Blueberry Oatmeal Bars have become a busy weekday staple here at my house. They are incredibly simple to make, made with wholesome ingredients, and can easily be eaten quickly at the counter or taken on the go.
A crisp yet chewy organic oat mixture sandwiches a sweet and soft layer of natural blueberry jam. How could I ever ask for more? (Well, I will take more oat bars, please.)Jump to Recipe
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Looking for more breakfast recipes? Try my:
Here's another take on this same oat bar concept: Healthy Breakfast Bars – Peanut Butter and Strawberry Jam, gluten free
What Makes Blueberry Oatmeal Bars Healthy?
- Organic GF rolled oats are the base of this recipe. I like to buy mine from Thrive Market because they are inexpensive for quite a large quantity. (Get 40% off your first order + sometimes a free gift.) *Be sure you are using certified gluten-free oats if baking gluten free, as regular oats run the risk of cross contamination with wheat.
- Coconut oil is used instead of butter. I've tried several oat bar recipes in the past and the majority contain A LOT of butter - I'm talking 1-2 sticks for something that is supposed to taste like and be breakfast. That being said, I found those recipes to be literally sickening. Coconut oil is still comprised of saturated fats like butter and is not the be-all-end-all health replacement, but it's great to switch the two back and forth in moderation. Coconut oil makes these bars feel light, unlike butter which leaves me with a heavier, greasy feeling.
- A combination of granulated sugar and pure maple syrup replaces light brown sugar. If you want to go the extra mile, you could try using organic cane sugar as well. Don't get me wrong, I love brown sugar, but since I wanted to feel good about having these oat bars for breakfast, I really wanted to come up with a way to leave it out. Since light brown sugar is made out of a mixture of granulated sugar and molasses, adding granulated sugar and maple syrup is almost a 1:1 replacement. Only use pure maple syrup in this recipe, do not use the commercial junk marketed as maple syrup but in fact contains not even a drop of it.
- Natural blueberry jam. I chose to use Smucker's Natural Blueberry Jam which contains only four ingredients: Blueberries, Sugar, Fruit Pectin, Citric Acid. You can go as healthy as you want here by buying organic, no sugar added, or even making and/or using your own jam or compote from your own garden or a local farm.
Can You Taste the Coconut Oil?
There are two main types of coconut oil; refined and unrefined.
Unrefined coconut oil, as its name suggests, has been pressed straight from the coconut meat and subject to no further processing. On its own, it has a strong coconut scent and flavor which passes subtly into baked goods. Refined coconut oil does have further processing, such as degumming which can change texture and quality, neutralizing which reduces the risk of rancidity, bleaching through an activated clay filter, and deodorizing to remove the coconut scent and taste. It's important to note that not all coconut oil products have been FDA approved. Be sure you trust the company you're buying from and stick to organic when possible, especially if purchasing refined coconut oil as some of the refining processes can introduce chemicals such as lye.
It's up to you which type of coconut oil you want to use. I have a large tub of organic unrefined coconut oil I got inexpensively from Sam's Club so I stuck with that for this recipe. There is a subtle coconut smell and flavor, but I don't actually mind it one bit. However, it may interfere if you switch up the jam flavor.
How to Make Blueberry Oatmeal Bars:
- Preheat oven to 350 F.
- Grease all sides of a 8x8 square baking dish with some butter or organic non-stick spray. Set aside.
- Add dry ingredients to a large mixing bowl (GF all purpose flour, rolled oats, granulated sugar, baking powder, salt.) Stir until evenly distributed.
- Melt coconut oil in the microwave 20-30 seconds. Add maple syrup and melted coconut oil to the dry ingredients. Mix until ingredients start to form together. It should resemble sort of a crumble but stick together when pressed (see above photo; bottom row on the right.) If mixture is not sticking together, try stirring in another 1-2 tbsps. of maple syrup.
5. Press a little less than ⅔ of the mixture into the bottom of your prepared baking dish. I prefer to do this with a silicone spatula. You want to press firmly so the oats create a flat, even bottom layer with no spaces for jam to spill through.
6. Spoon blueberry jam onto the bottom oat layer, making sure to leave ½ of an inch to an inch around all sides to prevent the jam from spilling down the sides of the pan.
7. Sprinkle the remaining ⅓ of the oat mixture evenly overtop of the jam layer, leaving no exposed areas.
8. Lightly press down with your hands or a silicone spatula so the top oat layer adheres to the jam. This will prevent excessive crumbliness. Tip: Be sure to press firmly, but not so firmly that you squish the jam down the sides.
9. Bake for 25-30 minutes until light golden in color. Tip: Since we are using coconut oil and not butter, the oats will stay a light golden color and won't really brown.
10. Let cool completely in pan before cutting into squares. Important: Bars will crumble and jam will spill out if you cut the mixture while still warm.
It's best to eat these bars within 2-3 days stored at room temperature. They last for up to a week in the fridge. Note: Natural jams with large pieces of fruit will spoil faster at room temperature, so its best to only make what you can eat within a few days unless you plan to store it in the fridge.
Notes on Blueberry Oatmeal Bars:
- Use refined coconut oil for no coconut flavor/smell. I use organic unrefined because I like the subtle flavor.
- You may add in 1-2 tbsp. more pure maple syrup if your oat mixture isn't sticking together enough. I haven't needed to do this, but baking needs can differ depending on humidity, elevation, etc.
- The structure of these bars rely on coconut oil hardening at room temperature. If you make these during summer in a hot, humid house, the coconut oil will not be able to harden and the bars will be crumbly. Coconut oil becomes a liquid around 76 F. A simple trick you can do is to check your jar of coconut oil to see if it's in a solid or liquid state. If it's already liquid, then you will need to adjust your thermostat or plan on keeping these bars in the refrigerator.
- I do not recommend reducing the amount of granulated sugar in this recipe. This is because the combination of granulated sugar and pure maple syrup work together to replace light brown sugar. This mixture provides extra sweetness, but also forms a chewy structure for the oat bars. If you want to reduce sugar in this recipe, a good place to do it is with the jam. Simply buy a no sugar-added natural jam or make your own.
- Avoid keeping jams with large pieces of fruit out at room temperature for long periods of time as these spoil faster. Plan to eat within 2-3 days, or store in the refrigerator up to one week. Note that, like with most other baked goods, the texture will change if refrigerated. I like to make a single batch at a time, just enough for us to eat at room temperature within 2-3 days.
Blueberry Oat Breakfast Bars
- 1 ½ cup gluten-free all purpose flour I used King Arthur Measure for Measure
- 1 ½ cup certified gluten free & organic rolled oats I used Thrive Market brand
- ⅓ cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup coconut oil* melted
- ⅓ cup pure maple syrup (optional: + 1-2 tbsp. if needed to make dough stick together)
- ¾ cup natural blueberry jam I used Smucker's Natural
- Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease all sides of a 8x8 baking dish with some butter or non-stick organic spray. Set aside.
- Add dry ingredients to a large mixing bowl (GF flour, oats, sugar, baking powder, salt.) Stir until evenly distributed.
- Melt coconut oil in the microwave for 20-30 seconds. Add pure maple syrup and coconut oil to the dry ingredients. Mix until ingredients start to form together. It should resemble sort of a crumble but stick together when pressed. Optional: If mixture is not sticking together, try stirring in another 1-2 tbsp. of maple syrup.
- Press a little less than ⅔ of the mixture into the bottom of your prepared baking dish. You want to press firmly so the oats create a flat, even layer with no spaces for jam to spill through. I prefer to do this with a silicone spatula.
- Spoon and spread the blueberry jam onto the bottom layer, making sure to leave ½ of an inch to 1 inch of space around all sides to prevent the jam from trickling down.
- Sprinkle the remaining ⅓ of the oat mixture evenly overtop of the jam layer. Lightly press down with your hands or a silicone spatula so that the top oat layer adheres to the jam. This will prevent excessive crumbliness. Tip: Be sure to press firmly, but not so firmly that you squish the jam down the sides of the pan.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes until light golden in color. Tip: Since we are using coconut oil and not butter, the oats will stay a light golden color and not really brown.
- Let cool completely in pan before cutting into 9 squares. Important: Bars will crumble and jam will spill out if you cut the mixture while still warm.