And they are SO good!
Healthy Breakfast Bars
Having easy breakfast options on hand can make mornings with kids so much easier. We love this easy recipe for kids to make ahead and have ready and waiting in the mornings. I like to pair these bars with a simple smoothie or a glass of milk for an easy and yummy breakfast to share with the kids.
This recipe is naturally egg-free and can be made nut- and gluten-free so it’s great for families with allergies in the mix.
The base of this breakfast bars recipe is rolled oats, which is a whole grain that is a great source of complex carbohydrates and fiber. It also has some protein from nut or seed butter, which makes the oatmeal breakfast bars extra satisfying.
They are soft and easy to chew, so not crunchy. You may want to cut them into bite-size pieces for a 1-year-old to make sure they don’t get too much in their mouths, but a 2-year-old should be able to bite and chew a bar.
Ingredients You Need
To make this breakfast bars recipe, you’ll need:
- Rolled oats: These are sometimes called “old-fashioned” oats at the store.
- Nut or seed butter: I usually use peanut butter, but almond butter, cashew butter, or sunflower seed butter work, too.
- Vanilla extract: This adds a nice base of flavor to the bar mixture. You can use pure vanilla extract or imitation.
- Cinnamon: I like to add a little cinnamon to the mix, too, for extra flavor.
- Baking powder: Baking powder helps the crust rise just a little and not be too dense.
- Honey: This helps the batter hold together well. You can use maple syrup if preferred.
- Jam: I usually use jam labeled “all-fruit,” but any kind you like will work, even this homemade Chia Jam.
Here’s a look at how to make this breakfast bars recipe. Scroll down to the bottom of this post for the full information.
- Stir together the wet ingredients.
- Add the dry ingredients and mix together the batter for the base of the bars.
- Make sure it holds together easily when you press a little between your fingers.
- Set aside ¾ cup of the dough. Press the rest into the bottom of the pan or baking dish.
- Spread the jam on top of the base dough. Crumble the remaining dough over the jam.
- Bake and let cool.
TIP: We love the combined flavors of peanut butter and jelly, and they come through in this recipe. You can use Sunbutter if you need the bars to be nut-free. I highly recommend serving these with milk—or your own tea or coffee!
Jam to Use in Breakfast Bars
I’ve made these with natural strawberry preserves, raspberry preserves, leftover cranberry sauce, fig jam, and lower-sugar Chia Jam, and they all work. As long as the jam or preserves aren’t too runny or liquidy, it should work well.
I suggest using a “natural” jam (fruit-juice sweetened or honey sweetened or something along those lines!) rather than a conventional one if you’d rather these not be super sweet.
How to Store
I tend to like these bars chilled so I recommend storing them in the fridge for 3-5 days, though there’s no reason that room temperature in an airtight container wouldn’t work just as well. You can also freeze them, once fully cooled, in a zip-top freezer bag for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the fridge or at room temperature before eating.
Best Tips for Success
- Use “natural” or honey-sweetened jam or preserves for mellow sweetness. You can also use Blueberry Chia Jam if you prefer.
- Line the pan with parchment paper so the bars are easy to lift out of the pan and slice.
- To make these nut-free, omit the nut butter and use sunflower seed butter. To make gluten-free, use gluten-free oats.
- To make without a food processor, use instant oats instead of rolled oats and stir the batter together in a bowl. You may need to really press it to get it evenly mixed.
- If the mixture seems crumbly and isn’t holding together well, add a tablespoon or two of water and that should take care of it.
- To make these vegan, use maple syrup in place of honey.
I’d love to hear what you think of this recipe if you try it, so please comment below with feedback!
Healthy Breakfast Bars with Jam
- Place the honey and peanut butter into a medium bowl and warm in the microwave for about 15 seconds.
- Add the oats and the remaining ingredients except the jam to the bowl with the peanut butter and honey and stir together. Use clean hands to bring the dough together as needed to form a thick, cookie dough-like texture. It will hold together when pressed between your fingers.
- Set aside ¾ cup of the batter.
- Place the remaining batter into the bottom of the prepared baking pan and press down evenly to cover.
- Spread the jam on top.
- Crumble the remaining dough over the jam and press down slightly.
- Bake for 22-24 minutes, remove from oven, and let cool completely in the pan. (You can speed this up by sticking the pan into the fridge.
- Lift the bars out using the parchment paper and slice into bars.
- Store in an in the fridge for 3-5 days. Or freeze in a zip-top freezer bag for up to 3 months. Thaw at room temperature or in the fridge. (They freeze really well!)
- If you want them a little softer, serve them at room temperature rather than chilled.
- Use “natural” or honey-sweetened jam or preserves so these don’t wind up with a lot of added sugar. (I find them to be too sweet when made with super sweet jam.)
- You can use chia jam if you prefer a less sweet option.
- Line the pan with so the bars are easy to lift out of the pan and slice.
- You can also use almond instead of .
- If the mixture seems crumbly and isn’t holding together well, add a tablespoon or two of water and that should take care of it!
- Nut-free: Use .
- Gluten-free: Use a blend and certified gluten-free .
- To make without a : Use instant oats instead of and stir the batter together in a bowl. You may need to really press it to get it evenly mixed.
The post was first published April 2018.