These strawberry rhubarb oatmeal bars are the perfect healthy and filling breakfast! Filled with fresh strawberry and rhubarb, healthy oats and chia, no refined sugar and they are naturally vegan. Oatmeal bars are quick and easy to make and great for meal-prep, on-the-go lunches and afternoon pick-me-ups!
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and it needs to be filling and healthy (for the most part, occasionally I love to make a decadent and ultra yummy french toast casserole or double chocolate banana muffins).
And so these oatmeal bars are a perfect way to start the day! If you want more ideas, I can highly recommend whole wheat lemon poppyseed pancakes, chives and cheese scrambled eggs and coconut chia pudding with banana and peanut butter.
For more ways to use your rhubarb, I can recommend these glorious rhubarb muffins or this warming rhubarb crisp or even this rhubarb Moscow mule for celebrations. And for even more ideas in general, check out my recipe index or these 24 summer berry recipes!
What type of oats to use
There are several types of how oats are processed, they are still equally nutritious, but some are more processed than others.
Instant, or quick oats, are the most processed, and as they take so little time to cook, they tend to go a little mushy. I think it's fine to use them in this recipe as well, they will just get a little more oatmealy and a little less oatmeal barsy. My vocabulary is on fire today!
Then there's steel-cut oats and rolled oats. Rolled oats, or old-fashioned oats, are less processed than instant oats, and are perfect for recipes where you want them to keep their shape (as in these oatmeal bars!).
Steel-cut oats are groats cut into 2 or 3 pieces with a sharp blade, and they retain a chewy texture. Takes the longest to cook out of these three.
These are not to be confused with oat flour though, which is just ground oats, and would not work in this recipe.
Quick oats are actually the ones I'm using in these photos, although rolled oat will help keep the bars their shape and will be easier for to-go breakfasts and lunches. As I'm a poor planner, this is what happened, BUT oh so tasty and they keep their shape fairly well.
Health benefits of oats
One of the healthiest grains on this planet, the oats, are incredibly nutritious. They are also naturally gluten free, although you need to check the label as many oat brands are made in the same place as other gluten-y flour!
- Loaded with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.
- Great source of carbs and fiber.
- Rich in beta-glucan, a type of soluble fiber. This will help reduce cholesterol, blood sugar levels and promotes a healthy gut!
- Very filling and will keep you full for longer, which can help aid weight loss.
- Oats may relieve constipation due to the high fiber content.
- Type 2 diabetes friendly because they can reduce blood sugar levels.
- Protect against heart disease because they help to reduce the cholesterol.
Overall, a great breakfast choice! I can also recommend these chocolate coconut overnight oats as a sweet and delicious breakfast with filling oats.
How to store and freeze oatmeal bars
To store: I like to store these strawberry rhubarb oatmeal bars in the pan I cooked them in, covered tightly with plastic foil, and in the fridge. You can of course transfer them to whatever airtight container you wish, but this is just to save some dishes! It keeps well in the fridge for about 4-5 days.
To freeze: Once they're completely cool, you can cut them into squares, place on a baking sheet in one layer and freeze until solid (or individually wrap them before putting them in a bag). Now, place them in a ziplock bag or a container and freeze. Great for about 1-2 months.
To re-heat: I like to serve these warm, but you can eat them straight from the fridge too. Pre-heat the oven to 300F (150C) and place the oatmeal bars on the middle rack for about 10 minutes, or until warmed through. If you use frozen bars, you need to add roughly 4-5 minutes to the bake time.
Healthy Strawberry Rhubarb Oatmeal Bars
Pre-heat oven to 375F (180C), prepare a 9x13 in (23x33 cm) baking dish with parchment paper. Let the parchment paper stick out of the edges for easy oatmeal bars removal.
Then, mix the dry ingredients in a large bowl; old fashioned oats, whole wheat flour, chia seeds and salt. Pour in melted coconut oil, maple syrup and vanilla extract (1). Combine with a spatula, and then set aside 1 cup of this mixture (2-3).
Pour the oatmeal mixture into the prepared baking dish (4). Pat it down with the backside of a spoon or spatula (5). Add diced strawberry and rhubarb on top (6) and then top with a little cornstarch and lemon juice (7). Top with the remaining 1 cup of oatmeal mixture and pumpkin seeds (8).
Bake for 40 minutes and cool completely in the pan before cutting into squares.
Did you like this recipe? Here's more healthy breakfast ideas:
- Whole Wheat Lemon Poppyseed Ricotta Pancakes
- Banana Peanut Butter Chocolate Chia Pudding
- The Best Green Smoothie Recipe for an Upset Stomach
- 3 Healthy Baked Grapefruit Recipes
- Date Caramel Macchiato Breakfast Quinoa
- Chocolate Coconut Overnight Oats
- Fluffy and Healthy Banana Pancakes
- Chives and Cheese Scrambled Eggs
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