Strawberry Chia Oat Bars

Strawberry Chia Oat Bars

I made these oat bars with a strawberry jam filling with easy breakfasts in mind, but they were so enjoyable that I found myself serving them for dessert as well. The cookie-like oat crust is made with sunflower seeds, pepitas and tahini for a good helping of protein and flavor that would make it a treat all by itself. But a strawberry chia seed jam filling and a light streusel-like topping of more of the oat, seed and pepita mixture makes these bars very much like a berry crisp.

Although they taste sweet, there are no refined sugars — just maple syrup and the cane sugar used to sweeten the jam — or anything else to feel guilty about in this recipe. They keep well in the refrigerator for up to a week if they last that long, and freeze well too.

Recipe notes: I used a combination of both strawberry and raspberry chia seed jam. World of Chia jams are available at many grocery stores, but if you can't find chia seed jam — in which chia seeds are used instead of pectin to thicken the fruit spread — then any good quality jam without refined sugars would work fine as well. And if you don't have pepitas, then use another 1/4 cup sunflower seeds instead.

Strawberry Chia Oat BarsStrawberry Chia Oat Bars
Recipe by
Published on March 27, 2020

Homemade oat bars with a strawberry jam filling — nourishing enough for breakfast or a snack, and delicious enough for dessert

Preparation: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes

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  • 3/4 cup hulled sunflower seeds
  • 1/4 pepitas (hulled pumpkin seeds)
  • 3 cups rolled oats
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon tahini or sunflower seed butter
  • 1 1/4 cups strawberry chia seed jam
  • In a small unoiled saucepan or skillet, toast the sunflower seeds and pepitas over medium heat, tossing frequently, until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

  • Line a 8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper, leaving some paper hanging over the sides of the pan. Preheat an oven to 350°F.

  • In a food processor, pulse together the sunflower seeds, pepitas, oats and salt until the mixture is reduced to a coarse flour.

  • In a small suacepan, melt the coconut oil over low heat. When melted, remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the maple syrup and tahini until well combined. Pour this mixture into the food processor and pulse until everything comes together. The mixture should be fairly dense and sticky. Add a little water if the mixture seems too dry.

  • Set aside about 1 cup of the oat mixture for the topping, and press the remaining mixture firmly and evenly into the prepared pan using the back of a spoon or a lightly oiled piece of parchment paper. Prick this crust layer with a fork about 10 times.

  • Bake the crust in the preheated oven for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool for 5 to 10 minutes. Spread the jam evenly over the crust, and then crumble the reserved oat mixture evenly over the jam layer.

  • Bake for another 15 minutes, or until the topping is firm to the touch. It will not brown too much, so take care not to over-bake. Let cool in the pan on a wire rack for about 1 hour and then transfer to the freezer for 30 to 60 minutes.

  • Lift the bars out of the pan using the edge of the parchment paper and slide gently onto a cutting board. With a sharp knife, cut into 2-inch squares. Store the bars in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to a week, or in the freezer for up to 2 months.

Makes 16 bars

Strawberry Chia Oat Bars

Other breakfast bars to enjoy from Lisa's Vegetarian Kitchen:
Cherry Nut Bars
Quinoa Nut and Fruit Protein Bars
Chocolate-Covered Hemp Seed Protein Bars
Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Bars

Audio Accompaniment: Jóhann Jóhannsson – 'Flight From The City' from Orphée

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