I love a good, chewy breakfast bar and was so excited after learning how to make my own! This is my take on a healthy breakfast bar and it’s really quite delicious. Perfect for the lunch box, car snack or post hike treat.
Breakfast can be a struggle in my house, which is why I created this healthy breakfast bar recipe. Not everyone wants the same thing, and often it becomes a grab n’ go meal.
I’ve always been a light breakfast person myself, with a Best Green Smoothie and healthy coffee to fuel my mornings. My kids, on the other hand, want a different start to the day. That’s where this healthy breakfast bars recipe comes in. Deliciously light + full of protein, these bars are a win-win.
Table of Contents
Store Bought vs Homemade
Store-bought cereal bars are sugar-heavy, laden with corn syrup, dyes, excess sugars and chemicals. Wellness experts still tell us breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Meanwhile, the food industry loves marketing the worst kinds of ingredients as ‘breakfast food.’
I created this recipe so I could have my cake and eat it too, so to speak. The oatmeal cereal bars of my childhood have ingredients like sugar, dextrose, fructose (all listed in a row), invert sugar, natural flavors, carrageenan, corn syrup, and methyl cellulose. So basically sugar, more sugar, chemicals, and chemical sugar.
Simple Ingredients for a Healthy Breakfast Bar
Meanwhile, my version not only has pronounceable ingredients, yet it is also loaded with health benefits:
- Rolled oats— most of the carbs in oats come from fiber, so great for digestion, as well as high in Vitamin B1
- Whole wheat flour— whole wheat flour is full of antioxidants, fiber, and vitamins
- Flaxseed— we love flaxseed for its omega-3 fatty acids that promote heart health
- Coconut oil— another healthy fat that the body can quickly turn into energy
- Maple syrup— lower glycemic index than processed sugar, and a more naturally occurring sweetener
- Real fruit filling with no processed sugars, syrups, dyes, thickeners or artificial sweeteners
This specific oatmeal breakfast bar recipe contains 6.2 grams of protein, 6.4 grams of fiber. It also contains 51% of the daily recommended intake of Vitamin C in each bar. Now that’s a breakfast option I can get behind!
How to Make Healthy Breakfast Bars
I love this healthy breakfast bars recipe because I can make it with almost any fruit I have on hand. I’ve shared several different fruit filling options below, leave a comment letting me know which one you’d like to try the most! You can make them any time of the year, with whatever fruit is fresh. I’d love to try a pumpkin spice version for fall, or maybe one with figs during Christmas time.
These can also be made ahead of time and frozen, or packed individually for road trips, or family hikes, as they are easy snacks for kids (and adults!). To make them successfully, make sure you have a good food processor or blender.
Also, don’t forget the refrigeration before rolling out and baking; this will literally make or break your bars!
If you make this oatmeal cereal bar recipe, drop a comment letting me know how it went, and who in your family enjoyed them the most.
Healthy Breakfast Bar
- food processor
- ½ cup rolled oats
- 1 ½ cups whole wheat flour
- ⅓ cup ground flaxseed ground
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp sea salt
- ½ cup coconut oil
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- 1 egg
- 2-4 tbsp dairy-free milk almond, cashew, oat, etc
- 1 cup fruit filling
Blueberry Fruit Filling:
- 3 cups blueberries fresh or frozen
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- Pinch cinnamon ground
Strawberry Fruit Filling
- 4 cups strawberries fresh or frozen
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- 2 apples cored, peeled and diced
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- ½ tsp cinnamon cinnamon
- Pulse oats in a blender or food processor to break them up. It doesn't need to be a flour, just finely chopped. Add the whole wheat flour, flaxseed meal, baking powder, and sea salt to food processor. Pulse to combine.
- In a glass measuring cup, whisk together melted coconut oil, maple syrup and egg. With food processor running, pour the liquid through the feed hole. Continue processing until the dough comes together. It should be the texture of a sticky cookie dough. If the dough is having a hard time coming together, add a splash of non-dairy milk 1 tbsp at a time until the dough reaches the right consistency. Scrape the sides and bottom of food processor. Pulse again a few times, if needed, to make sure all the ingredients are well-combined.
- Turn the dough onto a piece of plastic wrap or parchment paper. Press dough together into a flattened disk. Wrap well. Refrigerate for 30 minutes or up to several days.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- To assemble, cut chilled dough in half. Work with one half at a time, keeping the other half wrapped.
- Roll the dough between 2 pieces of parchment paper into a long rectangle that measures 6 by 12 inches. Trim the edges, press the dough together, and roll again, as needed.
- Spoon 1/2 cup of the fruit filling horizontally down the center third of the dough. Like folding a letter, carefully and gently fold 1/3 of the dough up over the filling, followed by the other third. If the dough cracks, gently but firmly press it together again so the filling doesn't escape. Cut into 4 equal bars. Transfer to the lined baking sheet. Repeat the process with remaining half of dough.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until golden brown and baked through. Let cool completely on baking sheet. Store in an air-tight container at room temperature for up to one week. Will keep longer refrigerated or wrapped well and frozen for several months.
For Fruit Filling:
- Place fruit into a saucepan with maple syrup and lemon juice. Cook over medium heat until thickened, 30-60 minutes depending on the type of fruit. Mash the fruit, if desired. Let cool completely before using in recipe.
- Nutrition facts use the strawberry filling.
- If doubling or tripling recipe, it might mix better in a blender over a food processor.
- Swap 1/4 cup of the whole wheat flour with 1 serving of homemade protein powder for extra protein + healthy fat + fiber.
- Use a chia jam for the filling to also boost the protein and healthy fat.
I’m sorry about giving this recipe a one as I followed the directions exactly as written added almond milk and still
This dough just crumbles no matter what it’s sad because everything I had had from my Rawkstar menus and cleanses is delicious and I was hoping these would be a great snack for a road trip.
I’m definitely going to make these!!! I feel these would be great on our anniversary road trip to Colorado too see the National Parks. I wonder if they freeze well???
The part that got me in the recipe preparation was the word “egg”.
Which is not listed in the ingredient list, nor is the flax meal being regarded as the egg substitute here in brackets next to its as an ingredient.
There is no prep for the flax meal to refer to it as an egg replacement.
So what do I do? Two ways follow the recipe and assume she forgot to add the needed liquid to the flax meal so that I can make it into the egg replacement and hope it’s the right consistency for the flours etc, or just toss the flax in and hope the liquid portion she stated in recipe is enough liquid that a dough forms? Or lastly actually toss an egg in as the directions clearly state to add an egg.
A little confusing for me.
That’s a great question Jen. While this recipe does actually call for both an egg & flax seed meal, you could def replace the egg using our flax egg recipe. This wouldn’t replace the ground flaxseed already in the recipe.
My son has an oat allergy. You think this recipe will work without the oats?
While we’ve never tried it, you might replace the oats with either almond flour or a 1-to-1 gluten free baking flour in equal measure. You’d def want to replace the oats with something, rather than just leaving them out altogether. Otherwise the consistency of the dough might not work for this recipe. Please let us know what you try so that we can all learn from your wisdom! 🙂
We are a GF family. Would buckwheat flour work??
Great question Felicia! Ya know, we haven’t personally tried buckwheat flour for our Healthy Breakfast Bars. Yet we say give it a go! Another option might be swapping in a GF flour blend instead, as buckwheat flour can sometimes trend toward being more bitter and earthy, which may not work here. Please let us know what you try and how it worked for you!
I made this recipe but I regretted using the lemon juice in the strawberries. The filling was extremely tart, I had to add sugar to make it edible. I will omit it in my next batch, otherwise this is a good recipe.
Such awesome feedback, Meredythe! It’s so true that a little goes a long way with that lemon juice.
This looks like n awesome alternative to processed breakfast bars. I usually make jam from frozen fruit and chia seeds. I add a drop or two of stevia if it doesn’t taste sweet enough. Does any one know of a reason that this wouldn’t work? I would hate to waste all of those yummy ingredients. And I understand that I would have to keep them in the refrigerator to prevent mold.
Hey Lj – I make chia seed jam the same way! Using that in these bars would be great. And you are right about refrigerating them after. Great idea!
The flaxseed meal is not in the preparation directions. Do you add that with the flour? Also after I took my dough out of the fridge it was like a rock. I only used 1 Tbsp of Almond milk and forgot the flaxseed meal, could that be the problem? It took a lot of work and time to get it soft enough to roll out. A video tutorial on how to make this would be really helpful. Thanks for the healthy snack recipe!!
Hey Sara – Great catch! The flaxseed meal should be added at the same time as the whole wheat flour, baking powder and sea salt. The recipe does call for 2-4 Tbsps of almond milk, so with only using 1 Tbsp, that would def account for the dough not turning out as expected. As you are initlally mixing the dough, be sure to add up to the 4 Tbsps of milk if it needs. Then continue adding additional liquid if it’s not coming together to form the ‘sticky cookie dough’ consistency as described.
These remind me of a store-bought breakfast bar I used to love but healthier. Definitely going to make them soon!
Awesome! Let us know what you think after you make them! 🙂
Our daughters have so many food sensitivities and allergies that it’s hard to find store-bought things they can have. Cereal bars were one of the things they missed the most. Can’t wait to try making these for them! Thank you!
So glad we could help you with an alternative to something they love that they can actually eat!
One of my favorite on-the-go breakfasts! Yum!
So simple and easy and delicious!!
I was nervous to make this recipe the first time, but it was so worth it!
That’s so great to hear! 🙂
Just added the ingredients for this recipe to the shopping list, hoping to make them over the weekend. Wish me luck!
Good luck and come back to let us know how it went!!
How could you make these GF? Just sub all purpose GF flour (like King Authur), or would you use oat flour, or something else?
Hey Beth! I was wondering the same thing. I think using an all-purpose GF flour would be the way to go. And I happen to have some of the King Arthur in my pantry so it’s what I’m going to use when I make these. Check back in and let us know what you used and how it went!
I decided to make these over the weekend and was a little intimidated going into it. Yet they turned out pretty good and I love that I know exactly what’s in them! I used strawberry jam, but I might try one with nutella just to indulge a little 🙂
I can’t decide which flavor jam to use, I bet strawberry tasted really good. I hadn’t thought about using Nutella, that sounds awesome! If you’re interested, we have a homemade Chocolate Hazelnut Spread recipe here: https://simplegreensmoothies.com/gluten-free-crepes
A video of making this would have been so cool. Like a tutorial.
That’s a great idea! Next time I do a video shoot, maybe we can squeeze this in. It would be a cool video. 🙂
Thanks a mil. Would appreciate that