6 INGREDIENT OAT & MAPLE BREAKFAST BARS
Did you ever love the Nature Valley Oats N’ Honey Granola Bars? I still do! I’m definitely guilty of eating them on occasion and I love the taste. Plus, I love something crunchy in the morning and they definitely provide that. They’re easy and convenient and if I’m in a rush, they’re a quick and easy solution for breakfast.
I am always talking to guests of the fitness retreat about “healthifying” food items and recipes. My advice is always eat what you love but figure out ways to make it more nutritionally sound. I decided to give these a whirl with my own advice. While they don’t have a ton of ingredients (which is surprising), I still don’t love that they have sugar, honey and brown sugar syrup plus natural flavors (oh – and soy lecithin). I try to keep my food pretty clean and even if you’re not super concerned with food, a natural alternative is always a better one for health.
So, I decided to make my own granola bars. I even looked up copy cat recipes for the Nature Valley Oats ‘N Honey bars. I wanted something similar but not exact. My main concern is no refined sugar and no additives like natural flavoring. I also wanted to use rolled oats versus quick cooking oats just to add a bit more fiber and nutrition to the bars.
I created these Oat & Maple Breakfast Bars based on my personal tastes. I ended up liking the flavor of maple better than honey but you could choose either. Here’s what I came up with (and they’re really good)! Oh and as an added bonus, they’re gluten free! So for those of you that have to watch gluten for serious health issues or even because you’re gluten sensitive, these are a great option for you!
GLUTEN FREE OAT & MAPLE BREAKFAST BARS
2 1/2 cups rolled oats (gluten free certified, quick cooking oats will give you a smaller oat texture which some people prefer)
1/4 c pure maple syrup
1/4 c coconut oil or oil of your choice (grass-fed butter would work here too)
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/8 c coconut sugar (if you like a sweeter bar, you may want to increase the sugar to 1/4 c)
1/4 tsp baking soda
pinch of salt
Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
In a bowl, add 1 + 1/2 cups of rolled oats, baking soda, salt and coconut sugar.
In a blender or food processor, blend or process remaining 1 cup of oats until fully blended and smooth.
Add blended oats to bowl of dry ingredients.
Heat coconut oil or butter until liquid.
Add maple syrup to oil or butter. Stir. Add in vanilla extract to liquid mixture and stir well.
Pour liquid mixture into dry ingredients and stir until fully incorporated.
Line a sheet pan with parchment paper and pour oat maple mixture onto parchment paper.
Spread out into a rectangle about 1/4 inch thick. Make sure to spread mixture evenly and pack down so it’s nice and condensed.
Bake for 15 – 20 minutes or until golden brown (if edges are too thin, they will brown before the center gets a chance to set). Ovens will vary so give your bars a check here and there to see progress.
Once golden brown, remove from the oven and let cool completely before cutting.
Cut into 10 bars and enjoy!
OAT & MAPLE BREAKFAST BAR OPTIONS
A few options for you – make these bars your own! You could use this base and add whatever ingredients you wanted to change the flavor.
Add dried fruit – dried blueberries or apples would be delicious in this recipe and would bring a little bit of a fresher taste to it.
Add in nuts – add a little bit healthy fat by adding in chopped almonds or walnuts.
Boost with a superfood – want to add even more nutrition? Add in a few tablespoons of flax seeds, hemp seeds or chia seeds to boost the nutrient value and add plant based omega 3s.
Add protein – add in a scoop of protein powder or even collagen to boost the protein value.
Make it sweeter with chocolate - add dark chocolate chips or dairy free chocolate chips to add a little extra sweetness.
Note: If adding dry ingredients, you may need to add a little more oil or syrup to compensate for the extra dry ingredients.
I hope you enjoy these as much as I did! Having a delicious bar I can take on the go makes my life a lot easier. I like to actually eat breakfast (instead of drink it) but I don’t always have time to make breakfast. I like to have a batch of these on hand so I can grab and go or even use as a healthy snack.
If you have questions about this recipe, leave them in the comment section below.
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