Strawberry Oat Bars

I don’t typically do much for breakfast, especially during weekdays when I normally just eat some store-bought granola bar with my coffee as I run out the door. I usually don’t have the time or appetite to have much more, but I did have the urge recently to improve on the quality of my breakfast, so trying my hand at my own granola bars seemed like a great place to start.

In addition to the obvious inclusion of oats and nuts, I also employed some spices (cardamom and ginger) as I thought these would rather nicely complement the filling: strawberries (since I know how nicely they can go together)! I was a bit worried that using fresh strawberries would result in a wet, mushy granola mess (since they macerate and get quite wet in the presence of sugar), so I sliced them thin and insulated the granola from them with a thin layer of strawberry rhubarb jam, hoping that the presence of pectin would help keep things under control. Whether or not my reasoning about it was correct, the end result was just what I wanted: a sweet, sticky strawberry filling but not a pool of juice.

The end result was really tasty and definitely easy enough that I’ll be doing this quite regularly. The mix of nuts yielded a nice range of flavor, texture, and color, all of which went quite nicely with the strawberry filling. The only thing I would work to improve upon next time would be to give it a bit more crunch. The bars were somewhat soft, so that not every bar could actually be held in your hand for very long and remain whole. I imagine this might be as simple as increasing the amount of oats and nuts, but time will tell. Flavor-wise though, these were excellent. Sweet and just the right way to wake you up in the morning (along with some good coffee, of course)!

  • 3/4 cup butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups steel cut oats
  • 1 cup nuts, chopped (1/3 pistachio, 1/3 hazelnut, 1/3 almond)
  • ~1/2 lb strawberries
  • dab of strawberry rhubarb jam
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp cardamom
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp ginger

Begin by hulling and slicing the strawberries thinly, setting them aside. Also crush the nuts (e.g. slam them a few times with a meat mallet while in a plastic bag) somewhat coarsely.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter and mix in the brown sugar until fully mixed. Then, mix in the flour, baking soda, salt, and spices, mix, and finally, pour in the oats and nuts, mixing until everything is combined.

Preheat your oven to 350°F.

Grease a baking pan and press a fitted sheet of parchment paper on the bottom of the pan (makes removing the final result easier and less prone to breakage later). Then, spread about half of the batter evenly in the pan, pressing together.

Spread a thin layer of jam over the surface of this (or you could always just use more preserves and skip the fresh berries entirely if they’re out of season) and then arrange the strawberry slices on top of this.

Top this off with the rest of your batter, doing your best to spread it evenly and pressing it together. You might still see some strawberry through the top, but its ok. Just do the best you can.

Transfer this to the oven and bake for 30-35 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool for an hour or so before you try to cut this block (with a sharp knife!) into bars of a size that appeals to you. Figure you could get somewhere around 15-18 bars (e.g. 5-6 columns, 3 rows) out of this, after which, you should set them aside in an airtight container in the fridge.

Enjoy!

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22 Responses to “Strawberry Oat Bars”

  1. Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) Says:

    These might be great with the rhubarb I found at the farmer’s market yesterday.

  2. Meeta Says:

    You know the best part of this – is that you use fresh strawberries. i am sure they keep the bars moist. The second thing I love about this are the pistachios. Perfect Mike!

  3. Raquel Says:

    Hmmmm. . . sounds interesting. I like strawberries, but I would probably opt for a cherry version. Thanks, Mike!

  4. noble pig Says:

    How wonderful. They look moist and I like your spice additions.

  5. grace Says:

    i love the green pistachios jumping right out at ya! and don’t worry, a little crumbliness never slowed me down before. you’ve got a unique and surely delicious creation here, mike!

  6. Lisa Says:

    Yum and spiced with cardamom at that. I just had breakfast, but now I am hungry again!

  7. heather Says:

    this looks delicious! i love the addition of the ginger and also the rhubarb jam. how long did they keep? i’ve been looking for something i can make on sunday and have grab-and-go breakfasts for the week.

  8. Kevin Says:

    That looks really good. Great way to use the strawberry and rhubarb jam.

  9. Sandie (Inn Cuisine) Says:

    This looks great, Mike. You mentioned being interested in a bit more crunch next time. What about adding some Grape Nuts to the mix? It doesn’t get much crunchier than that!

  10. the caked crusader Says:

    These look yummy – I often find this sort of thing a little dry but yours look ultra moist

  11. Heather Says:

    You could oven-dry those strawbs too, yeah? Get a little chewiness to go with the kronch. Nice touch with the pistachios!

  12. Helene Says:

    This looks great and so yummy and I will have to find rhubard to make that lovely jam.

  13. Joy the Baker Says:

    Great flavor combinations! With a little crunch, these will be a fabulous snack to run out the door with in the morning!

  14. Zenchef Says:

    Wow. I never thought about making granola bars but this version looks really really good. Nicely done!

  15. cakewardrobe Says:

    A perfect slice of heaven! I would crumble that and put it on top of yogurt!! YUMMY!!

  16. kittie Says:

    These look soooooooo good Mike!

    I’m liking Heather’s suggestion to oven-dry the fruit too!

  17. EAT! Says:

    I do do breakfast. These bars look like a perfect companion for my coffee.

  18. IVY Says:

    These look so yummy but healthy at the same time. I want to make these soon.

  19. RecipeGirl Says:

    I often find that strawberries lose most of their flavor when you bake them up in a bready sort of them. Did they retain their flavor? This looks like a good idea… I’m always thinking I should make homemade snacky sort of things for my kiddo.

  20. Mansi Says:

    These are simply gorgeous Mike! boy, your wife is so lucky to have a hubby like you:)

  21. Strawberry Oatmeal Crumble Bars | Free Complete Recipe Collection Says:

    [...] had seen a few recipes for berry oatmeal bars such as this recipe for strawberry oatmeal bars that looked really good. The strawberry and rhubarb [...]

  22. C Harris Says:

    I made these tonight for my kids and I’m not sure I’m going to give them any. First, I only used Strawberry Jam because berries are out of season now. I used about a cup of jam. I increased the recipe by 25% so I didn’t waste the 1/4cup of butter. I used unsalted butter so I doubled the salt from 1/4t to 1/2t. My pistachios were old, so I used 1/3 each of peanuts, almonds, and pecans. I added 1/2t vanilla to the mix. I had no ground ginger, so I used 1/2t fresh ginger. Finally, I added about 1/4c flaxseed-wheatgerm in between the two layers and sprinkled about 2T hazelnut flour on top of the whole shebang.

    Excellent, nutty, oatty goodness. The ginger and cardamom with the strawberry flavor is incredible. The crisp edges and chewy interior are also great. Thanks for this recipe.

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