Fruit Sweetened Breakfast Oatmeal Bars

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I’m a big fan of easy, portable breakfasts. I’ve experimented off and on with making oatmeal bars as a quick breakfast, but I’ve always been annoyed that they tend to be about the same as eating cookies for breakfast.

Don’t get me wrong here, I definitely ate cookie dough for dinner once this week, but at least I was honest (my remark to The Geek was “I’m a grown-ass woman, and I’m eating cookie dough for dinner!”), instead of hiding behind the guise of a “healthy” breakfast.

Once I looked at a recipe again, I realized that most of the problem comes from added sugar and chocolate chips. Hm. It can’t be that hard to make something sweet using fruit, right?

It definitely isn’t. These are awesome, satisfy even my sweet tooth, and clock in at, I kid you not, 80 calories per serving. Seriously.

Even though I worked off of a recipe from The Whimsical Cupcake, I pretty proud that I got these to actually work out with all of the adjustments. Once I started adding everything up nutritionally I didn’t expect to actually have these be that much healthier, but it turns out they did really well. They clock in with half the fat and calories, slightly more than a third of the carbs and sugar, and equal amounts of fiber and protein as the original recipe. Not bad at all!

These are small servings, about a 2×2″ square, which is totally not enough for my breakfast. I usually eat two, or if I’m feeling a little indulgent, three. But I feel confident saying that these are actually a healthy start to my morning; fruit, a little bit of oats to keep me full, and some protein from the nuts to keep me going.

Ingredients

  • 2-3 very ripe bananas
  • 1/3 cup applesauce
  • 1/2 cup coconut
  • 1 cup ground or chopped almonds
  • 1 small apple, chopped
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line an 8×8″ baking dish with foil and spray lightly with cooking spray (or an 8×13″, like what I had, and just don’t fill all of it up).

In one bowl, mash the bananas and add applesauce, coconut, almonds, and the chopped apple.

In a smaller bowl, put together the dry ingredients (flour, oats, baking soda, and salt) and mix. Add the dry ingredients to the wet.

It will be really thick, and it may not seem like it’s all going to mix together, but keep mixing and it’ll all get incorporated.

Dump dough into prepared pan, patting out until it’s relatively flat (with all of our add-ins it would be really hard to actually get them super flat). Cook for about 25 minutes, or until they look done and the edges are brown.

When they’re cool, cut into 12-16 squares (they’ll be small, but don’t worry, it’s okay to have more than one for breakfast).

Do you have a go-to breakfast? What’s your favorite quick, healthy, first meal of the day?

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