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 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 }

Erin October 18, 2010

Looks delish! This is another I have to try!

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Maddie October 18, 2010

Yum! Those look so good! I am going to try making them some time soon along with that amazing vegan pizza you made.
By the way, your photography is beautiful as always :D

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Sara October 18, 2010

I have a potluck tomorrow, so I decided it would be the perfect opportunity to make these bars, since they look so amazing. I used all whole wheat flour since I didn’t have any white flour, and I used agave instead of maple syrup because that was all I had. I also didn’t have any parchment paper so I greased the heck out of an aluminum baking tray and then pushed the whole thing out when they had cooled for 40 minutes. They turned out gooey and deliciously amazing. I almost don’t want to bring them to share because I want them all for myself! Thanks!

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Alexia @ Dimple Snatcher October 18, 2010

so glad everything worked out!
i’ve totally been there.
:)

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maya @ finding balance in tokyo October 19, 2010

Yum! Those look amazing. I used to make something similar with a frozen raspberry or apricot-fig filling, but it’s been ages since the last time I baked up a batch.

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Meagan October 19, 2010

Those look really good! I’m definitely saving this recipe to use in the future!

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Heidi - Apples Under My Bed October 19, 2010

This looks so beautiful! All the possibilities are getting me excited too! Yum :) Beautiful pics too.
Heidi xo

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Jemma @ Celery and Cupcakes October 19, 2010

These look delicious just like all of your recipes!

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LizLivingVegan October 19, 2010

That looks SO delicious! And the pictures are amazing. I bet these WOULD be good with pumpkin butter! yummy!

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Jackie October 19, 2010

Hey Angela,
I am a huge fan of your website. I just found it a couple of months ago and I have been reading the old posts starting from the beginning. I’m still on 5-18-2009 but I will get there hahaha . I keep up with the new posts too. ( I know I’m a huge creeper lol) Anyway all of your recipes look wonderful but I have a wheat intolerance and was wondering if you knew what kind of flour I could use instead of wheat/white /kamut (which I think has wheat in it). I just recently found out about these food intolerance’s which include wheat, soy, egg, corn, and dairy. It’s actually been a blessing in disguise because I have been eating 10,000x healthier and I have not binged in 2 months!!! I used to have a problem with binge eating and I think that is why I can relate to this website so much. Everything you post is so positive and inspiring and proves that healthy cooking can be delicious. Keep up the good work. But back to my question… do you have any suggestions?
Thanks!!! Have a wonderful day :)
-Jackie

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Angela (Oh She Glows) October 19, 2010

Thank you for your kind words! That is so cute you are reading old entries. I’d be scared at what I might find…haha. jk
I am afraid that I don’t know much about wheat free baking. I have heard that the Bob’s Red Mill gluten free all purpose baking flours work well as subs for many things.

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Terese October 19, 2010

Hi angela,
I love the idea of this recipie. Had a question, not such a fan of strawberry jam but thinking about apple (since i have quite a few laying around) would you add sugar to those two. Also i know you said you used a 9×9 pan..about how many bars did that yeild. I mean 9×9 isn’t huge but might be enough for my purposes

love the blog
thanks
Terese

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Dana October 19, 2010

Yummers Angela! I made these last night as soon as I got home & they are fantastic – just sweet enough and now I am eating one of them at work! Perfect recipe and I love it with Kamut – my fav flour! EXCELLENT recipe!

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Lindsay October 19, 2010

I needed to make something for a party tonight, and I “standard kitchen”-ized this… I guess real butter and egg and milk made more liquid than yours or half and half white&wheat flours and brown sugar absorbed it differently, but I had to had 3 more handfuls of oats to get any sort of crumbly texture. Also, totally spaced out and added baking soda instead of powder…so I just did both soda and powder, it made for a more fluffy base. And then for the crumbly top, I stirred in a quarter cup of almond butter, and sprinkled the whole deal with coconut. and I had to bake it longer too, ANYWOO, changed a lot, just wanted to tell you thanks for the inspiration and they turned out amazing…kinda like coffee cake!

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Shauna October 20, 2010

Same! I used real butter, egg, and milk and it wasn’t at all crumbly. I added a couple handfuls of oats but didn’t want to mess with it too much, so I’ve got something baking in the oven that’s more liquidy than granola bar-y. It’ll probably still be delicious… even if I end up eating it with a spoon! ;)

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May Cookie Co. October 19, 2010

Beautiful photos and a truly wholesome treat. I’m sure they taste as great as they look!

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Jenn October 20, 2010

Hi Angela – I tried making these last night with brown rice flour and pumpkin butter, as it was all I had on hand. But they completely fell apart. They looked so cute in the pan, but they were more like a crumble then a square. Although they still taste delicious, it makes it a little hard to pack up for work….would the brown rice flour have cause them not to bind together? Any suggestions?

Thanks!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) October 20, 2010

My guess is that it was the rice flour. I didn’t have any crumbly problems. I know brown rice flour can be a bit tempermental at times…
Goodluck if you try another batch! They are so tasty :)

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Jai October 21, 2010

Angela,
I tried making the oat squares and they turned out well, but I was wondering if your oat crust was crunchy or soft and chewy? I didn’t have a 9X9 pan so I used an 8X8 Pyrex glass dish so maybe that is why my oat crust came out soft and chewy. Still delicious though, keep the recipes coming!!! :)

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Angela (Oh She Glows) October 21, 2010

They weren’t crunchy, but they weren’t that soft either, I would say inbetween. You could try baking them a bit longer, perhaps?

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Jennifer October 22, 2010

I made a lot of substitution and my base came out a lot wetter than yours which made it hard to spread the jam and the topping wouldn’t crumble and the jam all sank to the bottom and OH MY GOD IT WAS SO DELICIOUS. :]

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KimC October 24, 2010

Just had to tell you I made these last week when you first posted them. Pictures were so great, and I had all ingredients on hand, so couldn’t resist. My husband polished them off last night (I only really got one bite of whole batch) and asked this morning if I could “pretty please” make some more, which I just did. Great recipe, have made both times as written, but look forward to trying variations in future too. Thanks for this and other great food ideas and inspiration.

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Charlotte October 26, 2010

oh dear i finally made these and actually followed your advice and SHOVED them in the freezer after three bars; who knows where i would be if i hadn’t?

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Amber April 17, 2012

My husband just made these using Waldoblackberry jam and I ate 3 in a row, these are SO SO SO good!!!!!! OH MY :)
Thank you for the recipe :)

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Angela (Oh She Glows) April 18, 2012

haha glad to hear that!

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Rebecca May 4, 2012

Hi,

I’m not sure if I’ve commented elsewhere but would you ever consider doing a recipe for a whole jar of homemade jam using little or no sugar and chia seeds as the thickening agent? I am intrigued by the use of chia seeds and would love to make my own jam- but I am not quite talented enough yet to try it on my own haha nor am I patient enough!

Thanks

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Angela (Oh She Glows) May 5, 2012

Great idea! :)

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Charlotte June 6, 2012

I just made these with my 8yr old daughter. She took care of all of the dry/wet mixture while I prepared the strawberries and greased the pan. It went great and now the smell is filling my house!
THX!!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) June 6, 2012

aw that’s cute! Hope you enjoy them

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Sara June 26, 2012

Hi Angela, I just saw this recipe after you posted the Magical Blueberry Vanilla Chia Seed Jam. I’m going on a trip this weekend and would like to make these to bring along for a quick airplane breakfast. Though I wanted to know if there is a way to substitute the sugar in the jam with maybe brown rice syrup or maple syrup? I usually try to put as little sugar as possible in my recipes and if I do I make sure it’s a natural source, I’m just not sure the jam would come out the same. What do you think?
PS. I’ve tried a few of your other recipes and they’re wonderful!!! Thanks!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) June 27, 2012

Yes for sure, please see my blueberry chia seed jam post from June 26th. I used maple syrup instead of cane sugar. Enjoy!

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Cindy Proctor June 27, 2012

Do you think I could sub the Kamut Flour for an all purpose GF flour? Or even quinoa flour?

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Angela (Oh She Glows) July 6, 2012

I cant see why not :)

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Maddy June 28, 2012

Hi Angela! I was just wondering if you had any suggestions on making these gluten free? Would oat flour or almond flour or an all purpose GF mix be best? Thanks!

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Chanelle July 6, 2012

These are amazing! I’ve made them a couple times now, and here’s the tweaks I use: For the oat base, I use a mix of spelt and whole wheat pastry flours. I also add in some TVP granules to up the protein a little. I also mix in about 1/4C teff. To the strawberry jam, I add just a touch (about 1/2-1 tsp) of balsamic vinegar. This makes the strawberry taste REALLY pop. If you use white balsamic, it also keeps the strawberries more of that beautiful bright red. Just mix it in at the same time you add the chia seeds. For the topping, instead of sesame, I sprinkle on some amaranth seeds. I absolutely adore the flavor of toasted amaranth :D

This is such a versatile recipe, a real gem! Thank you for harin it with us, Angela (you’re a hero in our household)

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Angela (Oh She Glows) July 6, 2012

Hey Chanelle, Thank you for your kind words! You are so sweet. I love the subs you made in this recipe….so unique! I never would have thought to put in balsamic but I can see how that would be amazing! I can’t wait to try this out.

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michelle August 2, 2012

I made your strawberry chia jam tonight and it turned out great! What a great way to use up berries.

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Melissa August 13, 2012

I recently came across your website while searching for jam recipes. I started a business making low sugar jams and jellies, and this just sounds DELICIOUS. So I am going to make them with OmNomNom Jam! I am crediting your recipe on our facebook page =) Thank you for the delicious idea!

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Karissa August 21, 2012

Just tried making this, but subsituted a gluten free flour mix since I can’t have wheat. The oat mixture wasn’t crumbly, rather was kind of runny. Its in the oven now, so I don’t know how its going to turn out, but curious if you have any remedies? Just add more flour to get the desired consistency? Also, is the Earth Balance supposed to be the buttery sticks or the shortening sticks? I used the buttery sticks. Thanks!

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Jimmy September 3, 2012

Please save some of this for me! The homemade jam most make it taste fantastic.

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Rose September 4, 2012

THANK YOU!!! My entire family has been enjoying your recipe since you first posted it. I make it three times a week to ensure I can at least get a small sliver for breakfast every morning. Have tried your jam recipe with blueberries and peaches as well and they were delicious. My only change out was using coconut oil instead of Earth Balance. I also added grated lemon peel into the oat mixture. DELICIOUS!!!!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) September 4, 2012

I’m so glad to hear that Rose!

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Caitlin September 5, 2012

Made these today and just finished my first square. These are amazing!! The jam smelled So GOOD while cooking. I was a bit worried because I was using an 8 x 8 dish and my mixture seemed a bit more wet than yours (I couldn’t sprinkle the 1/2 cup of oats on top, they kind of “glopped” on), so I cooked it an extra 5 minutes and it seemed to have worked!

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Jennifer Kemp October 28, 2012

Has anyone tried making these with frozen strawberries? Do they turn out as well as they do with fresh strawberries?

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Jennifer Kemp December 11, 2012

Someone may have already asked this question, but will these squares work with frozen strawberries? I love love love this recipe, but good quality strawberries are hard to find in the winter.

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Jennifer Kemp December 11, 2012

Hmm, it turns out I’ve already asked this question…sorry for the repetitiveness. I completely forgot that I asked you this in October.

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Rachel January 2, 2013

I just made these & they turned out terrific! They look beautiful and taste delicious. Definitely hit the spot without being too sweet. I subbed coconut oil for the Earth Balance. And I used a bag of organic frozen strawberries instead of fresh (it’s winter right now so no fresh available) to make the jam and it turned out well. Thanks for sharing his recipe! I’m going to try it next time making peach-ginger jam… Yum :)

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Britney A. Kreiner January 4, 2013

I just made these with my grandmother this evening as an impromptu dessert. We used a 9×9 pan as well, and it turned out a little bit too thick and soft for a bar–more cake-like and requiring a fork. We ate them fresh out of the oven and they were delicious, though my sweet-toothed grandfather was wishing for a scoop of ice cream on his. I think that with a little tweaking this will be my new go-to breakfast food. I’m thinking that the Earth Balance may be able to be replaced with apple sauce; I’ll have to play around with it. Apple butter, blackberry, and raspberry are all fillings I am looking forward to experimenting with. And I keep imagining it with banana slices and a chocolate drizzle…Yum!

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Kristen February 18, 2013

Has anyone tried making this with less sugar? I am trying to find good snacks for my 2 year old son, but am trying not to make them very sugary.

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Kristen March 4, 2013

Yum! I made these for the first time today and they were good. I didn’t have brown or even white sugar, so I just left that out completely. The recipe was plenty sweet without it. In fact, I still thought it was too sweet, and that was likely because I used pre-made jam rather than the recipe you posted. I used oat flour and the consistency seemed ok. The base was too wet, so I think next time I will go lighter on the Earth Balance; I tasted too much of that in the end result anyway. I’m not complaining; the end result was delicious, but as an afternoon snack, I think it needs to be a little less sweet for my son.

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Shannon March 21, 2013

Came across the blueberry jam recipe last year and want to make these this year with my freshly picked strawberries. Has anyone had luck using a gluten free flour? I’m not strictly GF but I like to try it with some recipes (when appropriate). Thanks!

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