Happy Monday Everyone!! What a beautiful, beautiful day here in Seattle!!
I woke up at 5a this morning to hit the gym early – I wanted to be able to soak in as many daylight hours as humanly possible so I figured getting up before sunrise was the trick!
When I got home from the gym I turned on the local news and saw that the high today was 69°!! Totally freaking out!! I love blue skies! And sunshine! It makes me feel alive, exuberant, and insanely cheerful! Can you tell?!
So as the sun started to rise, I decided to do a little summer baking. What’s better than waking up to the smell of sweet, sweet homemade jam boiling on the stove?! Or a fresh batch of marvelous Blueberry Muffins wafting in the air?!
Yesterday at the grocery I found some dainty, organic strawberries bursting in color! I know strawberries aren’t quite yet in season here in Washington but the thought of a warm summer day munching on strawberries while we fire up the grill had my mouth watering. I could not resist the temptation.
As I opened my fridge this morning I thought to myself, “Why not make a strawberry jam-like filling? To spread over... an oatmeal crust! ...with a crumble topping!!” All I could think was, “Nom, nom, nom,” while I started to whip up these scrumptious Strawberry Nut-Butter Breakfast Bars.
First things first, I rinsed my strawberries, blotted them dry with a paper towel, and began dicing them up into small-ish chunks. I then tossed them in a pan with some brown sugar and honey and brought them to a boil. I used my spatula to smoosh the strawberries a little, trying to release some of their juices. Once boiling, I removed the hot fruit from the stove and added a little cornstarch slurry to thicken it up just a tad bit.
As my strawberry filling was setting up, I perused my kitchen looking for items that would create an awesome, tasty, and healthy base for my breakfast bars. I wanted these bars to be something I would:
- Actually eat for breakfast.
- Totally stay full from for 3-4 hrs.
- Not get a sugar high from.
I came up with a nut-butter madness, combined with honey, rolled oats, applesauce, a banana, and cinnamon!
I loved the idea of the banana and applesauce because fruit is a go-to of mine for breakfast and I thought it would pair beautifully with the strawberry filling. I then used the nut-butters to thicken the dough but also to add some much needed protein.
If you’ve skipped ahead to look at the recipe (as I typically do), you will see that I chose to use three different types of nut-butter: Almond Butter, Peanut Butter, and Sunbutter. I decided to go with all three to create a really diverse flavor profile that had an overall nuttiness to it rather than just screaming “PEANUT BUTTER!” or taking on the extremely roasted flavor of almond butter.
If you have a peanut, nut, or seed allergy, just replace the nut-butter you can’t have with more of the one you can have!! Or if you only have 2 of the 3 butters in your house, that’s fine too! The nut-butters combined should be 7oz; so pick and choose whichever you’d like and just be sure to put 7oz into your recipe!
I used Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Rolled Oats. I always have oats in the house for various reasons – oatmeal, crumb toppings for pies, to toss into muffins and cookies, to make savory granola… I love oats because they have amazing health benefits on top of being good for you!!
Lastly, I sweetened these bad boys with L.R. Rice Honey: Local Washington. I love this brand because they have several varieties of honey all depending on where you live. Local honey contains local pollen; by eating it you can strengthen your immune system especially against local allergens. It is pretty incredible!
If you are Vegan, replace the honey with agave, easy as that!
And of course, I had to throw on a crumble topping because let’s be honest, that sugary goodness is always the best part! I threw in some flax seeds (awesome source of plant omga-3s) and then used coconut oil instead of butter to keep these bars on the healthier side.
By the time Ben was up and ready for a hot cup of coffee, I had the bars well on their way in the oven. The house was filled with comforting, sweet aromas from the brown sugar crumble caramelizing on top and the fresh strawberry filling bubbling through the crumbles' cracks.
I hope you enjoy these wholesome, healthy, nutty, fruity, not-too-sweet, and absolutely delicious Strawberry Nut-Butter Breakfast Bars as much as we did this morning. I have a feeling we will be eating these all summer long :)
I’d love to see your creations!
Lick the Bowl - You Only Live Once,
P.s. A kitchen scale is super helpful in making this recipe!! My favorite is the Escali food scale :)
Strawberry Nut-Butter Breakfast Bars
(Yield: 9 hearty or 12 healthy squares)
- 1 Tbsp cornstarch
- 2 Tbsp water
- 12 oz fresh strawberries, small diced
- 3 oz honey (agave)
- 1 Tbsp brown sugar
- ½ tsp lemon zest
- 2.65 oz brown sugar
- 1.2 oz rolled oats
- 0.80 oz sliced almonds
- 1 Tbsp flaxseed
- 1 oz coconut oil, melted
- 1 banana
- 1 blue scoop (1/3 cup) sunflower seed butter
- 1 blue scoop (1/3 cup) peanut butter
- 1 blue scoop (1/3 cup) almond butter
- 3 oz honey (agave)
- 2.7 oz applesauce
- 7.2 oz rolled oats
- 2 tsp Saigon cinnamon
*Preheat oven to 325°F degrees. Line an 8” square pan with aluminum foil and coat with cooking spray.*
- Stir together cornstarch with water until it has dissolved and a smooth mixture has formed. Set aside.
- Combine the diced strawberries, honey, and brown sugar together in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Let boil for 1-2 minutes.
- Remove from heat and stir in the cornstarch slurry as well as the lemon zest. Stir until thoroughly incorporated and set aside to thicken and cool.
- Start by combining brown sugar, rolled oats, sliced almonds, and flaxseeds together in a medium bowl.
- Add coconut oil and stir to combine. Set aside.
Crust + Assembly:
- Place banana in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment and beat until mostly mashed; a few chunks are okay.
- Add sunflower butter, peanut butter, almond butter, honey, and applesauce. Beat on low until well combined.
- Add rolled oats and cinnamon. Beat on low until thoroughly incorporated.
- Scoop dough into prepared pan and smooth into one even layer using an offset spatula.
- Spread strawberry filling on top of dough covering entirely.
- Bake for 10 minutes.
- After 10 minutes, remove from oven and sprinkle with crumble topping; place back in oven rotating the pan 180°.
- Bake for another 20 minutes or until crumble topping is lightly browned. Let pan cool on a wire rack until room temp. Then, place pan in refrigerator and let bars cool completely.
- Bars cut best after being refrigerated as their ooey gooey jam filling tends to ooze out if warm. Cut into 9-12 squares for serving.
- Eat, enjoy, and repeat all summer long!