Strawberry season is one of my favorites! We hiked over to Doylestown recently for our annual strawberry picking trip at Hellerick’s Farm. Per usual, we went a bit overboard and brought home more than two people need. Obviously, this meant recipe testing! I enjoy oats and chocolate several times per week year round. So, why not mix these delicious ingredients together with the perfect nutrient balance to fuel exercise?
Instead of reaching for a store bought bar, or that same banana and peanut butter you always have, make these when you’re meal prepping for the week. You can freeze them and heat them up whenever you need a quick pre-workout snack! The nutrient balance, filled with energizing carbs and a touch of fat, fiber and protein, is great if you have a workout in one to two hours. It will prevent hunger without being extra filling and leave your stomach by the time you’re ready to move.
The oat mixture is completely gluten-free, in case that is something you need to worry about medically. It’s also just good to have some variety in your grains! If you’re like Mr. Jones and don’t eat oatmeal, these are the perfect way to fit your oats in. You’ll pour a bit more than half of the oat mixture on the pan, before evenly spreading out your chopped strawberries and then doing the same with the chopped chocolate. The rest of the batter will go over top. I recommend spooning it in large dollops evenly over the berries and chocolate and then smoothing out with a rubber spatula so it is even.
Pop in the oven for 22-24 minutes at 350 degrees and then you have this beautiful thing!
I know it looks like one big strawberry chocolate blondie, but you probably won’t feel great during a workout if you eat it all. Slice em up into 9 or 16 squares!
I hope you enjoy these bars just as much as my household!
Strawberry Chocolate Oat Bars
- 1 ½ C rolled or quick oats
- 1 1/4 C oat flour
- ¼ C milled flaxseed or ground chia seeds
- ½ tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ C melted coconut oil
- 1 large egg, room temperature
- 1 C milk of your choice, room temperature
- 6 Tbsp maple syrup
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 C chopped fresh strawberries
- 1 tbsp orange or lemon juice
- 2 tsp cornstarch
- A heaping half cup of chopped extra dark chocolate (I used 70%)
- Heat oven to 350 degrees.
- Spray a 8×8 or 9×9 inch baking dish with cooking spray.
- In a medium bowl, whisk the oats, flour, flax, baking powder, and salt until well combined.
- In a large bowl, whisk the egg and then add the milk, maple syrup, coconut oil, and vanilla extract.
- Fold the dry ingredients into the wet and mix just until well combined.
- In a small bowl, gently stir the citrus juice with the strawberries and corn starch
- Pour slightly more than half of the batter into the baking dish and smooth out evenly. Pour the berry mixture over it evenly, and then top with the chopped chocolate, also disbursing evenly. Pour the remaining batter over top and smooth over.
- Bake for 22-24 minutes (it should have a light golden color when done).
- Let cool for 15 minutes before cutting and enjoying.
Store in an airtight container up to 5 days in the refrigerator or, freeze and microwave when you need a quick pre-workout snack.