These Vegan Strawberry Oat Bars taste JUST like Nutri-Grain bars. Does anyone else remember those from their childhood? Strawberry was always my favourite!
You might have noticed I really like strawberries. In fact, my last post was a strawberry-focused bar (Strawberry Sugar Cookie Bars – if you’re in the mood for more strawberry fun).
I would apologize for the strawberry overload, but I’m really not sorry. I LOVE strawberries. Plus, I had a ton of homemade strawberry jam leftover from my last recipe. I can’t let something so sweet go to waste!
This recipe is quite a bit different from my typical strawberry dessert. It’s vegan. It’s high-fibre. It’s a lot lower in sugar than your typical snack bar. Plus, it’s totally adaptable depending on your dietary requirements.
If you’re not vegan, go ahead and use regular margarine for the recipe! This particular recipe was made with my favourite vegan spread – Nuvel. It’s significantly cheaper than Earth Balance or Becel’s vegan option and, it’s pretty damn good. You can also use one egg instead of the chia egg if you don’t a vegan bar.
If you’re diabetic, use a sugar-free jam for your strawberry layer. The bar base itself has just 1/4 cup of sugar and 2 tbsp of molasses. Not bad for a tray of 16 medium-sized bars!
This was my first time experimenting with a chia egg instead of a flax egg. I typically use flax, but I find myself frustrated by having to grind the flax seeds every time I want to prepare a recipe. You don’t need to grind the chia seeds down, just let them soak in water for five minutes and they create the effect you need for an egg substitute. Plus, they have this nice little crunch to them. It adds a lot to the recipe!
My favourite thing about these bars is how soft and chewy they are! Especially the corner pieces where the strawberry jam seeps over the side and caramelizes against the side of the baking dish. Mm! It’s almost like candy.
This bar will make a great healthier treat to add to your child’s lunchbox in the fall, especially if they go to a school with strict no-nut policies! These bars don’t need to be kept in the fridge and they keep well for up to five days. Plus, you can always freeze them to make them last longer.
Do you have a favourite homemade twist on a classic school snack?
Share it with me in the comments!
Hope you’re enjoying your summer! xx
Vegan Strawberry Oat Bars
Makes 16 bars
- 1/2 cup vegan margarine or coconut oil, melted (regular margarine will do for non-vegan)
- 1/4 cup white sugar (or 3 tbsp maple syrup)
- 2 tbsp molasses
- 1 tbsp chia seeds + 5 tbsp water
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 1 3/4 cup large flake oats
- 1 cup flour (white or whole wheat)
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 cup strawberry jam (or the berry of your choice. Choose artificially sweetened if diabetic or low carb)
- Preheat your oven to 350ºF. Line a 9 x 9 baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Mix together melted margarine, sugar and molasses. Mix chia seeds and water together to form a “chia egg” and let sit for five minutes. Mix into wet ingredients. Add vanilla. Add dry ingredients and mix until fully combined. A stand mixer isn’t necessary! Just make sure there are no clumps of flour.
- Press 2/3 of your batter into the bottom of your pan and place in the oven for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and spread strawberry jam overtop. Drop remaining batter on top of the jam in pieces, pressing down slightly with the back of a spoon.
- Return to oven and bake for an additional 25-30 minutes, checking often to ensure the edges are not browning too much.
- Set aside to cool before cutting. Cool for an hour for best results. Slice and enjoy!