Healthy Strawberry Oat Squares with Homemade Jam

210 comments

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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 and cool for 15 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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{ 210 comments… read them below or add one }

Heather (Heather's Dish) October 18, 2010

you have so much self-control – i don’t know if mine would have made it to the freezer! yum!

Reply

Teresa @ Teresa Tastes & Travels October 18, 2010

These loook delicious! Do you suppose they’d come out okay with all whole wheat flour?

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Lily @ Lily's Health Pad October 18, 2010

Why haven’t you been using whole wheat pastry flour lately?

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Angela (Oh She Glows) October 18, 2010

No reason, I just go through flour phases ;)

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Angela (Oh She Glows) October 18, 2010

hmm not sure. I think all w/w might make them a bit dry, but im not sure.

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Kristina @ spabettie October 18, 2010

these are BEAUTIFUL !! I am so glad I like strawberries again…

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Melissa October 18, 2010

I loved Strawberry Nutrigrain bars pre-vegan, too… These look like a delectable substitute and I can’t wait to make them! You’ve got my vote for Foodbuzz… I’m so glad you got your entry in!

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Bethany @ More Fruit Please October 18, 2010

Gah, technology – you can never count on it! Glad you met your deadline! The strawberry bars look delicious! I have to use the freezer trick on a lot of my baked goods too. That way I can pull out just one (alright, fine – I pull out more like three or four) at a time to snack on.

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Lily @ Lily's Health Pad October 18, 2010

These are like Nutri-grain bars! But natural and healthier! I think cherries or peaches sound like bar-worthy fruits!

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Jessica @ How Sweet It Is October 18, 2010

I love these because they are made with strawberry! I am not a huge fan of grape.

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Allie (Live Laugh Eat) October 18, 2010

I made fig bars much like these awhile back but never perfected the recipe–I guess I don’t need to anymore :). Thanks for saving me the work haha. I WANT that pastry roller! Oh my goodness. I would roll everything with that.

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Jessie October 18, 2010

These look delicious. I can’t wait to give them a try!!

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Caitlin October 18, 2010

these look delicious–nom nom nom!

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Megan @ Healthy Hoggin' October 18, 2010

Oh my gosh, I’d be so stressed about getting your post published in time, too! That’s happened to me before with work files that I needed to email… so stressful! Glad it all worked out okay!

And those strawberry oat squares look like they’d make ANYTHING better!! :)

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Tina @ Faith Fitness Fun October 18, 2010

I HATE when things like that happen. And they always happen at the most stressful times, don’t they? I’m so glad you got it published. You deserve to keep on going all the way through.

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Shanna October 18, 2010

Glad you beat the deadline! I’ve been dealing with my own tech issues all morning and I’m frustrated as can be!

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Freya October 18, 2010

Ooh they sound delicious and they LOOk delicious! So bright! I love it :)

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Holly @ couchpotatoathlete October 18, 2010

Oh geeze, I have all these ingredients at home, I guess I will have to make these!

Angela your foodbuzz post looks great — sorry to hear about tech problems, those are the worst!!!

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Ashley M. [at] (never home)maker October 18, 2010

I love that little pastry roller, too! We have a big party we’re throwing this weekend, and I’ve been looking for a healthy dessert to serve. I definitely am putting this one in the running. Or maybe just a huge bowl of the ganache!

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Maria @ Oh Healthy Day October 18, 2010

These remind me of Nutrigrain bars, you know, except the additives and preservatives. Super yummy looking!

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Therese October 18, 2010

Oh Angela, I love you…

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Angela (Oh She Glows) October 18, 2010

and I, you!

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Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat October 18, 2010

ooooh my. i may have to set those as my desktop background at work!!! they look delicious! that’s such a great idea to use chia seeds as a jam thickener. i’d never thought of it but it must really boost the nutrition too. :D i like it!

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Kate @ Walking in the Rain October 18, 2010

I loved nutrigrain bars when I was younger. These look more delicious and wholesome.

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erica October 18, 2010

omg. i’m such a sucker for anything strawberry related! that looks to die for!

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Mandy October 18, 2010

1/2 what of sucanat? I’m thinking 1/2 cup..but i just want to be sure :)

These look delicious btw. Going on my list of things to bake.

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Ashley October 18, 2010

These are GORGeous!!!!! Not to mention they sound outstanding. The cornstarch or arrowroot would work, but you have to whisk it with a little water and then add to the mix, which avoids the gross clumps! :)

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Laurab @ foodsnobstl October 18, 2010

Oh gosh, I definitely would of flipped out. I don’t stay calm under pressure. these look delicious, as does your vegan pizza. You have my vote!

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jenna October 18, 2010

oh my goshhhhhhhhh!! these look so good!!!! :) i’m starving for them now!

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jenna October 18, 2010

p.s. what do you do with all this food you make?

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Angela (Oh She Glows) October 18, 2010

I eat ALL of it. No one else. haha

jk…I share. Sometimes.

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Charlie October 18, 2010

When I was in elementary school, they gave us nutri-grain bars often as an afternoon snack. And I HATED them. I’ve never had the courage to try one again.

But these look incredible ;).

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lisasfoods October 18, 2010

1. I think you should make pumpkin oat squares, using your pumpkin butter. What could be more perfect this time of year?

2. That pastry roller is absolutely adorable.

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Angela (Oh She Glows) October 18, 2010

great idea!

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Lizzie October 18, 2010

In my job it’s BACK UP BACK UP BACK UP and SAVE SAVE SAVE, so I feel your pain with the tech issue.

Also . .. I got my kitchen back – 5 weeks after it was supposed to be finished. But it is finished nonetheless and now I can backtrack through all your posts and start tasting! :) Possibly with the above recipe. Reminds me of my mum’s raspberry coconut slice.

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Angela (Oh She Glows) October 18, 2010

So glad your kitchen is ready to roll!

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Lizzie October 18, 2010

Thanks lady!

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Jodie October 18, 2010

Yummy yum yum I am drooling again. Your recipes tend to do that. :) I will try this recipe this weekend. I think I may try with guava jelly.

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Sonja October 18, 2010

OMG, you are amazing! Every recipe you come up with looks so delicious.
You totally have my vote for the project foodblog. And i´m spreading the word here in Germany to have all of my friends vote for you!

P.S.: I will make the vegan pizza tomorrow!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) October 18, 2010

Thank you! Every vote helps.
I hope you enjoy the vegan pizza…I already cant wait to make it again!

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Claire (Low Impact Fashionista) October 18, 2010

Love the vibrant color of these bars! They look and sound delicious.

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traci October 18, 2010

Looks Yummy!

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Jo @JAGSfitnessblog.com October 18, 2010

Wow, these look amazing! So glad you got your entry in on time :)

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Mary @ Bites and Bliss October 18, 2010

I LOVE jam bars!! And it’s even better these are made with homemade jam. Yumm yum!

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Jenny October 18, 2010

OH my gosh, I have to try this ASAP!

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Emily October 18, 2010

Yummm!! These look awesome, sooo summery though, you have me seasonally conflicted (I know you can appreciate the psych humor). I think apple or pumpkin would be fun for fall…or maybe even cranberry!

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Camille October 18, 2010

Oh my gosh, that is so scary!
I probably would have started crying :/

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Amanda October 18, 2010

Just came across your blog from Meesh (Michelle). Those bars look excellent!

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Leah @ Why Deprive? October 18, 2010

These look incredible!!

Im always so worried about my internet going down. When my blackberry doesnt have a signal I dont know what to do with myself.

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