It is back to school time for thousands of teachers and students across the country. First day jitters, a brand new backpack filled with colored notebooks, a trapper keeper (wait…forget that…I am old), iPods, smartphones, lunch bags, and blindingly bright sneakers that will squeak on the newly polished tile floors in the hallways. For teachers we are kicking it up to high gear, organizing our classrooms, attending hours of meetings where we learn of the latest buzzwords and initiatives for the upcoming year. Yes. It is time. We will need some snacks to carry us through the day. Might I suggest some Strawberry Oat Bars? Healthy, filling, vegan friendly and easy to pack in that shiny new lunch bag!
Lets go! I happened upon this recipe when I had all of that homemade strawberry jam to use up. It is simple to put together and comes together quickly. Set the oven to preheat to 350*, line a 9X9 pan with parchment paper. I sprayed a little oil on this to make the cooling, cutting process much easier.
Vegan Strawberry Oat Bars
adapted from “Oh She Glows”
Makes 16 small bars
1.5 cups regular oats
1/2 cup all purpose white flour, 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 flax egg (1 tbsp ground flax seeds+ 3 tbsp warm water, mixed)
1/2 cup + 2 tbsp Earth Balance, melted
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
2 tbsp almond milk
1 tbsp sesame seeds and coconut (for topping only)
Since I had the jam portion covered I didn’t follow the recipe exactly. I also adapted the ingredients to what I had on hand. For example, the original recipe called for a chia egg and kamut flour. I substituted a flax egg and half all purpose white flour and half whole wheat flour. Combine your ‘flax egg’ in a small bowl, let it sit and ‘congeal’ as you assemble the rest of the dry ingredients. Combine the oats, flour, brown sugar, baking soda, salt together in a medium sized bowl.
Next up, assemble the wet ingredients! In a small bowl, mix the melted earth balance, maple syrup, almond milk, and the flax egg. Stir well. Add the wet mixture to the dry and mix away! I would ask the kids to help out with this. Scrub up your hands and mix, mix, mix until combined. Set aside 1/2 cup of the oat mixture. Dump the rest in the pan and pat down the mixture to form the oat base. Spread on the strawberry jam. (Or any flavor jam you would like!)
Dollop the reserved oat mixture over the top and sprinkle on those sesame seeds and coconut (if desired). I realize the sesame seed part seems odd…I thought the same thing! It does add a delicate little crunch to the end product.
Pop this pan into the oven for about 30 minutes. Allow to fully cool (in the pan) for 40 minutes or so. Gently remove from the pan and slice into squares. Store this in an airtight container in the fridge. I hear they can be stashed in the freezer – which I will do next time. You will not be able to eat just one!!!
And there you have a great grab and go snack for everyone in your house. Thanks for reading and have a beautiful weekend!