It's no secret that I'm always on the hunt for and trying to make nutritious and delicious snacks or breakfasts on-the-go, with my unusual work schedule. While a smoothie will tide me over on my commute to work, 9am will roll around about 4 hours later, and I start to reach hangry status for something more substantial and filling to power me through the rest of my morning sessions.
I think many of us feel the same way with time constraints, so convenience is key. I love making a big pan of granola or oat bars, like my no bake peanut butter and my almond butter bars so that I can have them on hand to last me a week or two, whether it's a last-minute breakfast or a snack in between meals.
Chia Jam is some of the easiest and healthiest sweet spread you could make. Use it to top greek yogurt, oatmeal, or to spread on a piece of toast, and you're sneaking yourself in some extra nutrients with fiber, omega-3's, and protein, along with an extra touch of sweetness- and who doesn't like that?
Paired together with some organic, gluten-free oats, and you've got yourself a nice plant-based breakfast with a nutritional punch.
This time for these bars I chose to use raspberries because I had two frozen packs in my freezer, but feel free to use blueberries, blackberries, or strawberries as well.
Without even really going out of my way to try, these breakfast oat bars are gluten-free, vegan, and nut free as well. Even my main taste-tester for these who can be wary of these things that scream, "insanely healthy!" was very happily eating them.
On to it! Here is the slideshow of the steps to give you a clearer visual, then the recipe and more photos are below:
Raspberry Chia Jam & Oats Breakfast Bars
Gluten Free, Vegan, and Nut Free
*makes one dozen bars
1 cup Raspberry Chia Jam (using my Chia Jam recipe, just swap raspberries for blueberries!)
2.5 cups Gluten-Free Rolled Oats
1 cup Oat Flour
1/2 tsp Baking Soda
1/4 tsp Himalayan Pink Salt
1/2 tsp Ground Cinnamon
1/3 cup Coconut Oil, melted
1/4 cup Maple Syrup OR Honey
2 tbsp Brown Rice Syrup
1 tsp Pure Vanilla Extract (optional!)
1 tbsp Chia Seeds + 5 tbsp Water, mixed and set aside
1. Preheat oven to 350ºF and line a 2 qt. Pyrex Glass Baking Dish (can also use a standard Square pan) with parchment paper.
2. In a large mixing bowl, combine chia seed/water mixture, coconut oil, maple syrup (or honey), brown rice syrup, and vanilla. Add in rolled oats and stir to combine. Add in oat flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon and mix thoroughly.
*note: the mixture will be quite tacky at this point- this is normal! Just gotta use that arm strength
3. Pour a little over half the oat mixture into the lined baking dish. Place a bit of parchment paper over it and flatten down mixture with your hands until solid and packed in flat. Spread the chia seed jam evenly on top of this surface, then sprinkle the pan with remaining oat mixture in crumbles.
4. Place dish in the oven and bake for about 30 minutes until the oat mixture on top looks golden and a bit crisp. Remove dish from the oven, and set aside on a wire rack to cool. Once cool, slice into square bars, and serve! Keep in airtight container in refridgerator for up to about 10 days.