California Strawberry-Oatmeal Breakfast Bars (High Protein, no added sugar)
Happy long weekend!
If you are like me, the long weekend is filled with travelling, family festivities and lots of food prep! If you are engaged in any of these activities, you will want to have healthy, tasty recipes on hand for yourself, family and friends.
Enter these high-protein, breakfast bars made with California Strawberries! Made with simple ingredients like rolled oats and fresh fruit, these bars have no added sugar, and are naturally gluten free. With added protein powder, they are a satisfying option that can keep you on track with your nutrition aside from a few indulgences this weekend!
Why I love Strawberries
Thanks to a long growing season, we can continue to enjoy sweet California strawberries here in Canada. Given their versatility and nutrition, I have been adding them to my salads, oatmeal and into baked goods and recipes where I can.
Strawberries are quite a nutrient dense fruit! One serving (8 whole strawberries) is low in sugar, but rich in fibre, antioxidants and other nutrients.
One serving (8 strawberries, or 140g) contains:
2 g fibre
170 mg potassium
160% Daily Value for Vitamin C
When to have these bars
Packed with whole foods, healthy fats and protein, there are various possibilities. Here are some ideas:
Serve to family and friends as a healthy, high-protein breakfast option
Pack with you travelling, on a hike or family outing
As an afternoon snack with a coffee or tea
As a healthier dessert option after a meal
Tips & Tricks
To make these bars nut or peanut free, use sunflower seed butter or tahini (available at most grocers).
I recommend using fresh California Strawberries.
If you have a gluten sensitivity or are celiac, use certified gluten free oats to ensure there is no cross contamination in ingredients.
This recipe does not use any added sugars. Though I suggest leaving out any additional sweeteners, if you want a sweeter bar, try using a sweeter chocolate (70%) or add in 2-3 tbsp honey or real maple syrup.
How to store these bars
Store bars in an airtight container (Tupperware or glass with a lid) in the fridge for up to 4-5 days.
Note on adding protein powder to recipes
A lot of breakfast bar options are high in carbohydrates (from ingredients like flour, sugar, grains, dried and fresh fruit) but often lack in protein. Including around 15-20 g of high quality protein at our breakfast or first meal of the day can help us with steady energy levels and set the day off on a high note.
This recipe has added whey protein powder. In many of my snack bar, pancake and baked good recipes, I choose to add plain whey protein as it is not overbearing and blends easily.
To boost the protein content of one of your own recipes, try swapping 1/3 cup of flour for 1/3 cup of plain whey protein powder.
California Strawberry Oatmeal Breakfast Bars
1 ½ cups rolled oats
½ cup plain whey protein powder
½ cup almond butter - can substitute for any nut or seed butter of your choice (I like tahini or peanut butter in this recipe too!)
2 large bananas mashed
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
pinch sea salt
1/2 cup strawberries, thinly sliced
1/4 cup dark chocolate chips (70 or 85% depending on your preference)
1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Line a medium size baking pan with parchment paper.
2 In a large mixing bowl, combine oats, protein powder, banana, almond butter, vanilla extract and sea salt, and mix until fully incorporated. Fold in ½ the strawberries and chocolate chips.
3. Scoop the batter into your lined pan and spread out evenly. Top with the remaining strawberries and chocolate chips.
4. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until golden around the edges and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
5. Let bars cool for at least 10 minutes before transferring to a plate or cooling rack to allow them to cool completely. Enjoy!
Makes 10 medium-sized bars. Keep stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
For 1 bar: 190 calories, 9 g protein, 19 g carbs, 5 g sugar, 4 g fiber, 10 g total fat
For more ideas on how to use strawberries, see my post on strawberry inspired snacks.