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These are the BEST healthy breakfast bars! I've eaten one every day for over a decade (seriously)! This easy recipe brews in a bowl in 30 minutes and is loaded with fiber, protein and omega-3s to keep you full all morning! Plus, they're gluten-free, dairy-free, refined sugar-free, and vegan!
When I decided to start a blog more than three years ago, I knew right away that this would be my first post. These healthy breakfast bars have been my constant companion for the past 12 years, they are, without a doubt, me. So I gave her a little facelift and added a video, to make sure she gets all the love she deserves!
These breakfast bars energized me throughout my career as a high school chemistry teacher. They helped me cultivate all the necessary parts of our first little human … and the second … and the third … and the fourth … and the fifth …
These healthy oatmeal breakfast bars held me up as we walked away from all of our friends and family. Every night when my head hits the pillow and I close my eyes, I know that one of these beauties will be waiting for me when I wake up. I love them. Really yes.
I am a creature of habit. I eat one of these oatmeal and peanut butter breakfast bars every morning with my favorite green smoothie. People don't understand me. "Don't you get tired of eating the same thing?" They ask. "Wouldn't you rather mix it up?" They say.
No, I don't think I would. But I am grateful for your concern about my lack of variety of breakfast foods. 😉
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I tried to mix it up in the morning, but it doesn't help. I find myself wishing I had eaten one of these breakfast bars. So if it is not broken, I will not fix it and continue.
I mean, what is there not to love?!, These breakfast bars are packed with fiber, protein, potassium, omega-3s and are SO delicious. They contain no gluten, dairy, or refined sugar, but are hearty enough to keep you full for hours. And they are easy to do! For me they are perfect.
How are healthy breakfasts made?
Since I've been making this breakfast bar recipe every week for 12 years, I'm pretty sure I could make it in my sleep! However, to be useful, I want to follow all the steps in this recipe for you!
Step 1: mix the wet ingredients
To make these breakfast bars in a bowl, start by mashing the banana. I use a potato masher, but a fork would also work!
Then add the rest of the ingredients and stir until the mixture is uniform!
Step 2: add dry ingredients and mix
Then add all the dry ingredients to the wet mix and stir to combine.
As you can see, the final mix should NOT be liquid. It should be wet but not liquid at all.
Step 3: bake for 20 minutes
This healthy breakfast bar recipe requires two cooking periods. First, bake the bare breakfast bars (no peanut butter on top) for 20 minutes.
The top should be slightly firm when the breakfast bars are removed from the oven. Since all ovens are different, the cooking time may vary slightly. However, it is important that the top is not soft and that you can spread peanut butter without it becoming a mess.
Step 4: Remove from oven and spread peanut butter on top
After 20 minutes of baking, remove the oatmeal breakfast bars from the oven and spread a layer of peanut butter on top. The amount you use will depend on your taste.
I enjoy a super thick layer of peanut butter, so I use about 1/4 to 1/2 cup. Use as much or as little as you like!
Step 5: bake for an additional 10 minutes
Return the peanut butter covered breakfast bars to the oven for an additional 10 minutes. This step sets the peanut butter and finishes baking the bars.
As you can see, the final product will have little peanut butter sinks on top! Mmm!
Step 6: cool overnight
These breakfast bars are best served cold. I always prepare them the day before I want to eat them and let them cool in the refrigerator overnight.
I've eaten them hot when I didn't perform together and they're still good, but they're not good if you understand me!
Step 7: Cut and enjoy or save for later!
Finally, once the breakfast bars have cooled in the pan overnight, cut them into squares and enjoy! Or you can cut and save them for later! I always cut them into 9 breakfast bars, because it's the perfect breakfast to enjoy with a green smoothie.
How are breakfast bars stored?
To store these breakfast bars, simply cut them up and put them in an airtight container in the refrigerator. If you think it will be more than a week before they are all finished, I recommend wrapping them individually in plastic wrap and then putting them in an airtight container.
How long do breakfast bars last?
If stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator, these breakfast bars will last up to a week!
Healthy breakfast bars: ingredients and substitutions
I get a lot of questions about possible substitutions for this breakfast bar recipe, so let's talk about them now! The best thing about these peanut butter breakfast bars is that they are super versatile and highly customizable!
- Quick cook oatmeal. Quick Cook Oatmeal These breakfast bars have the best texture when made with. However, you can use old-fashioned oatmeal instead of understanding that they will be a bit more chewy with a thicker texture. I DO NOT recommend using steel cut oats in this recipe.
- Almond flour / flour: I love putting almond flour in these breakfast bars for added protein. In this recipe, almond flour and almond flour work just as well! If you are allergic to almonds, you can substitute 1/2 cup extra quick-cooking oatmeal instead of almond flour. Almond flour works well in this recipe too!
- Ground flaxseed: You can substitute 1/2 cup of extra almond or oatmeal instead of ground flaxseed!
- Protein powder: This is a completely optional ingredient! I love using Orgain Vanilla Protein Powder to give it a little flavor and boost protein, but you can skip it entirely if you don't have this ingredient on hand!
- Honey: Honey is my favorite liquid sweetener to use in this breakfast bar recipe, and pure maple syrup (which is an excellent vegan substitution) comes second. Actually, any liquid sweetener can be replaced by honey. You can also use an extra banana or an extra 1/4 cup of applesauce if you prefer a less sweet, sugar-free option!
- Peanut butter: I usually use two types of peanut butter when I make this recipe. For the bars themselves I use a natural creamy peanut butter. For the top, I like to use a mixture of natural peanut butter and one that is firmer. This is a totally personal preference, I like how the top tastes with two different varieties! Feel free to substitute any creamy nut or seed butter of your choice, however peanut butter is my favorite!
Healthy Breakfast Bars Recipe
These are the BEST healthy breakfast bars! I've eaten one every day for over a decade (seriously)! This easy recipe brews in a bowl in 30 minutes and is loaded with fiber, protein and omega-3s to keep you full all morning! Plus, they're gluten-free, dairy-free, refined sugar-free, and vegan! Preparation time: 10 minutes Cook time: 30 minutes Cool down time 2 hours Total time: 2 hours 40 minutes Servings: 9 Breakfast bars Calories: 247.1kcal
- 1 ½ cup quick cook oatmeal can be used the old-fashioned way, but they will be more chewy
- ½ cup almond flour
- ½ cup flaxseed meal
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon of sea salt
- 2-4 TBS of optional plant-based vanilla protein powder
- 1 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract
- 2 ripe and crushed bananas
- ½ cup applesauce
- 1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
- 2 tablespoons honey or maple syrup for the vegan option
- More peanut butter for the top about ¼ cup
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease 8 × 8 square baking pan
- In a small bowl, combine dry ingredients (oatmeal, almond flour, flaxseed, salt, cinnamon, and protein powder if used), set aside. (alternatively add dry ingredients after mixing wet ingredients).
- In a large bowl, mash the banana. Add applesauce, honey, 1/4 cup peanut butter, and vanilla. Mix well.
- Stir the dry ingredients wet until combined. Spread the mixture in the pan (it should be moist but NOT thick).
- Bake for 20 minutes (it should be lightly browned around the edges and the top should be in place), remove it from the oven and spread the peanut butter on top of the bars (I like a very thick layer of peanut butter, but it is your preference)
- Continue baking for 10 more minutes or until firm and lightly browned around the edges. At this point, the peanut butter layer will have tiny little bubbles.
- Chill completely in the refrigerator and cut into 6 or 9 bars. Wrap each one in plastic wrap and store in an airtight container in the fridge for a quick grip and go to breakfast!
For a vegan version, substitute pure maple syrup for honey!
Calories :: 247.1kcal | Carbohydrates: 29.1g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 12.2 g | Potassium: 113.7mg | Fiber: 7.9 g | Sugar: 9.6g | Vitamin C: 3.7mg | Calcium: 40mg | Iron: 2mg
This recipe was originally published on January 26, 2016 as the first post on JoyFoodSunshine! It's been updated with new photos, a video, and step-by-step instructions, but the recipe hasn't changed!
Dear breakfast bars, for me you are perfect.
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