These healthy make-ahead oatmeal bars are perfect to stash in the freezer for an easy grab-and-go breakfast on busy mornings. Raise your hand if you’re a breakfast person . I’m a first and second breakfast person. Every Monday through Friday morning, I have a smoothie before I leave for work. Then, shortly after I get there, I have another small breakfast. This is usually an apple, muffin, hard-boiled egg, or an oatmeal bar. I know, I sound like a crazy person right now, but I wake up hungry!!
Ever since I discovered that sweet potato is a delicious substitute in recipes that you would usually see pumpkin, my life has been changed. For the better. We’re talking sweet potato brownies, bread, muffins… Just you wait. But first, let’s start with these oatmeal bars.
Gather your ingredients
You’ll need rolled oats, ground flax seeds, baking powder, salt, and chai spices. I use cinnamon, ginger, all spice, cardamom, and nutmeg. Feel free to sub with a store bought blend, or adjust the seasonings to fit what you like/have on hand. The only one you can’t leave out is the cinnamon, it adds such good flavor to the bars. The wet ingredients consist of sweet potato puree, a ripe banana, an egg, maple syrup, vanilla extract, and almond milk.
You will need to take 1 cup of the oats and turn them into oat flour. I promise that’s that hardest part, though. I use my small Ninja blender cup, but a regular blender or food processor works too. Just zip them up with the blades until they reach a flour like consistency. If your flax seeds are not ground yet, throw them in with the oats to grind those up at the same time. Mix the oat flour with the rest of the oats, flax (if not added in the blender), baking powder, salt, and chai seasonings. Set this aside while you mix the wet ingredients.
In a separate bowl, mash the sweet potato, banana, egg, and maple syrup together. Stir in the vanilla extract and almond milk. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir until well incorporated. Transfer the mixture into a parchment lined square baking dish. Top with chopped pecans if you like, totally up to you. Bake about 25-ish minutes, and let cool before cutting into squares.
Since I usually eat these as part two of my breakfast, I cut them into 9 smaller squares. Divide into 6 bars if you want a heartier serving. The bars keep well, covered, in the fridge for 4 or 5 days. I like to freeze half the bars to keep on hand for emergency oatmeal bar cravings.
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