Mixed Berry Oatmeal Bars Recipe -- An easy & healthy summer dessert made with fresh berries, whole grain oats, brown sugar, and an irresistible crumble topping. (Vegan, Nut-Free, Dairy-Free)
This post was originally published in 2018, but has since been updated.
Oatmeal bars are the kind of dessert that tiptoes around the idea that they are an acceptable breakfast. I can tell you with my utmost confidence these ones totally do. Use me as a reference if anyone questions you.
If a chocolate chip gets a free ticket to ride into breakfast, then these bars deserve a front row center seat. There's fruit. There's oats. And brown sugar. Everyone knows that's the cornerstone to a balanced breakfast…just don't use me as a reference on that one. 😉
What makes these oatmeal bars delicious & healthy
- whole wheat flour
- brown sugar
- baking powder
- coconut oil
- frozen mixed berries
- lemon zest
- lemon juice
How To Make This Mixed Berry Oatmeal Bars Recipe
Start by preheating your oven to 375°F, and lining an 8x8 baking pan with parchment paper. If you don't have parchment paper, you can also spray pan liberally with cooking spray. Set pan aside.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together 1 cup of rolled oats, ¾ cup of whole wheat flour, ¾ teaspoon of cinnamon, ⅓ cup of packed brown sugar, ½ teaspoon baking powder, and a pinch of salt. Stir in 1 teaspoon of vanilla, 2 tablespoons unsweetened applesauce, and ¼ cup of melted coconut oil, and stir until crumbly.
Press ⅔ of the oat mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan. Set remaining crumble mixture aside. In a separate mixing bowl, combine 2 cups of frozen mixed berries, 1 tablespoon of sugar, lemon zest from one lemon, and 2 tablespoons of lemon juice. Pour berries over prepared crust, and top with remaining crumble mixture.
Bake in preheated oven for 30-40 minutes, or until browned and bubbly. Let cool for 5-10 minutes before cutting into squares.
- You can also use white whole wheat flour or regular white flour as well.
- If not strictly vegan, you can use melted butter in place of coconut oil.
- You can also make these with different types of berries like blueberries, raspberries, or blackberries.
Can you freeze these oatmeal bars?
Yes! Cut into squares, and let cool completely before storing in a freezer bag, or freezer-friendly container. Warm up in the oven or microwave to get that straight from the oven feel!
What if my mixture is too crumbly?
You need some more moisture. Add a tablespoon more of applesauce or melted coconut oil, and stir. Test the mixture by squeezing it between your fingertips. If it holds together, it's ready. If it still crumbles, add a ½ tablespoon more of applesauce/oil until it holds together.
Money-Saving Tips for this Oatmeal Bars Recipe :
- Buy in bulk. Purchasing the bigger containers of oats is more cost-effective than the smaller options. Use the leftovers for a batch of these energy bites or strawberry rhubarb overnight oats.
- Use frozen. Frozen berries are just as nutritious as fresh, and can be less expensive depending on availability.
- Opt for store-brand. Using store-brand options for basic ingredients such as baking powder, flour, and sugar are usually less expensive, and work just the same as name brand.
more summer-inspired dessert recipes:
Did you make this recipe? Leave me a comment & rating to let me know how it turned out!