Find it fast!

Monday, December 15, 2014

Raspberry Oat Bars (or any other fruit jam!)

One of the most frequent questions I get asked is how I bake all these sweets and who eats them...the simple answer is that the unhealthy stuff is only made for special occasions or to be taken somewhere...I can honestly say that I've probably never made a batch of brownies or a cake just for my immediate family to snack on. What I do constantly bake is healthy stuff that still tastes delicious, like these banana muffins or my personal favorite thing in the whole world. I love enjoying healthy sweets in the mornings, and streusel oat bars are near the top of my list. Clearing out my fridge after my Thanksgiving re-do dinner got me thinking about cranberry sauce beyond turkey, and I decided to create a healthy oat bar. Most of what I found online had a minimum of 1 cup butter or 1 cup peanut butter. I'm all about healthy fat, but I didn't want a strong nut flavor in my fruit bars just to replace the butter. Oat bars should be chewy, dense and have a little crunch on top to balance out the soft sweetness of the fruit filling. These are just that, with a nice inclusion of healthy fats and complex carbs.

If you don't have cranberry sauce lying around, use any fruit spread you'd like...I'll be making these a lot and my next fruit flavor will be strawberry, after that is fig and then I'm planning on that I don't have to feel guilty when I eat these they'll be around here often! The first time I made these bars I used my cranberry sauce but each time after that as I continued to develop the recipe I used different jams, and raspberry with lemon zest was a huge success. Experiment with different toppings, I sprinkled shredded coconut and pistachios on half my pan and the adults enjoyed those a lot. I contemplated chocolate chips but decided to stay true to the fruit flavor, although I'm not making any promises for the next batch :)

These are easy to make, require only 1 bowl, no mixer and are vegan! Even if you don't mind using dairy products, its nice to be able to bake when you're out of eggs. This is a great activity to get kids into the kitchen and my boys had a lot of fun sampling the oat mixture and pressing it into the pan.

-1 cup flour
-1 cup old fashioned oats
-2/3 cup brown sugar
-1/2 teaspoon baking soda
-1/4 teaspoon salt
-1 teaspoon vanilla
-2 tablespoons cold coconut oil
-2 tablespoons peanut butter (I used a variety called Better 'n Peanut Butter, a 85% less fat spread I buy from Trader Joes)
-2 tablespoons orange juice (or almond milk, regular milk, water)
-1 teaspoon lemon zest
-1 tablespoon flax seeds (optional)

-1 cup raspberry jam (or other fruit)
-1 cup cranberry sauce
-1 teaspoon cornstarch
-1/2 teaspoon orange zest

To make
-Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line an 11x7 inch (2qt/2L) pan with foil (for easy removal) and spray with non stick cooking spray.
Jam is spread and the oat topping is next
-Combine flour, oats, brown sugar, baking soda and salt and stir until well mixed. Then add the vanilla, coconut oil, peanut butter, orange juice, orange zest and flax seeds and mix well with a spatula until fully incorporated and crumbly.
-Using your hands, knead the oat mixture a minute and reserve 1 cup of the mixture. Pat the rest into your greased pan evenly and create a slight crust on the edges (this prevents the jam from spilling over the edges).
-Evenly spread the jam mixture over the oat layer, leaving about 1/4 of an inch all around the edges. This will spread out while baking. Sprinkle the reserved 1 cup of oat mixture on top of the jam. Sprinkle with optional toppings.
-Bake on the lower rack of a preheated oven for 28-33 minutes (I took mine out at 30 minutes) or until the crumbled streusel topping looks puffed in the middle and lightly browned. Remove from the oven and let cool, then cut into bars and enjoy. These do not need to be refrigerated and stay delicious for about 3 days (after that refrigerate or freeze to preserve freshness).
-Enjoy and don't forget to tag me in your pictures!

I'd love to connect with you! Like SavvyChef on facebook and follow Savvy_Chef on instagram. Tag Savvychef in your creations and pin the recipes on pintrest :)


  1. Salam! I absolutely loved this one! I kept sneaking bites from the pan and my husband loved it. Instead of the jam I blended blueberries and raspberries (I wanted other kinds of berries but this is what I had at home) in the food processor with some peanut butter and honey to thicken it and used it in place of the jam, alhmdullilah it came out amazing! Thank you.

  2. I made this with strawberry jam and we really liked it. I wasn't sure about the jam and peanut butter with orange juice combination, but it worked very well. I left out the the lemon zest and it was still great. Great one!

  3. Strawberry is my jam of choice so I went with that and was not disappointed...I doubled the recipe and baked it in a brownie pan. I also added lots of shredded coconut to the mix. Very easy to make and we really liked it with coffee and tea.

  4. I doubled this and used pumpkin butter as my jam....perfect for dessert or breakfast! I add pumpkin seeds to the dough and the crunch adds great texture.