Super easy Oatmeal Breakfast Bars made in 1 bowl with pantry staples! With no oil, eggs, or refined sugar, these make the perfect healthy oatmeal breakfast on the go. Make them your own with your favorite add-ins. Kid friendly and they freeze great!
You know those times when you need a totally foolproof, prepped-in-5-minutes kind of breakfast bar? We've all been there.
I go through so many bars and Oatmeal Raisin Cookies with my toddler Max. Let's be honest...they're a food group. So when I have time to make homemade breakfast bars the whole fam will love, it's a win.
- Old fashioned (or rolled) oats: The 100% whole grain base of this recipe. Unfortunately instant, quick cook or steel cut oats won't work here since those are all processed differently. Use certified gluten free oats if needed. You'll love these snack recipes with oats, too!
- Applesauce: To add natural sweetness, flavor, and moisture in lieu of oil.
- Almond milk: I always have this on hand so it's my go-to for the liquid base, but you can use any milk you like, like cow's milk or oat milk. I like unsweetened so I can control the sugar.
- Almond butter: For creamy mouthfeel and nutty sweetness. Any smooth nut butter you like will work well.
- Honey or maple syrup: A natural liquid sweetener to add a light pop of sweetness. I've tested this with maple syrup and honey and they're both great!
- Vanilla extract: Pure vanilla extract adds amazing flavor.
- Cinnamon: For warm, spiced flavor.
- Salt: A pinch of salt is key for rounding out the flavor. It's ok if your nut butter is salted, too.
- Raisins and pecans: I love the sweetness and texture these add for a cinnamon raisin vibe. Add whatever your favorite add-ins are! Chocolate chips would also be delish.
Substitutions and dietary swaps
- For the applesauce: You can try mashed banana instead (they'll be sweeter).
- Nut-free: use sunflower seed butter and oat milk instead.
- No added sugar: Omit the maple syrup and consider increasing the raisins for more natural sweetness!
How to make (step-by-step)
Whisk oats, cinnamon, and salt in a mixing bowl.
Add applesauce, almond butter, milk and maple syrup.
Whisk to combine and add pecans and raisins.
Fold in add-ins.
Pour into prepared baking dish.
Bake for 40 minutes, cool and slice into bars.
What makes these healthy?
As an added bonus, this recipe is vegan, gluten free, and soy free!
- Oats are 100% whole grain high in beta-glucan soluble fiber, which improves the diversity of the gut, aids in constipation, and increases satiety.
- Oats have 6g plant protein in ½ cup serving plus a wide variety of micronutrients like manganese (190% of daily value in ½ cup), iron (20%), phosphorus (41%), magnesium (34%) and zinc (20%).
How to store
Store bars in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
They freeze beautifully, too. You can wrap them in plastic wrap for single serving and then defrost overnight in the fridge. They'll stay good in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Don't forget to leave a star rating and comment letting me know you made these! I'm so grateful for your feedback always.Print
Super easy Oatmeal Breakfast Bars made in 1 bowl with pantry staples! With no oil, eggs, or refined sugar, these make the perfect healthy breakfast on the go. Make them your own with your favorite add-ins. Kid friendly and they freeze great!
- 2 cups old-fashioned oats
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- ¼ tsp fine sea salt
- 1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk (or milk of choice)
- ½ cup unsweetened applesauce
- ¼ cup almond butter (or peanut butter)
- ¼ cup pure maple syrup or honey
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- recommended add-ins: ¼ cup each raisins and pecans*
- Preheat oven to 375F. Spray an 8x8 inch baking dish with cooking spray. (I like to line with parchment paper both ways for easy clean-up.
- Add oats, cinnamon, and salt to a medium mixing bowl. Whisk to combine.
- Add milk, applesauce, nut butter, maple syrup, and vanilla. Whisk to combine. Fold in add ins of choice.
- Pour into prepared baking dish. Bake for 40 minutes, or until bars are set and a knife comes out clean. Let cool before slicing into 9 bars.
Add-ins: These are great with chocolate chips, walnuts + dried cherries, or coconut. You could also add a chopped banana or ½ cup fresh or frozen blueberries!
Nut free: To make these lunchbox friendly, use sunflower seed butter and add omit the pecans.
Higher protein: Add 1-2 scoops of collagen peptides or protein powder (they may bake more quickly). You can also add ¼ cup hemp seeds.