Having three kids and feeding them healthy can sometimes be an overwhelming task. I’m always on the search for healthy and easy snacks that can also be doubled so that I can freeze the additional batch for future use. My kids love several of the bars you can purchase from Trader Joe’s but I have to buy at minimum two boxes, hiding one, and having one last until dusk the day I purchase them. Six bars per box doesn’t last long in our house so I’ve been wanting to make homemade bars to save money.
Last week I was craving oatmeal bars and also had a nice new jar of seedless blackberry jam. I found a super easy recipe and I was able to make it all in the food processor. You can tailor this bar to your liking and make it with your preferred jam, jelly, or preserves. You can also add some ground nuts (about 1/4 cup) or wheat germ (1 tablespoon) to the mix for healthy additions. I’m going to put the healthy options in parenthesis. I’ve made this recipe both ways and still end up with a delicious bar. Super simple and very delicious. Don’t forget the healthy part too. Enjoy!
Easy Fruit Oatmeal Bars
adapted from this recipe
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour (or 1 cup whole wheat flour)
1 cup rolled oats
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, softened (or 1/4 cup butter, 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup jam, jelly, or preserves of your choice (I used seedless blackberry jam and only about 1/2 cup)
1 tablespoon wheat germ
1/4 cup nuts
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8×8 pan or a small rectangle baking pan with parchment paper. Combine brown sugar, flour, oats, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt in food processor. Process for a few seconds to combine. Add butter (applesauce too if making the healthier version) along with vanilla and process until mixture is well combined and you have some large clumps. See pic below. Press two thirds of the mixture into the bottom of your parchment lined pan. Spread your choice of jam, jelly, or preserves to 1/4 of the edge. Sprinkle remaining crumb mixture over the top. Bake for 35-40 minutes until lightly browned. Allow to cool completely. I recommend refrigerating for a couple of hours before cutting into bars.