Friends, we’re in serious “April showers bring May flowers” mode over here. I was waiting to pick Lincoln up outside his classroom the other day and a fellow Mom who is new to the state asked me, “is it always like this here??” I could see the terror in her eyes. Soggy, grey, and blustery has been the weather du jour for the better part of the month, and we’re all not so patiently waiting for the summer sun to start shining on the reg.
Until that day comes, the boys and I have been busy doing lots of indoor projects like building pillow towers, digging our fingers into squishy kinetic sand (and trying not to show my horror when more of it ends up on the floor than in the container,) and lots of baking, including these Maple-Cinnamon Oatmeal Breakfast Bars. If you liked my Blueberry Oatmeal Breakfast Bars, you’ll want to make this maple-cinnamon version pronto – Lincoln and I polished off an entire pan in less than 24 hours!
He and I make Blueberry Oatmeal Breakfast Bars almost every week – he loves dumping all the “ingredeientses” into the bowl, and I love that it’s an easy project we can do together…plus if we’re moving slow and deliberate I can stretch it into a 30 minute activity. What can I say – the days we’re stuck indoors tend to get long.
Anyway, a few weeks ago Lincoln decided he no longer likes blueberries – mmkay! – so instead of watching him pick each individual berry out of the bars during breakfast or snack time, I made a version that swapped berries for chopped pecans, and honey for real maple syrup. Add a heavy dose of warming cinnamon, and I could have sworn it was October inside my kitchen while these babies were baking. The fall-like scent wafting from the oven was HEAVENLY!
The result is a perfectly sweet, refined-sugar-free breakfast or snack bar that’s chock full of healthy ingredients like oats, banana, coconut oil, and pecans, but so decadent tasting that it feels like you’re eating cake. We could not love these bars more – they are such a treat!
Maple-Cinnamon Oatmeal Breakfast Bars are thick, dense, and best enjoyed warm, if you ask me. They have a slightly crystallized top straight out of the oven from the maple syrup (YESSSSS) and it takes more willpower than I will ever possess to let them cool before digging in.
Keep these bars in the refrigerator all week for quick and easy breakfasts or snacks, or wrap them individually in saran wrap and freeze. Who’s ready to bake?!
This recipe couldn’t be simpler. Combine gluten-free old fashioned oats with oat flour made by processing more oats in a food processor with cinnamon, baking powder, and salt. After reacting to even certified gluten-free oats, the ONLY oats I use are from GF Harvest.
Next pour in a mixture of milk (any kind – I used unsweetened almond milk,) an egg, melted coconut oil, mashed banana, vanilla, and pure maple syrup (not pancake syrup,) then mix to combine.
Last step is to fold in roughly chopped pecan halves. I’ve made this recipe both with and without the pecans so if you have an aversion to nuts, or are allergic, feel free to leave them out. I added them for texture and a little boost of protein and fat.
Pour the mixture into an 8×8″ baking pan then bake for 35-40 minutes at 350 degrees. Slice then enjoy, or cool and refrigerate for later – but don’t forget to warm them in the microwave first! Pair the bars with yogurt or fruit for a well rounded breakfast, or slather with flavored peanut, almond butter, or coconut butter for a real treat. However you serve them – enjoy!
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Maple-Cinnamon Oatmeal Breakfast Bars
Maple-Cinnamon Oatmeal Breakfast Bars are naturally sweetened and gluten-free. Enjoy as a healthy snack or easy, on-the-go breakfast!
- 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 (roughly 1 large banana)
- 1/4 cup + 2 Tablespoons pure maple syrup (not pancake syrup)
- 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/3 cup pecan halves, roughly chopped
- 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, maple syrup, coconut oil, egg, and vanilla to a large bowl then whisk to combine. Add remaining 1-1/2 cups oats, oat flour, cinnamon, baking powder, and salt then stir to combine. Fold in chopped pecans then pour batter into prepared baking pan.
- Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until the edges are golden brown and the center has set. Check on the bars at the 25 minute mark - if the edges are browning too quickly, place a piece of foil on top of the baking pan. Cool before slicing into bars then store in the refrigerator, or individually wrap bars in saran wrap and freeze.
- I like warming the bars up in the microwave for 15 seconds or so before eating.
- I recommend GF Harvest gluten-free oats >
This recipe is courtesy of Iowa Girl Eats, http://iowagirleats.com.