These Baked Peanut Butter & Jam Oat Bars Make a Quick and Healthy Breakfast

This recipe for gluten-free, vegan oat bars is from Lauren Toyota’s new book Hot for Food All Day.

I don’t want to knock oatmeal—it’s filling and healthy—but I’m not the biggest fan of mushy porridge for breakfast. I make it ’cause it’s quick, but with a little planning, you can bake that oatmeal with peanut butter into a bar dolloped with your fave jam…now we’re talking. These are just the right amount of soft and chewy, and make another great grab ’n’ go brekky.

(Also, check out our other recipes for breakfast bites, balls, and bars.)

Baked Peanut Butter & Jam Oat Bars

Makes 16 bars

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon golden flax meal
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 2 cups gluten-free rolled oats (not quick cooking)
  • 1 cup gluten-free all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup coconut sugar
  • ¼ cup tapioca flour (can substitute arrowroot flour)
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 cup natural crunchy or smooth peanut butter
  • ¾ cup nondairy milk
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup favourite jam

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line an 8 by 8-inch baking pan with parchment paper by cutting two strips both 8 inches wide and crossing them in the pan to create clean edges. Trim the excess overhang, if needed.
  2. Combine the flax meal and water, and set aside to thicken, 5 to 10 minutes.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, combine the rolled oats, all-purpose flour, coconut sugar, tapioca flour, baking powder, and sea salt.
  4. In a large liquid measuring cup or another mixing bowl, combine the peanut butter, nondairy milk, and vanilla with the thickened flax meal mixture until smooth. Add this to the mixing bowl of dry ingredients and fold together until fully combined.
  5. Spread the mixture evenly into the baking pan all the way to the edges. Take a dough cutter or knife and lightly score or mark every 2 inches across in each direction, creating the indented lines for 16 square bars. Do not cut through the pan of oat bars at this stage.
  6. Dollop about 1⁄2 teaspoon of jam on top of each square and gently press it with the back of the teaspoon into the top of each bar.
  7. Bake for 25 minutes, until the edges are golden brown and the bars look soft and raised. Cool in the baking pan on a wire rack for 20 minutes before lifting out by the parchment paper edges and placing onto the wire rack. Slice bars where you made the scores.
  8. Cool completely before storing leftovers in the fridge. You can warm slightly in the microwave for 30 seconds before eating. Consume within 7 days.

Hot Tip: If you don’t require these to be gluten-free, then you can use rolled oats that aren’t specifically labelled as such, and you can substitute 1¼ cups of all-purpose flour for the GF and tapioca flours.

Excerpted from Hot for Food All Day by Lauren Toyota. Copyright © 2021 by Lauren Toyota. Published by Penguin Canada, a division of Penguin Random House Canada Limited. Reproduced by arrangement with the Publisher. All rights reserved.

Next, try Lauren Toyota’s recipe for vegan pasta, which unexpectedly features Brussels sprouts.

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