Lately I’ve been getting a glimpse into what life will be like with two big, burly boys eating us out of house and home in the not too distant future. As hungry as I constantly am, Lincoln, my teeny tiny 3 year old, has been giving me a run for my money – little man can put. it. DOWN. Heaven help me (and my wallet!)
Like many toddlers, the L-man asks for snacks round the clock, and if don’t stay ahead of the hunger he reaches hangry status fairly quickly. Forget the struggle – the hanger is real! That said, no matter what we’ve got on the agenda, I always make sure Lincoln starts his day with a filling breakfast. Since he’s not into eggs, scrambled or otherwise, I’ll usually fix him a couple pieces of peanut butter toast with sausage links, a bowl of cereal accompanied by a peanut butter spoon (peanut butter scooped on a spoon, y’all,) or his favorite, Blueberry Banana-Nut Oatmeal. Old fashioned oats simmered with almond milk and a banana, finished with a drizzle of maple syrup, chia seeds, sliced almonds, and lots of fresh blueberries – NOT MIXED IN because can you even imagine. #thingstoddlerscaredeeplyabout
Anyway, as much as I’d love to fix Lincoln a bowl of fresh oatmeal every single morning, many mornings it’s just not in the cards which is why I’m OBSESSED with these Blueberry Oatmeal Breakfast Bars – aka a bowl of oatmeal in bar form!
Here’s what you need to know about this recipe: Lincoln thinks it’s cake and I haven’t told him otherwise. If there’s one thing I’ve learned about feeding toddlers healthy food, it’s that they can’t be convinced something tastes good if it doesn’t. Isn’t that true for everyone though? That said, he’s needed zero convincing to chow down on these gluten-free bars made without refined sugar. They are such a win, and filled with healthy and nourishing ingredients.
Old fashioned oats mixed with milk, mashed bananas, coconut oil, honey, blueberries, and a few other pantry staples bake into soft and chewy bars that are perfect to grab and go on hectic mornings, or snag as a healthy and energizing snack. The flavor is a cross between blueberry oatmeal and banana bread, and the hint of cinnamon and vanilla truly makes the bars taste like cake. I have loved keeping these bars on hand not only for super easy breakfasts for all of us, but also for when we’re entering hangry-ville and I need something healthy and filling FAST!
Eat the bars warm, keep them in the refrigerator all week, or wrap in plastic wrap and stash in the freezer. In a world full of sugar and bad-fat-laden breakfast and snack foods, I could not feel better about feeding these homemade Blueberry Oatmeal Breakfast Bars to my boys. Join us!
Start by whisking the wet ingredients together in a large bowl. That’s 1 cup milk, any kind – I used unsweetened almond milk – 1/2 cup mashed banana, 1/4 cup each honey and melted coconut oil, 1 egg, and 1 teaspoon vanilla.
Note: the coconut oil might solidify a bit when adding the cold milk and egg but it will melt right back down in the oven. No worries!
Next add 1 cup certified gluten-free old fashioned oats to a food processor then process until it turns into flour (you could also try doing this in a blender.) If you want to use oat flour you may already have on hand, measure out a scant cup. By the way, I love GF Harvest oats which are processed using a product purity protocol!
Add the oat flour plus 1-1/2 cups whole oats, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon baking powder, and 1/4 teaspoon salt to the bowl then stir to combine.
Last step is to fold in a heaping 1 cup fresh blueberries then pour the batter into an 8×8″ baking pan that’s been sprayed with nonstick spray. Bake for 35-40 minutes at 350 degrees, or until the sides are golden brown and the center has set.
Slice into bars then enjoy warm, stash in the refrigerator for the week, or wrap the bars in saran wrap and stick in the freezer for later. Whenever you eat them, ENJOY!
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Blueberry Oatmeal Breakfast Bars
Blueberry Oatmeal Breakfast Bars are a healthy bowl of oatmeal in bar form! Keep these refined-sugar-free and gluten-free breakfast bars on hand for a healthy, on-the-go breakfast or snack option.
- 2-1/2 cups certified gluten-free old fashioned oats, divided
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup milk, any kind
- 1/2 cup mashed banana (about 2 small or 1 large banana)
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- heaping 1 cup blueberries
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees then spray an 8x8" baking pan with nonstick spray and set aside.
- Add 1 cup old fashioned oats to a food processor or blender then process until oats have turned into flour. Set aside. (Alternatively you could use a scant cup oat flour.)
- Add milk, mashed banana, honey, coconut oil, egg, and vanilla to a large bowl then whisk to combine. (Coconut oil might solidify a bit but it's fine and the oil will melt right back down in the oven.) Add remaining 1-1/2 cups oats, oat flour, cinnamon, baking powder, and salt then stir to combine. Fold in blueberries then pour batter into prepared baking pan.
- Bake for 35-40 minutes or until the edges are golden brown and the center has set. Cool before slicing into bars then store in the refrigerator, or individually wrap bars in saran wrap and freeze.
- You can warm the bars up for 15 seconds before serving after refrigerating if you like!
- I love GF Harvest gluten-free oats, which follow purity protocol standards for gluten-free oats, versus being mechanically sorted.
This recipe is courtesy of Iowa Girl Eats, http://iowagirleats.com.