Nutty Apple Oat Bars

These hearty and chewy breakfast bars are filled with apples, nuts, peanut butter, and oats!

Autumn is definitely my favorite season. The leaves change into beautiful shades of orange and red, and the food is all about warm flavors and spices.

Most of all, it’s apple season! Granted, my family eats apples throughout the year, but during fall I like to add them to as many dishes as possible.

My healthy breakfast bars are filled with apples and dates for sweetness, and peanut butter and almonds for extra protein, healthy fats, and nuttiness.

Then whole oats and oat flour are both mixed in to help the bars hold their shape and become chewy.

Chewy apple oat bars.

Another way to achieve a good texture is to allow the oats to sit overnight, or for at least a few hours.

This allows all the moisture to be absorbed so the oats become soft and chewy, not mushy or cake-like.

Plus, by assembling it the night before, you will save time the next morning!

How to Make Healthy Breakfast Oat Bars

Start by lining an 8 or 9 inch square baking dish with parchment paper. Lightly grease it (check out my tips on using butter wrappers) and set it aside.

Then cut 1-2 medium apples into halves or quarters. Place the apple chunks into a food processor and pulse a few times until they are chopped into small pieces. You can also dice or grate them by hand. Transfer to a medium bowl.

Into the same food processor, add 1 cup of rolled oats, 5-7 pitted dates, and 1/4 cup whole almonds. Pulse a few times and then completely grind the mixture for 1-3 minutes until it resembles flour.

Ground up oat flour in food processor.

Transfer the oat flour to the bowl with the apples and add in 1 cup whole rolled oats, 2 tablespoons of peanut or almond butter, 2 whole eggs, 2 tablespoons sweetener, 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla, and 1/4-1/2 teaspoon salt.

Mixture of oats, eggs, and apples.

Spread the mixture into the baking dish and use the back of a spoon or your hand to press it down until it is even.

Cover and chill in the fridge for at least 2-3 hours or overnight. It needs to sit long enough for the oats to absorb extra moisture.

When ready to bake, take the baking dish out of the fridge and preheat oven to 350℉. Bake for 22-24 minutes or until the top is firm and lightly golden.

Cool about 10 minutes before cutting. I cut the bars into eight rectangular pieces or sixteen small squares.

Like many of my breakfast recipes, these aren’t meant to taste overly sweet or like a dessert. The sweetness in the bars comes solely from the fruits and oats.

If your family prefers something sweeter or more dessert-like, add a few tablespoons of honey or maple syrup in addition to the dates. You can also eliminate the dates if you don’t have any or don’t like them.

For a vegan version, substitute the eggs with flaxseed by mixing 2 tablespoons ground flaxseed with 5 tablespoons water and letting it sit for 5 minutes until it thickens.

You can spruce up these bars with stir-ins like grated coconut, pecans or walnuts, raisins, etc., if desired.

Then individually wrap each one and freeze for breakfast-on-the-go or a quick snack.

Anyway you slice it (pun intended), apple bars are a sure way to get you into the fall spirit!

What My Kids Say:
10 year-old: “Nice and chewy, burst of apple sweetness!”
7 year-old: “It smells good and tastes good.”

Here are other breakfast recipes using oats

Fluffy Oat Pancakes
These are easy enough for kids to make.
Check out this recipe
Joby's Test Kitchen plate with stack of golden oat flour pancakes topped with blueberry compote.
Golden Oat Flour Waffles
These waffles made with oat flour are crispy on the outside and light and fluffy on the inside.
Check out this recipe
Joby's Test Kitchen stack of 3 golden oat flour waffles.
Baked Blueberry Oatmeal
Oats, maple syrup, and blueberries are baked into a chewy and cake-like oatmeal.
Check out this recipe
Square piece of baked blueberry oatmeal on plate, next to cup of coffee.
Oat Flour Crepes with Walnut and Date Filling, and Sautéed Apples
Fluffy oat crepes filled with walnuts and dates, and then topped with sautéed apples.
Check out this recipe
Joby's Test Kitchen oat flour crepes on a plate with apples, walnuts and dates filling, and sour cream.

Joby's Test Kitchen apple oat bars on cutting board

Nutty Apple Oat Bars

Joby’s Test Kitchen
These chewy and soft bars are filled with apples, nuts, peanut butter, and oats making them the perfect breakfast or after-school snack!
Prep Time 3 hours 15 minutes
Cook Time 24 minutes
Total Time 3 hours 39 minutes
Course Breakfast
Cuisine American
Servings 8 bars
Calories 191 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 2 cups (200g) rolled oats, divided
  • 1-2 small apples, cut into large chunks
  • 5-7 (32-40g) dates, pits removed
  • ¼ cup (30g) whole almonds
  • 2 tbsps (32g) peanut or almond butter
  • 2 whole eggs
  • 2 tbsps maple syrup or honey, optional (I don't add any)
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • ¼ tsp salt

Optional Stir-Ins:

  • ¼ cup (30g) raisins and/or dried cranberries
  • ¼ cup (30g) walnuts and/or pecans
  • ¼ cup (30g) grated coconut

Instructions
 

  • Line a 8-9 inch square baking dish with parchment paper. Set aside.
  • Place the apple chunks Into a food processor and pulse a few times until they are chopped into small pieces. Transfer to a bowl.
  • Next add 1 cup oats, dates, and almonds into the food processor. Pulse a few times and then grind for 1-3 minutes until it resembles flour.
  • Transfer mixture to the bowl with the apples and add the remaining 1 cup oats, peanut or almond butter, eggs, sweetener (if using), cinnamon, vanilla, and salt. Mix well until combined. Add any stir-ins if desired.
  • Spread the mixture into the baking dish and using the back of a spoon or your hand, press it down until it is even. Cover and chill in the fridge for at least 2-3 hours or overnight. It needs to sit long enough for the oats to absorb extra moisture.
  • When ready to bake, take the baking dish out of the fridge and preheat oven to 350℉. Bake for 22-24 minutes or until the top is firm and lightly golden. Cool about 10 minutes before cutting.

Notes

Vegan Version: Substitute eggs with flaxseed. Mix 2 tablespoons ground flaxseed with 5 tablespoons water and let it sit for 5 minutes until it thickens.
Sweetness: The sweetness in the bars comes solely from the fruits. If you prefer it sweeter, add a few tablespoons of honey or maple syrup in addition to the dates. Or eliminate the dates if you don’t have any or don’t like them.
Keyword apples, breakfast, oats, peanut butter

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