On The Glow Basic Oatmeal Squares

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IMG 6373   On The Glow Basic Oatmeal Squares

There are fancy squares and then there are not-so-fancy squares.

These are the not-so-fancy squares. In fact, they are downright boring, but the beauty is you can dress them up anyway you like. Just like a basic bowl of oatmeal, these squares can be changed up on a whim.

My goal was to make a basic everyday oatmeal square for on-the-go breakfasts or snack attacks. They aren’t super sweet or bursting with chocolate and fancy mix-ins, although, you could make them that way if you wanted too! Filled with flax, chia, and whole grains, it’s functional food at its finest. The nutritional stats are also impressive packing in 7 grams of fibre and 6 grams of protein per large square.

Despite eating half the batch, I actually made these for Eric (remember that guy who loathes oatmeal?). He’s been insanely busy with his new role at work and now spends the better part of his days trapped in meetings without any healthy food on hand.

His options in meetings are usually the following: 1) cookies the size of his face, 2)  pizza, or 3) a muffin the size of his butt (which is cute and perfectly rounded).

While it’s true that he loathes traditional oatmeal, if I bake it up in a square he’s all over it. And by all over it, I mean he needed to slather Earth Balance all over the square before deeming it perfect. Like I said, these can be dressed up any way you want…

IMG 6363   On The Glow Basic Oatmeal Squares

On The Glow Basic Oatmeal Squares

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Think of this oatmeal square as basic baked oatmeal that can be dressed up any way you like. Each large square contains a tablespoon of flax and a teaspoon of chia seeds as well as 7 grams of fibre and 6 grams of protein. Feel free to add in nuts, dried fruit, chocolate, and other mix-ins as you desire. Just be careful about frozen fruit. When I made a trial with frozen blueberries they became quite soggy. Use fresh blueberries and you should be fine.

Yield: 9 large squares

Ingredients:

  • 2.5 cups regular rolled oats (not instant oats), divided (use certified gluten-free if necessary)
  • 3 tbsp chia seed
  • 1/2 cup + 1 tbsp ground flax
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1.5 cups almond milk (or other milk)
  • 1/2 cup pure maple syrup (or other liquid sweetener)
  • 2 tbsp nut or seed butter
  • 1 banana, chopped small
  • 1 tbsp pure vanilla extract
  • Dry sweetener, to taste if you want them a bit sweeter

 

1. Preheat oven to 350F and line an 8 inch square pan with two pieces of parchment paper.

2. In a blender or food processor, blend/process 1 cup of the oats until a flour forms. Or you can just use 1 cup of oat flour.

3. In a large bowl, mix together the dry ingredients: oat flour, 1.5 cups rolled oats, chia, flax, baking powder, salt, cinnamon. In a smaller bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients: milk, syrup, nut/seed butter, banana, vanilla until no clumps remain. Add wet to dry and stir until combined. Add dry sweetener to taste if desired. Fold in any nuts or dried fruit that you desire.

4. Pour mixture into prepared pan and smooth out. Bake for 35-40 minutes until lightly golden along edge and it springs back slowly when touched. I baked them for 40 minutes, but baking time may vary. Place pan on cooling rack for 10 minutes, carefully remove, and cool on rack before slicing.

Nutritional Info: (per square, makes 9 squares): 228 kcals, 9 grams fat, 110 mg sodium, 33 grams carbs, 7 grams fibre, 13 grams sugar, 6 grams protein.

IMG 6343   On The Glow Basic Oatmeal Squares

The first trial I made was with frozen blueberries (above). Unfortunately they made the bars quite soggy (although tasty). Fresh blueberries would probably be a better option, so I will try that in the summer when they are in season. Sadly, that is a long time away…as I sit here watching a snow storm outside my window!

For the second batch, I left out the blueberries to see if I could get the consistency a bit better.

IMG 6336   On The Glow Basic Oatmeal Squares

[Notice my hand writing is getting a bit neater? Ok not really, but I’m happy to say I now keep all my recipe trials in one notebook. No more scattered pages all over the house!]

Anywho, mix the dry ingredients together: ground flax, cinnamon, oats + oat flour (I ground up 1 cup of oats), chia seed, baking powder, and a touch of salt.

IMG 6332   On The Glow Basic Oatmeal Squares

Then the wet ingredients: pure maple syrup, almond milk, vanilla, nut/seed butter, and a chopped banana. Feel free to use another milk, nut/seed butter, and liquid sweetener if desired.

IMG 6375   On The Glow Basic Oatmeal Squares

Whisk together in another bowl, making sure to break up the nut/seed butter.

IMG 6337   On The Glow Basic Oatmeal Squares

Add the wet to dry and mix well.

I planned on adding chocolate, but discovered that I was all out. How does that even happen?

IMG 6345   On The Glow Basic Oatmeal Squares

Pour into an 8 inch square pan lined with two pieces of parchment paper.

IMG 6347   On The Glow Basic Oatmeal Squares

Bake for 35-40 minutes, cool, and enjoy! I baked them for 40, but I have a feeling that baking time will vary depending on the brand of oats used. I’ve found that some rolled oats absorb more liquid than others. Just watch it closely after 35 minutes. When it slowly springs back up when you press it, it should be good to go.

IMG 6350   On The Glow Basic Oatmeal Squares

These are very soft and fluffy with tiny bites of banana throughout. We found that they are a bit plain on their own, but I still managed to eat 3 in a row just to be sure. I like to slice the square in half and make a jam & sunflower seed butter sandwich.

IMG 6369   On The Glow Basic Oatmeal Squares

Note to self: restock chocolate chip supply stat.

Have a wonderful Friday!

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{ 252 comments… read them below or add one }

Cori January 20, 2012

These may rival your rustic banana cake that I make once a week for my nightly snacking. I’ll have these in the oven tonight! Love your recipes.

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Angela (Oh She Glows) January 20, 2012

Glad you are enjoying the banana cake! I’d say these are much less sweet, but maybe with chocolate they would be closer!

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carri January 21, 2012

samesies! i make
the oat cake
once a week for
MY nightly snack!
it is my FAVE with a
big glass of almond milk.
love it.
BEST!

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Willow @ My Own Trail January 20, 2012

These look fabulous! I’m definitely making a batch this weekend. They will be great as on the go snacks and breakfast for my two kiddos (and me).

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Heather @ Better With Veggies January 20, 2012

These are awesome – I love basic recipes for on-the-go snacks that you can dress up as needed! Love the pics of these turned into a nut butter sandwich (at least I think that’s what that is!). =)

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Jeanelle @ Glocal Girl January 20, 2012

yum yum yum love stuff like this! Its just so hard to find these ingredients easily in Holland :( Miss the convenience of American stores!

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Amanda January 20, 2012

These sound great! I love that they’re easily adapted to whatever ingredients you feel like or have on hand. I often find myself making the same old old bars for snacks during the week, and that gets old pretty fast.

Also, “muffins the size of his butt”. Great line, and so true! haha

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Raychel January 20, 2012

If I don’t like banana in baked goods could I try subbing applesauce? I know it works at other times.

Thanks!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) January 20, 2012

I can’t see why not, although you might not need to use much at all since I cut the banana into chunks instead of mashing it. Let me know if you try that out!

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Brittany January 24, 2012

I just made this Sunday and totally forgot about the banana. It still turned out great! I expected it to be super dense (once I realized my mistake) but it wasn’t! :)

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Eve September 24, 2012

Chunks of apple instead of applesauce might work.

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Lindsey @ happyhoneycrisp January 20, 2012

these look great! The ingredients in the recipe are so simple, I feel like they would be a breeze to whip up. I am a lover of baking and cooking, but I live in a dorm at college right now so it’s hard to find outlets for these passions. I could definitely make these in my dorm’s kitchen though, and I think I have all the ingredients on hand, minus the baking powder and vanilla. Thanks for sharing, hopefully I’ll try these soon!

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Adina January 20, 2012

Lindsey-
I’m in the dorms too! I definitely feel your pain. I’ve found it easy to do no-bake “baked goods” and granolas. I also buy basic ingredients like veggies that I can steam and things I can cook in a rice cooker so I still get a little taste of creativity with adding spices and trying new combinations. I think its a fun challange. Your dorm has a kitchen? Jealous! I would be in there all the time if mine had one!
i’m totally going to make these too.
THANKS ANGELA FOR HELPING US COLLEGE KIDS OUT! :) I love how simple and delicious your recipes are.

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Laura @ Sprint 2 the Table January 20, 2012

I actually really like basic oatmeal squares. That with a glass of almond milk looks like the perfect afternoon snack. I love how thick and chewy these look.

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Ashley - Freshly Vegetarian January 20, 2012

These delicious lookin things remind me of the date crumb squares we serve at the vegan restaurant I work at, Candle Cafe in NYC. Have you made it there yet?

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Ashley - Freshly Vegetarian January 20, 2012

Oh, and here’s a link to the date crumb squares (the recipe is off somehow, as I made them from the following and they turned out far drier/crumblier than the ones in the cafe): http://www.peta.org/living/vegetarian-living/recipes/date-crumb-squares.aspx

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Angela (Oh She Glows) January 20, 2012

So awesome that you work there! Unfortunately I didn’t make it when we were in NYC, but it’s definitely on my list. Anything date & crumb is a-ok with me. ;)

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Ashley - Freshly Vegetarian January 21, 2012

I’m sure you’ll keep us posted for when you’re next trip to NYC will be, but feel free to drop me an email, so I can alert them that my one of my favorite foodies is a’comin!

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Lindsay @ The Reluctant Runner January 20, 2012

I’m loving all these healthy bars and cookies you have coming our way! The protein in these is impressive! I will definitely be making a batch!

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danica January 20, 2012

This looks awesome! Is there anyway you could add an “email it to somebody” option on your links? Thanks!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) January 20, 2012

I’m hoping to have that feature soon, just waiting to hear from Recipage if my recipes can be backed up before using their code.

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Sara Best January 20, 2012

I have some travel for work coming up and was panicking about what I could make to bring with me to avoid all that horrible airport/airplane/hotel food. I’m totally making a batch of these to wrap and bring in my suitcase. Thank you!!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) January 20, 2012
Heather January 20, 2012

I would love to make these for my son but he doesn’t like bananas. What do you think would make a good sub for the banana??

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Angela (Oh She Glows) January 20, 2012

a bit of applesauce maybe?

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Kinley @ Better Off Barefoot January 20, 2012

Oh that ooey gooey first picture looks delicious! I might have to try making these to bring to work as my afternoon snack!

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Christine (The Brighter Side of Life) January 20, 2012

Hmmm… I was going to try my hand at your Oh Mega Carrot Cake Breakfast Cookies today, but maybe I’ll do these first instead. We love to have healthy snacks on hand (which is a good thing because we love snacking!) and these both look like good, guilt-free options.

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Curly J January 20, 2012

Angela’s Carrot Cake Breakfast Cookies are AMAZING. I brought a batch camping this past summer, and my totally NOT healthy friends, went NUTS over them!!!! :)

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Christine (The Brighter Side of Life) January 20, 2012

Update… I went for the breakfast cookies and they’re GREAT! I confess that I managed to scarf down two in about a 5-minute period. Oops. Should have doubled the batch. Oatmeal squares will be next, maybe this weekend. :-)

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Angela (Oh She Glows) January 20, 2012

glad to hear that Christine!

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Tara January 20, 2012

First – these looke delicious and I’m making them this weekend for breakfast next week.

Second – I own that bright pink spoon you’ve got! I bought it at a kitchen store that was going out of business in Burlington, ON – I scored quite the deal and was very excited. My ladle and pasta stir-er match as well!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) January 20, 2012

Nice! They are cheery, no? I think I got my at Cayne’s superstore

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Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat January 20, 2012

These are so cute! I love having on-the-go squares or bars, and am planning to play with some of my protein bar recipes this weekend if I get a chance because my stocks are running low! PS. Love your aviators too! :)

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Addie January 20, 2012

I really adore your blog and recipes! You are very talented. Thanks for sharing your story!

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Lexi @ Cura Personalis Foodie January 20, 2012

Out of chocolate chips?! At least you have oatmeal bars instead :)

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Sarena (The Non Dairy Queen) January 20, 2012

Ok, I love that you stacked these and made them dressed up! Great idea. I bake oatmeal all the time here not because anyone hates it here, but it’s a great way to change up basic oats and add protein to them! I’ve been making a peanut butter fudge topping on mine with peanut flour, stevia and cocoa powder…it tastes sinful, but it’s so good for you! Your oat squares look perfectly delicious!

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The Mrs @ Success Along the Weigh January 20, 2012

My grocery list for Sunday just got longer! Enjoy your weekend!

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Cait's Plate January 20, 2012

Oh my Angela – there are NO words for how incredible these look!!

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Stepf January 20, 2012

Those look great. My boyfriend would love these. He slathers jam and nut butter on everything. :) I know what you meant by functional food, but that’s not quite what that term means: http://www.eatright.org/About/Content.aspx?id=8354 A “functional” food is one that is fortified, enhanced or enriched as a way to make a specific health claim about its nutritional content. Ex: Yogurt with added fiber. Just sharing. :)

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Angela (Oh She Glows) January 20, 2012

Hey Stepf, Yes I am aware of that definition, but here I was referring to functional as being “practical”. :)

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Liz @ Tip Top Shape January 20, 2012

It looks like the perfect on-the-go breakfast!

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geosomin January 20, 2012

Mmm. I love baked oatmeal and this looks like a healthified version of my mum’s recipe.
These will be on the weekend breakfast menu for sure. Thanks :)

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Emily (Edible Psychology) January 20, 2012

Making my own bars is on my to-do list this weekend! Thanks for the inspiration. :-)

~Emily~

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Ashley Dodge January 20, 2012

These look delicious-and perfect for on the go breakfast! I should make these for my little sister that I live with- she’s starting her second term of college on Monday and barely ever eats breakfast:(

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Faith @ For the Health of It January 20, 2012

Ange I’m so jealous that you have all these wonderful opportunities to bake. I don’t remember the last special treat I made – I think this weekend I’m going to make a special attempt to make these bars {and maybe another one of your cookie recipes}.

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LizAshlee January 20, 2012

Ooh, I love oat bars-so simple and healthy!!!

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Lauren @ Oatmeal after Spinning January 20, 2012

I have such a weakness for pb+j- the first photo totally grabbed my attention (and made my mouth water!). I love this version of the classic!
Can’t wait to try this one out. :)

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Leanne @ Healthful Pursuit January 20, 2012

Yum! I know what you mean about the cookies as big as your face. I can’t believe the treats that they bring into those long meetings. Halfway through everyone is wondering why they’re falling asleep and they make fun of me for bringing a green smoothie in a mason jar! hehe giggled at your butt comment. Too funny :)

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Angela (Oh She Glows) January 20, 2012

Eric told me he once at 6 of those huge cookies in a 2 hour long meeting…lol!

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Leanne @ Healthful Pursuit January 20, 2012

What a champ!

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Andrea @ Vegvacious January 20, 2012

What a great idea for an on the go breakfast! I’m a routine breakfast eater, but my husband never gets out of bed until the very last minute. I think he’d love your SB&J version!

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Kaitlyn @ Pain Can Be Fun January 20, 2012

Thank you so much for sharing this recipe – they look amazing! I loooove oatmeal, but this is a new and interesting way to have it in the morning! :)
Thanks again!

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Greta @ Staying Lost January 20, 2012

I’ve never tried baked oatmeal, but I’m constantly rushing to make a decent breakfast and get out the door. These are going on my “to-make” list for the weekend.

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Kelly January 20, 2012

Can’t wait to try these…my husband too will eat them up. Aren’t those Contigo mugs wonderful?!? I just LOVE mine!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) January 20, 2012

Oh my gosh they are game changers! We’ve never raved about a travel mug so much. Perhaps I should have mentioned them in the post!

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Gina @ Running to the Kitchen January 20, 2012

Haha, I’d love to know Eric’s reaction to the “muffins the size of his butt” comment. ;)
These would be perfect for my husband too. He’s always grabbing granola bars for on the go snacks at work and I’m embarrassed to say most of the time they’re the store bought, full of crap kind.

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Maryea @ Happy Healthy Mama January 20, 2012

Everyone needs a basic snack bar recipe. These would be perfect to help curb my out of control breastfeeding appetite–I think I might whip up a batch today!

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Sally @ sally's baking addiction January 20, 2012

Angela- these look sgreat! I have been looking for a basic oatmeal bar recipe that I can play around with with all my favorite mix ins. I bet walnuts and raisins would be delicious! I’m excited to try these and your carrot cake breakfast cookies :) Thanks Angela!

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Linda Thomas January 20, 2012

These look great. I’ve never used sun butter before – but I see on the label they say peanut-free, which means they can be packed in school lunches! Yay – hard to find a homemade peanut free granola bar that isn’t full of corn syrup.

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Angela (Oh She Glows) January 20, 2012

It’s my favourite nut/seed butter spread by far…it’s hard to stop eating it actually! They add a bit of sweetener to off set the bitter quality of the sunflower seeds. mmm

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Therese January 20, 2012

These look so tasty! I’m definitely going to be trying this one out. I’m sure you can freeze them, right? These would be great to make a few batches and toss them in the freezer for quick grabs!

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