This article first appeared on Well Plated.

Strawberry oatmeal bars are a healthier fruit dessert made with fresh strawberries, whole grain butter crumb topping, and a lightly sweetened vanilla glaze. This healthier oatmeal bars recipe is a favorite, because these delicious treats are easy to make and just 100 calories each!

Now that spring is in bloom, I wanted to re-share one of my and YOUR favorite healthy desserts, fresh Strawberry Oatmeal Bars!

These Strawberry Oatmeal Bars have become one of the most cherished recipes on my site over the years. I love hearing the different ways you’ve stumbled upon it, often through word of mouth, but equally as much because you were looking for healthy desserts under 100 calories, healthy desserts for kids, easy oatmeal bars, or (and perhaps best of all) healthy strawberry recipes you could feel completely justified eating for breakfast.

The Best Strawberry Oatmeal Bars. EVER.

A bewitching cross between a soft bar cookie and a streusel-topped crumb bar, these sweet treats are the perfect use for the fresh strawberries that are finally starting to make their way into grocery stores in big, juicy quantities.

(If you are looking for frozen strawberry recipes, these Strawberry Oatmeal Bars will work with them too! See the recipe notes for more details.)

The top and bottom “crust” of the oatmeal bars comes together in a single bowl, and since the recipe calls for melted, not softened, butter, you don’t even need to wait for the butter to come to room temperature first.

If you are looking for a strawberry oatmeal bars vegan recipe, many readers have successfully swapped coconut oil.

Our next easy oatmeal bar victory: Most strawberry oatmeal bar recipes require making the filling in a separate bowl; these fresh strawberry bars do not.

Once you’ve pressed the first crust layer into the pan, simply scatter the filling ingredients—diced strawberries, lemon juice, and a touch of sugar and cornstarch—right over it, then sprinkle the remaining oatmeal crumble on top.

In the oven, the strawberries “cook” into a bright, strawberry-pie-like filling that’s reminiscent of homemade strawberry jam.

Made with oatmeal, whole wheat flour, and little added sugar (the sweetness of these bars comes almost entirely from the fresh strawberries themselves), these healthy oatmeal bars are wholesome enough for breakfast or an afternoon snack. Try one warmed up with a dollop of Greek yogurt.

For those who prefer a sweeter take, a drizzle of vanilla glaze (recipe included below) sweetens the strawberry bars enough for dessert. (Another dessert option: these Strawberry Jam Bars!)

Though, if you feel the need to garnish them with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, you have my blessing to say “I do!”

 


Ingredients:

  •  1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats gluten free if needed
  •  3/4 cup white whole wheat flour— or substitute all-purpose flour or 1:1 baking flour to make gluten free
  •  1/3 cup light brown sugar
  •  1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  •  1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  •  6 tablespoons unsalted butter — melted (or substitute melted coconut oil to make vegan/dairy free)
  •  2 cups small-diced strawberries — about 10 ounces, divided
  •  1 teaspoon cornstarch
  •  1 tablespoon  freshly squeezed lemon juice — from about 1/2 small lemon
  •  1 tablespoon granulated sugar — divided
FOR THE VANILLA GLAZE (OPTIONAL BUT DELICIOUS, ESPECIALLY IF YOU PREFER A SWEETER BAR):
• 1/2 cup powdered sugar — sifted
•  1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
• 1 tablespoon milk — any kind you like

Instructions

1. Place a rack in the center of your oven and preheat to 375 degrees F. Line an 8×8-inch baking pan with parchment paper so that the paper overhangs two sides like handles.

2. In a medium bowl, combine the oats, flour, brown sugar, ginger, and salt. Pour in the melted butter and stir until it forms clumps and the dry ingredients are evenly moistened. Set aside 1/2 cup of the crumble mixture, then press the rest into an even layer in the bottom of the prepared pan.

3. Scatter half of the strawberries over the crust. Sprinkle the cornstarch evenly over the top, then sprinkle on the lemon juice and 1/2 tablespoon of the granulated sugar. Scatter on the remaining berries, then the remaining 1/2 tablespoon sugar. Sprinkle the reserved crumbs evenly over the top. You will have some fruit showing through.

4. Bake the bars for 35 to 40 minutes, until the fruit is bubbly and the crumb topping smells toasty and looks golden. Place the pan on a wire rack to cool completely (you can speed this process along in the refrigerator).

5. While the bars cool, prepare the glaze: In a medium bowl, briskly whisk together the powdered sugar, vanilla, and milk until smooth. Feel free to add more milk if a thinner consistency is desired. Using the parchment-paper handles, lift the bars from the pan. Drizzle with glaze, slice, and serve.

 


Recipe Notes

  • The recipe can be doubled and baked in a 9×13-inch baking pan. The bars will be a bit thicker but will still delicious. To make them gluten free, substitute the white whole wheat flour with a 1:1 baking mix like this one.
  • Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
  • To freeze, let the bars cool completely and do not glaze. Wrap tightly in plastic before placing in the freezer. Let thaw in the refrigerator and top with glaze before serving. (Bars can be frozen already glazed if needed.)

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