Got hungry kids (or adults)? These super tasty oat bars are just the solution for on the go snacks without packing in a bunch of oil and sugar. These nutrient dense bars freeze well so you can double the batch and have some handy for a busy day. Enjoy as a quick, grab-and-go breakfast or to refuel after a workout.
Go Go Old Fashioned Oats!
Old fashioned oats, also known as rolled oats, provide many nutrients, including carbohydrate, protein and a small amount of natural fat. Because it contains the oat germ, it is rich in minerals, such as calcium, iron, phosphorus, potassium and zinc.
The nutrient composition of oats is well-balanced. They are a good source of carbs and fiber, including the powerful fiber beta-glucan. They are also a good source of high quality protein, with a good balance of essential amino acids
Oats have 51 grams of carbs, 13 grams of protein, 5 grams of fat, and 8 grams of fiber in 1 cup. This same serving has only 303 calories. This means that oats are among the most nutrient-dense foods you can eat.
Oats are also loaded with beneficial compounds, including antioxidants and beta-glucan, a type of soluble fiber linked to health benefits. For example, the beta-glucan found in oats is effective at lowering both “bad” LDL and total cholesterol, which may help keep your heart healthy.
But what about the Bran?
When you eat rolled oats, you consume the entire oat groat in flattened form. Oat bran, however, is made up of only the outer shell of the oat groat seed. It's high in fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, which may aid heart health, blood sugar control, bowel function, and weight loss.
Unlike rolled or steel cut oats, which are made from whole oat groats, oat bran is the nutritious, fiber-packed hull of the whole grain. While it has similar amounts of carbs and fat as regular oatmeal, oat bran boasts more protein and fiber — and fewer calories. It is especially high in beta-glucan, a powerful type of soluble fiber
Shopping and Storage Tips
The best type of old fashioned oats to choose is the steel cut variety. You should always look for fresh, dry oats that don't have a rancid odor. The term "rolled oats" can be confusing, as it's often used to mean all oat types from the quick or instant to the steel cut kind that takes longer to cook.
Oats have a higher fat content than other cereal grains and can go rancid if on the shelf for too long. Buy oats in small amounts and store them in a tightly covered container in a cool, dry place.
Store oat bran in a tightly sealed container in a cool, dark and dry place. To prolong its shelf life, you can also store oat bran in the fridge or freezer. You can cook with oat bran directly out of the freezer - no thawing required!
If you're on a gluten-free diet, look for oats that are certified gluten-free. Though oats themselves don't contain gluten, they can get tainted with gluten when they're being processed or growing.
Go Go Oat Bars Recipe
1 cup old fashioned oats
1 cup oat bran
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/2 cup unsweetened plant milk
1/3 cup almond butter
1/4 cup raisins or golden raisins
1 tablespoon maple syrup (optional)
2 teaspoons cinnamon
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Mix dry ingredients together.
Add wet ingredients and mix well.
Spoon mixture into silicone bar pan
Bake for 45 minutes.
Note: raisins without oil are getting harder to find - golden raisins don’t usually have oil added.
Swap pumpkin puree for the applesauce, add pumpkin pie spice instead of the cinnamon. Add walnuts, pumpkin seeds or hemp hearts. Any nut butter will work in place of the almond butter. Use gluten-free oats and swap the oat bran for gluten-free oat flour to make these gluten-free. Have fun with this recipe - make it your own! I got the bar pan at Michael’s - Amazon has it as well.