Guys! Do these Fruit & Nuts Oatmeal Breakfast Bars look good or what? Don’t you wish you could just reach out and grab one right out of that pile? Well, what if I told you they are so crazy easy to make, you could soon be holding one in your hands almost as easily as pinching one off of your computer screen? Really! So stupid easy, I feel there was barely any need for step-by-step pictures and instructions: you could probably totally get by with the pictures alone!
In fact, I could probably have made this a wordless post, if it wasn’t for the fact that I insist on telling you just how crazy good the bars actually are! Plus well, how are you going to find the recipe if there are no words in the post? Not really what I would call SEO friendly…
Despite being totally free of refined sugar, the bars still have a subtle sweetness to them, thanks to the dried cranberries and the little bit of honey that they contain. But then the peanut butter complements that sweetness with absolute mastery! As for their texture, it is fairly light and airy, for an oatmeal bar. In fact, I’d almost describe it as cake-y… Seriously, I’m thinking of making those bars into muffins, or perhaps even a real, full-on cake!
Oh, and I absolutely love how the chia seeds add a little bit of crunch to each bite, too!
Honestly, I think that this recipe is perfect in every possible way. That said, I strongly encourage you to make the bars exactly as written, but once you’ve done that a few times, you could also change things up a bit!
I’m already thinking of a few variations or substitutions that I’d like to try:
- For gluten free, use oat flour instead of whole wheat flour;
- If you’re not a fan of peanut butter, replace it with natural almond butter or cashew butter;
- Use raisins or chopped dates instead of cranberries;
- Substitute walnuts, hazelnuts, cashews or macadamia nuts for the pecans…
First, you must preheat your oven to 350°F. Then, grease and line a 9″ baking pan with parchment paper and set it aside.
Next, in a large bowl, combine the rolled oats, chopped pecans, unsweetened shredded coconut, dried cranberries, whole wheat flour, chia seeds, salt, cinnamon, baking powder and baking soda. Mix that with a whisk or fork until really well combined.
Grab a smaller bowl and in it, combine the eggs, peanut butter, unpasteurized honey, melted coconut oil and vanilla extract.
Be sure that your eggs are at room temperature or else, they may cause your coconut oil to become solid again. If you need to get your eggs to room temperature real quickly, simply plunge them in about 4 cups of hot water for a couple of minutes… that’ll definitely do the trick!
Whisk vigorously until smooth and very well combined.
Now pour this delicious, sticky mixture over the dry ingredients…
…and mix well with a rubber spatula.
Transfer the batter to the prepared pan, spread it all the way to the edge and flatten the top as best you can. A small offset spatula truly is the perfect tool for that!
Finally, lightly press a handful of pecan halves across the top, if you want to make your bars extra pretty!
Use as little or as many as you like, and arrange them according to how you are planning on cutting your individual bars.
Bake for 23-25 minutes, or until the top is nice and golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.
Place the pan on a cooling rack and let the bars cool for at least 1 hour. I know, I know, 1 hour is an awful long time, but if you were to lift the bars right away, you’d probably end up making a big mess. So be patient…
I’d tell you to clean the kitchen while you wait, but there shouldn’t be much of a kitchen to clean! Go walk the dog or something. Or chat with your neighbor…
And once the bars have [finally] sufficiently cooled, lift them from the pan and use a sharp chef knife or serrated knife to slice into 9 to 20 individual bars, depending on how big, or small, you want your bars to be!
Any uneaten bars you can keep in an airtight container in a cool dry place for up to a week.
- ¾ cup (70g | 2.5oz) rolled oats
- ½ cup (50g | 1.8oz) pecans, chopped
- ½ cup (45g | 1.6oz) finely shredded unsweetened coconut
- ½ cup (65g | 2.2oz) dried cranberries
- ¼ cup (35g | 1.2oz) whole wheat flour
- 2 tbsp chia seeds
- ½ tsp salt (I use Himalayan salt)
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- ¼ tsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp baking soda
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- 2 tbsp melted coconut oil
- ½ cup (120g | 4.2oz) creamy peanut butter, (storebought or homemade)
- ¼ cup (85g | 3oz) unpasteurized honey
- ½ tsp pure vanilla extract (storebought or homemade)
- 16-20 pecan halves, to decorate
- Preheat your oven to 350°F. Grease and line a 9" baking pan with parchment paper; set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients and mix with a whisk or fork until really well combined.
- In a smaller bowl, combine the wet ingredients and whisk until smooth and very well combined; pour over the dry ingredients and mix well with a rubber spatula.
- Transfer the dough to the prepared pan and spread as evenly as possible, then lightly press pecan halves across the top if desired.
- Bake for 23-25 minutes, or until the top is nice and golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.
- Place the pan on a cooling rack and let the bars cool for at least 1 hour, then lift from pan and cut into 16 to 20 bars.
- Keep the bars in an airtight container in a cool dry place for up to a week.