Healthy Strawberry Oat Squares with Homemade Jam

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I wouldn’t call myself a procrastinator in most areas of my life, with the exception of a few things such as business taxes, receipt entering, and organizing my Recipes page. I usually accomplish my tasks before they are ‘due’ without feeling in a panic and I also like to arrive early for meetings, appointments, and dates. Yesterday, my Project Food Blog entry was almost finished by mid-afternoon, save for a few last minute edits. It wasn’t due until 6pm, so I had time on my side. I started working on other things and all of a sudden it was 5:40pm. Eric said, worried, ‘Aren’t you going to upload your post?’

I figured I still had quite a bit of time left so I kept working on things. At 5:45pm and I hit publish, thinking nothing of it.

And that is when I realized that our internet connection was dead.

Stay calm.

Luckily, after a few minutes the internet started to work again! I thought all was fine and dandy and I hit publish again. Painful minute after painful minute passed and it still had not uploaded. We have a very slow internet connection and I was convinced that Live Writer was going to time out on me. Finally, it posted at 5:58pm and I submitted the post in my Foodbuzz profile. I was just under the wire by mere seconds.

Moral of the story: Never put your faith in technology. It will go wonky at the last second and your blood pressure will go through the roof.

If this stress-inducing episode occurs, you can comfort yourself by making oat squares, with a healthy twist. I had strawberries leftover from the dessert pizza I made on the weekend, but you could also use pre-made jam too.

Or just eat Peanut Butter Chocolate Ganache and call it a day. Both methods are completely acceptable.

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Healthy Strawberry Oat Squares with Homemade Jam

Ever since I was a young girl, I have loved strawberry oat bars and I would often have Strawberry nutrigrain bars in my lunches. While these squares aren’t a nutri-grain bar, the taste is similar. I have made this popular square much healthier, cutting the sugar and butter by half, and of course, it is vegan too. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do. You won’t be able to stop at just one. Or three!

print this recipe!

Adapted from Food.com.

Ingredients:

For Oat Base:

  • 1.5 cups regular oats
  • 1 cup whole-grain Kamut flour (or mix of white and whole wheat)
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 cup Sucanat sugar (or brown sugar)
  • 1 chia egg (1 tbsp chia seeds+ 4 tbsp warm water, mixed)
  • 1/2 cup + 2 tbsp Earth Balance, melted
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp almond milk
  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds (for topping only)

 

For Strawberry chia seed Jam:

Ingredients:

  • 2 & 1/4 cups chopped strawberries, finely chopped into 1/4 inch pieces OR approx 1 cup pre-made jam
  • 3-4 tbsp sugar, to taste (liquid or dry sweeteners will work)
  • 1-2 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

 

Directions: Preheat oven to 350F. Line a square pan (I used a 9×9) with parchment paper and oil the sides of the pan and base.

For the jam: In a medium sized pot, add the chopped strawberries and sugar. Heat over medium until the strawberries begin to sweat and it gets a bit watery. Once it cooks down a bit, add in the chia seeds, and stir well. Bring to a low boil and then simmer over low to medium heat for at least 10-15 minutes. Once it has thickened a bit, remove from heat, stir in the vanilla, and cool for 15-30 mins (you can pop it in the fridge or freezer to cool quicker). I like to add the mixture to a mini food processor and process it until mostly smooth.

In a small bowl, mix the chia or flax egg and set aside. In a large bowl, mix the oat base dry ingredients: oats, flour, Sucanat/brown sugar, baking soda, salt. In a small bowl, mix the melted earth balance, maple syrup, almond milk, and chia egg. Stir well. Add the wet mixture to the dry and mix well, using hands if necessary. Set aside 1/2 cup of the dough for the topping. Pour the oat mixture onto the square pan and press down with fingers. Use a pastry roller to smooth out if desired. Pour on strawberry mixture and smooth out. Now sprinkle on the reserved 1/2 cup oat mixture and sprinkle on. Now sprinkle on 1 tbsp of sesame seeds or coconut. Bake at 350F for approximately 30 minutes. Allow to fully cool for at least 30-40 minutes before gently removing from pan. Slice and then store in a container in the fridge to keep firm.

In my first attempt at making the strawberry ‘jam’ I added in a tablespoon of cornstarch after about 10 minutes of cooking. I was left with clumpy white bits of cornstarch throughout. Flop #1. I think I should have thinned it out with a bit of water first.

Second batch:

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For the second batch of jam, I thickened it up with chia seeds! Arrowroot powder might work well too.

Spread your delicious crumbly mixture into the pan:

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Roll it out if you are obsessed with your Dollarstore pastry roller like I am.

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Mmmm. Smooth and lovely.

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Spread on your cooled jam:

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crumble on the oat mixture that you set aside…

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Sprinkle on sesame seeds or coconut to make it really pop.

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Bake for about 30 minutes at 350F.

That’s what I’m talking about.

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Slice into 16 squares.

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or you can make bars and wrap them up for lunch!

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You will not be able to eat just one. Three if you are lucky. I had to shove these into the freezer asap. ;)

They are delicious.

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I’m thinking you could have a lot of fun with this recipe. More fun than should be legal perhaps. You could try making blueberry, raspberry, or even peach jam! I am getting excited just thinking about the possibilities…

Update: A comment below suggested making these with pumpkin butter! That would be wickedly delicious and seasonally appropriate to boot.

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{ 23 comments… read them below or add one }

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Alicia May 7, 2017

Made blackberry/blueberry/strawbwerry jam, substituted soy flour, didn’t put the extra dough on top and instead subbed sunflower seeds. They’re in the oven now filling up my kitchen with delicious smells!

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Andrea Price April 7, 2017

I tried it and they were super moist which I guess was ok I also added a bit of coconut flour. Rather than rolling out the dough I spread it like cookie dough.

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Andrea Price March 28, 2017

Do you think I could substitute almond flour?

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Angela Liddon April 7, 2017

Hi Andrea, Almond flour doesn’t contain gluten (a binder) which kamut flour does, so I wouldn’t suggest swapping it for all of the flour in the recipe. You might be able to get away with swapping a small portion of the flour for almond flour though. It would be an experiment for sure. If you try anything please let us know how it goes!

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Julianne Childers December 5, 2016

Is there a typo in the dry ingredients or ??? mine is much wetter then your photos.

thx!

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Rachel klassen June 20, 2016

Hi. I’m using your cookbook recipe for the strawberry chia jam. Do you think it would freeze well ? I’m thinking of making a few batches as I have an 18 month old so pressed for time :)

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Angela Liddon July 15, 2016

Hi Rachel, I totally get being pressed for time with a little one running around, especially when they are at your feet while you cook! ;) Chia seed jam freezes so well! I love to portion my fresh jam into a silicone mold (such as this one) for easy, individual portions. Once frozen, pop the frozen cups out of the mold and place them into an airtight freezer bag. They will store well for a month or longer. I will often thaw some in the fridge overnight, or simply at room temperature. You can also throw a frozen cube or two into the pot when making hot oatmeal for a bit of extra flavour. This might sound weird, but I actually love eating the frozen chia seed jam straight from the freezer (like a popsicle). It’s soooo good!

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LaKerie April 6, 2016

My husband sent me to your 15 vegan recipes to try and I’ve tried at least 5 so far; you are a God sent! I have a family of 6 (we have 4 boys ranging from 6mos-9) and my husband and I have decided to try to go vegan for a while to see if we can stick with the lifestyle change (although still allowing the boys to eat chicken and fish). Your recipes really help as both my husband and children can deal with vegan when the food taste so delicious! I’m making this today, but instead of rolled oats, using the gluten free; also, used gluten free flour. So far very tub g is tasting yummy and I’m so excited. Thanks also for introducing chia seeds. Always were afraid to try by loving the taste and texture it brings!

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Angela Liddon April 7, 2016

Hi LaKerie, I’m so happy you’re finding my recipes helpful as you and your family transition into a vegan lifestyle. I’m wishing you all the best on the journey–I hope it’s fun and delicious!

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fran March 8, 2016

When
is the vanilla added?

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Angela Liddon March 18, 2016

Hi there! You can stir in the vanilla right after you’ve removed the thickened jam from the heat.

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Laura December 5, 2015

Hi :)

Do you have a substitute for the vegan butter to make it oil free? Maybe apple sauce? And how much would you use?

Thanks!!!

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Jenna November 11, 2015

Anyway to make this glutton free?

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Michelle October 14, 2015

I don’t see where the vanilla comes in for the jam!

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Diana August 12, 2015

This was delicious!

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Dana Haugen July 26, 2015

Do you think it would work to put the jam up in jars and water bath them (to be able to store them in a pantry)? I have a case of peaches and would love to have this flavor throughout the year.

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Belinda July 2, 2015

Would it be ok if I didn’t use the chia egg ??

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Hailey June 18, 2015

I had a whole bunch of strawberries that HAD to be used today and I was really excited when I found this recipe! Unfortunately I found another flour inbalance. I’m not sure if it has to do with sea levels (I’m on the west coast right at sea level) but there have been a few osg recipes where the I find myself having to add a significant amount of flour to get the desired texture. Took about another cup and a half and a handful of oats to make this dough even close to crumbly/non-sticky. Wonder why that is? Has anyone else had this problem?

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Jennifer March 31, 2015

I’m making these right now. I’m making my own jam with blueberries and strawberries. Just a side note~ corn starch does work. You have to mix the corn starch with some cold water then add it to your hot mixture. Works beautifully. Can’t wait for the bars to be done!

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Shannon March 25, 2015

Hi Angela
If I wanted to make these peanut buttery….would you think subbing PB for the margarine would work or would that be a disaster?

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Jess GB March 8, 2015

Yummy organic strawberries were on sale at the store so I bought a bunch and decided to give this recipe a try. These squares are delicious! I’ll be doing the jam again and might try the squares with blueberries and lemon. Thanks for this great recipe!

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kary March 6, 2015

Mine came out salty… :(.

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Amy February 23, 2015

These look amazing!

I wasn’t able to find kamut flour, so I got white sifted spelt flour( which I’ve never used before either….) , are there any adjustments I should make, or recommend NOT using this flour?
Thanks in advance, I LOVE your blog!

Reply

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