A question I’m often asked is, “What healthy snacks can I make at home & carry with me when I’m on the run?” I love creating recipes – especially snacks since they’re the most popular. When I create recipes, I start with a flavour profile then I experiment with random, nutrient-dense ingredients until I come up with something that’s worth sharing. Other times I scout out recipes then modify them by omitting the unhealthy items and adding nutrient-rich ingredients to boost the nutritional value.
To celebrate the end of summer, I squeezed in one last recipe with fresh strawberries and raspberries. While on a search, I stumbled upon this recipe from Love & Lemons (such an amazing food blog). I like the idea of having fruit bars to take on the go, but of course, in my usual style I modified the ingredients; I lowered the sugar content, included a protein-packed jam recipe, and added more healthy fats.
They kind of remind me of the Nutri-Grain Bars I ate growing up; except these Vanilla Berry Oat Bars are way better because they’re made with fresh, whole food ingredients. No carrageenan, white refined sugar, or natural and artificial flavours. Only body-loving ingredients here.
I like to prep these bars on Sunday and store them in the fridge to snack on during the week. I recommend refrigerating the bars until you eat them; since they’re made with coconut oil, they fall apart if they become too warm. They’re super delicious regardless if you eat them warm or cold.
Want to take it next level? Add almond butter and fresh berries, maybe even a spoonful of whipped coconut cream if you want to be decadent. You do you. You could also easily swap the berry jam for another delicious filling to keep this recipe flowing through the seasons. Maybe apple cinnamon is next!
This recipe isn’t labor intensive, I promise. I like to make double the amount of jam, that way it can be paired it with other foods. Try it as a topping for yogurt, blended into smoothies, spread on baked goods or straight up with a spoon.
- 1 ¾ cups fresh strawberries, chopped
- 1 ¾ cups fresh raspberries
- 1-4 Tbsp. maple syrup
- 2 Tbsp. chia seeds
- ½ tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 cup oat flour
- ¾ cup walnuts
- ¾ cup pecans
- ½ cup coconut sugar
- 5 Tbsp. coconut oil
- 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
- ¼ tsp. sea salt
- In a medium saucepan, add the strawberries, raspberries and maple syrup. Bring to a low boil, stirring frequently. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 5 minutes. Lightly mash berries with a fork, leaving some for texture.
- Add the chia seeds to the saucepan and stir to combine. Let the jam cook until the mixture thickens and reaches desired consistency, about 10-15 minutes. Stir frequently.
- Once the jam is thick, remove from heat and add the vanilla extract, and stir to combine. Let cool completely.
- Preheat oven to 350°F and line an 8x8 baking dish with parchment paper.
- In a food processor, pulse together the oat flour, walnuts, pecans, coconut sugar, cinnamon and sea salt until crumbly. Add the coconut oil and pulse until thoroughly mixed.
- Take ¾ of the mixture and press into the bottom of the pan. Place pan in the oven and bake for 10-15 minutes, or until edges are golden brown. Remove from oven and cool completely.
- Spread a layer of jam evenly on top of crust.
- Using your hands, crumble the remaining mixture on top of the jam, and bake for 10-15 minutes.
- Let bars cools before lifting out of parchment paper and slicing.
- Serve and enjoy! Or store in the fridge for later snacking.
For more healthy inspiration and delicious recipes, be sure to follow me on my Instagram Account. I’m so excited for you to join in on all of my #DoTheDaniel adventures in Ottawa!
With love & gratitude,
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Photos by Hannah Rauhanen, CNP