No time for breakfast? Problem solved: Stash a few of these high-fiber, bursting-with-blueberries, healthy breakfast bars in your desk, car, or purse. They’re like a hearty bowl of oatmeal, in a nifty bar form.
I’ve been meaning to write this post – about these time-saving Blueberry Walnut Breakfast Bars – for a long time.
Seriously! These bars are so easy to make, they’re super nutritious and they taste great. And… I can’t say enough about their flavor. The locally grown blueberries (successfully frozen since last August), toasted walnuts, ripe bananas, coconut, and my secret ingredient – a generous splash of day-old coffee – make the taste and texture of these breakfast bars soar from boring to blissful.
And, BTW, let’s talk about the health benefits! These bars are packed with oatmeal which is high in the kind of fiber (soluble) that helps keep your cholesterol in check. For us, that’s an added health bonus since Mr. EN’s cholesterol increased 40 points in the last 12 months. Ouch! It’s definitely time for him to make some changes and breakfast is the perfect place to start. Not to mention the blueberries and bananas provide potassium and cancer-fighting antioxidants, two things most of us aren’t getting enough of these days; and the walnuts provide protein, fiber and heart-healthy omega-3 fats.
Breakfast Bar Cooking Secrets:
- Add the blueberries while they are still frozen. Don’t let them defrost. If you do, your bars will turn a funny bluish=-gray color. (Definitely still edible but in no way optimal.) Better yet, use fresh!
- Use ripe bananas. They lend a deeper flavor to the bar.
- Any nut will work. If walnuts aren’t your thing, try pecans, cashews, almonds or macadamia nuts. I like to toast the nuts first but it’s not 100% necessary.
- Don’t under cook the bars. They should be dry and decently firm when you press them lightly with your finger. Mushy bars are like mushy bowls of oatmeal, there’s a place for them but it’s not here.
Change it up. Add any fruit you have or like instead of blueberries. Feel free to get creative! Pictured below are Strawberry Breakfast Bars and below that Blueberry and Strawberry Breakfast Bars. Both of these versions pictured here were made with fresh (not frozen) fruit which works best if you can swing it.
We’ve also made these bars using this basic recipe with fresh and frozen peaches and nutmeg; chopped apples, raisins, and cardamom; and fresh raspberries and lemon zest; each batch was delicious. Next up? It’s spring here in Michigan so I’m thinking rhubarb and ginger. What do you think?
What kind of breakfast bar will you create? Send me an email and let us know. We’d love to hear from you.
Peace, love and good eats, from our Empty Nest to yours.
Blueberry Walnut Breakfast Bars
Yield 9 bars
- 2 ½ cups oats, old fashioned or quick oats (see Notes below), divided
- 1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup low-fat milk (or almond, soy, or coconut milk, room temperature
- 2 small bananas, mashed
- ¼ cup dark brown sugar
- ¼ cup coconut oil, melted
- 1 large egg (room temperature)
- 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla
- One splash (about 1-2 tablespoons) strong black coffee (optional)
- 1 heaping cup blueberries
- ¼ cup chopped toasted walnuts
- 2 tablespoons unsweetened coconut
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Spray an 8 X 8 pan, or equivalent, with nonstick cooking spray.
- In a food processor or high power blender, blend 1 cup of oats until it turns into flour.
- In a large bowl combine milk, mashed banana, brown sugar, melted coconut oil, egg, vanilla, and coffee (if using).
- To the milk/banana mixture, add remaining 1 ½ cup whole oats, oat flour, cinnamon, baking powder, salt,unsweetened coconut (if using), and walnuts. Stir to combine.
- Gently fold in blueberries then pour batter into prepared pan.
- Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until the edges are golden brown and the center is firm.
- Cool thoroughly before slicing into bars. Store in the refrigerator or wrap individually in plastic wrap and freeze.
- Quick oats will yield a firmer bar than old-fashioned oats.
- Use certified gluten-free oats to make this bar gluten free.
- Frozen bars, individually wrapped, will last up to 3 months.
Serving Size 1 bar
Amount Per Serving
% Daily Value
Total Fat 10 g
Saturated Fat 6 g
Cholesterol 19 mg
Sodium 86 mg
Total Carbohydrates 31 g
Dietary Fiber 5 g
Sugars 12 g
Protein 5 g
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Nicole, RD says
These look delicious! Makes me want blueberry season here NOW!! 🙂 The coffee addition, too …perfection!
Thanks Nicole! That coffee trick is from a very old baking book of mine. I always add it to bars and breads. Keep all YOUR incredible recipes (and adorable bulldog and kid pics) coming at http://www.preventionrd.com
Lots if saturated fat?? Is that good??
It’s certainly up for debate. People are over-using coconut oil, in my opinion, but for these bars, it’s what helps it stay together at room temperature. And I do like the coconut taste. Everything in moderation. 🙂