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.
Sweet Potato Oatmeal Bars
- 2.5 cups rolled oats divided (gluten free if necessary)
- 2 tablespoons ground flax seed
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon cardamom
- 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/8 teaspoon all spice
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup milk almond
- 1 egg large
- 1/2 cup sweet potato puree
- 1 banana mashed ripe
- 1/3 cup maple syrup
- 1/4 cup chopped pecans optional
- Preheat your oven to 350º F. Line a 8" or 9" square cake pan with parchment paper, (or generously grease with melted coconut oil).
Mix dry ingredients
- Pulse one (1) cup of rolled oats in a food processor or blender until they reach a flour-like consistency. Pour into a medium glass bowl, along with the remaining 1.5 cups of rolled oats. Add the ground flax seeds, baking powder, salt, and spices. Set aside.
Mix wet ingredients
- In a small glass bowl combine one (1) ripe banana, sweet potato puree, maple syrup and one (1) egg. Whisk very well. Add the vanilla extract and almond milk, stirring until well combined.
- Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Stir until everything's incorporated and there are no pockets of dry ingredients remaining. Spread the mixture into the prepared cake pan. Top with chopped pecans, if desired.
- Bake at 350º F for 22-27 minutes or until cooked through. (Mine take about 24 minutes usually.) Let cool. Cut into 9 squares. Can be served warm or room temperature.
- I use unsweetened almond milk because I always have it on hand. Coconut or dairy milk works too.
- Honey or agave syrup can be substituted for the maple syrup.
- These bars freeze well. Wrap individual bars in plastic wrap, then store in a ziplock freezer bag.
- For the sweet potato - I just bake a small to medium sweet potato and mash it up really well with a fork. You can also use canned sweet potato puree or make your own.
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