Crunchy, yet soft and naturally sweetened these Strawberry Oatmeal Bars are a perfect treat that you can eat for breakfast, lunch, snack, or dessert. The best part being that you can easily make your own version with whatever you have available at home.
I absolutely love these Strawberry Oatmeal Bars! And if you're following us for some time then you know that oats are one of the ingredients we have at home pretty much all the time.
Baked oatmeal, overnight oatmeal, oatmeal pancakes – oats are pretty much our go-to breakfast.
So naturally when I need a little inspiration or a different way to use my favorite ingredient I go over healthy blogs on the web. And I frequently find great ideas that I adapt according to the ingredients I have at home.
So these Kid Friendly Berry Oatmeal Bars are actually inspired by Fit Foodie Finds Strawberry Oatmeal Bars.
When I tried the Fit Foodie Strawberry Oatmeal Bars I was delighted about how tasty and soft they are. And made from nutritious ingredients as well!
But when I tried to give them to my 1-year-old he had trouble holding them and the oatmeal bars were literally all around the kitchen. So my husband and I had to finish the whole bunch. Oh well...
I decided then that I'd try and adapt those and make them more kid-friendly so that they are a bit more compact for kids to easily hold while offering all those essential nutrients.
What I really love about these bars is that they can be served for breakfast, lunch, snack, OR dessert and are freezer friendly. So make these and you're pretty much covered as you can use them whenever you're out of ideas or time.
To make these Kid Friendly Strawberry Oatmeal Bars you'll need the following ingredients:
- Almond flour: finely grounded
- Wholegrain flour: preferably wholewheat flour but any other will do
- Rolled oats: the smaller the better
- Full-fat milk: helps build the moisture in the crust
- Agave syrup: to add some sweetness to the crust
- Butter: to make the crust crumbly use butter at room temperature
- Berries: cut up the bigger ones (like strawberries) beforehand
- Coconut sugar: to even out and balance the sourness of the berries
- Tapioca flour: reduces the liquids from the berries to a paste-like from
- Almond flour: contains healthy fats and vitamin E (antioxidant)
- Wholegrain flour: great source of complex carbs and fiber as well as iron
- Rolled oats: like wholegrain flour, rolled oats are also a great source of complex carbs and fiber but also the minerals manganese and potassium
- Full-fat milk: provides protein, fat and calcium
- Agave syrup: adds sweetness without causing a spike in blood sugar
- Butter: fats and energy
- Berries: antioxidants and vitamin C
- Coconut sugar: contains more nutrients than normal sugar and 25% less sugar
- Tapioca flour: not much health benefits but does it's purpose as a starch
How To Make Strawberry Oatmeal Bars
Preheat the oven. This is something you'll want to do beforehand. I can't even count the number of times I forgot to preheat the oven and then when my crust was about to go in I saw that it needs another 10 - 15 minutes before the oven is warm enough for it to bake.
And time is of the essence when you have kids! So make sure to do this first thing when you start baking.
Line a baking tin. Either with parchment paper or simply spray with oil or glaze with butter/coconut oil. I've found anything works and doesn't mess up the bars once you finally get to take them out of the tin and taste.
To get 9 even square-shaped bars ideally you'd use an 8 x 8 inch baking tin but it isn't essential. Any will do.
Make the crust. To make this delicious Kid Friendly Strawberry Oatmeal Bars it's really important to get the crust right. It's the essence of these Oatmeal Bars.
And it makes both the bottom and top of the Strawberry Oatmeal Bars so you'd really want it to turn out nice and crumbly. And tasty. The great thing here is that you can just put all the ingredients together and mix.
Ideally with your hands but sometimes you just don't have time and a food processor with a dough blade will work too.
Bake the crust. Don't forget that you are using only ⅔ of the crust for the bottom and need to leave ⅓ for the top which you will add later.
So press that crust into the baking tin and pop in the oven for ten minutes for the perfect Strawberry Oatmeal Bar bottom.
Start making the filling. You'll need to be really careful here as you'd want to bring the fruit and sugar to a boil but need to make sure it doesn't burn. So sometimes I find it helpful to add a tablespoon of water. Once it reaches a boiling point just lower the heat and let it simmer for about 10 - 15 minutes.
Every minute or 2 check and stir so that the filling reduces but doesn't stick to the bottom of the pan or skillet.
Don't forget the crust! Make sure you take out the crust 10 minutes in. That would be sometime in the middle of your filling simmering. My suggestion is set a timer. That way it won't be over-baked.
Finish the filling. Once the fruit reduces, add the tapioca flour and stir until there are no more lumps. It's ready!
Pour filling. Pour the Strawberry Oatmeal filling evenly on top of the baked crust.
Add the top. Sprinkle the remaining ⅓ of the crust on top of the filling.
Bake! For about 15 - 20 minutes based on the strength of your oven. You'd want the top to be a nice brown color but you don't want it to go dark brown.
Cool. Let your Strawberry Oatmeal Bars cool at room temperature for about and hour and then pop the baking tin in the fridge. Leave for about 2 hours for everything to settle nicely before dividing into 9 bars and serving.
Kid Friendly Strawberry Oatmeal Bars Variations
If you want to customize these Kid Friendly Strawberry Oatmeal bars, feel free to do so.
Make them gluten-free. Only use almond flour (no wholegrain flour) and gluten-free oats. Just like Fit Foodie Finds does in her Strawberry Oatmeal Bars
Make them vegan. Use a plant-based milk instead of animal-based one and plant oil such as coconut oil instead of butter.
Use simple ingredients. Instead of searching the health stores for things like date or agave syrup and coconut sugar, you can use plain honey. It's much better than table sugar but still serves its purpose in the recipe. But honey can only be used for kids older than 1.
Mix it up. Although the Kid-Friendly Strawberry Oatmeal Bars recipe focuses on strawberries (they're in season now for us), you can try any other berries of your choice – either fresh or frozen. You don't even need to thaw the frozen berries beforehand. Just throw them on the skillet and follow the recipe instructions.
More Oatmeal Recipes:
Looking for more recipes featuring baked oats? Don't worry. We've got you covered:
- Spinach Pancakes
- The BEST Banana Oat Sheet Pan Pancakes
- Blueberry Oat Cakes
- Overnight Oats Chia Pudding
Kid Friendly Strawberry Oatmeal Bars
- 1 ½ cup almond flour
- 1 cup wholegrain flour
- 1 cup rolled oats
- ½ cup full-fat milk
- ¼ cup agave syrup
- ¼ cup butter
- pinch salt
- 3 cups berries
- 2 tablespoon coconut sugar
- 2 tablespoon tapioca flour
- Preheat the oven to 350℉ / 180℃
- Line a 8 x 8 inch baking tray with parchment paper or spray with oil
- Mix all the ingredients for the crust together
- Take ⅔ of the crust and press against the bottom of the baking tray
- Bake for 10 minutes
- Meanwhile, put all the ingredients for the filling, except the tapioca flour, in a pan and bring to a boil over medium heat while stirring often
- Turn the heat down and leave to simmer around 15 minutes stirring occasionally
- By the end of cooking the filling, add the tapioca flour and continue stirring until there are no lumps
- Pour over the crust and spread evenly
- Sprinkle the remaining ⅓ of the crust on top
- Bake for 15 - 20 minutes based on the strength of your oven (you'd want to have a nice brown top)
- Cool for about an hour at room temperature and around 2 hours in the fridge before serving
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