SCTK: Oatmeal Breakfast Bars

By Caroline Patrick, Graduate Nutrition Student

Good ol’ fashioned oats are always on a shelf in my pantry—right next to thepeanut butter. Oats and peanut butter are a classic combination that I never tire of, throw in a banana and I’m done for. At Wednesday’s Test Kitchen, we mixed things up and made breakfast as a late night snack.  If you want to taste just how wonderful these were, whip up a batch yourself! They were a breeze to prepare.

With midterms and assignments on our minds we’re often in a tizzy to get to class on time in the mornings (at least I am) and sometimes we skip out on breakfast. But these breakfast bars are the perfect solution. You can make a batch and wrap individual bars to take with you—grab and go style.

Better yet, they’ll keep you full until lunchtime. The oatmeal’s fiber in combination with the peanut butter’s protein and healthy fats will make sure of it. This recipe called for just 3 tablespoons of honey, making this a low sugar breakfast item—perfect for the new proposed dietary guidelines that recommend a maximum of 10% of our daily calories come from added sugars. Applesauce also lends some sweetness, but its real role was to act as a binder of the ingredients. That’s why we only needed one egg for the whole dish.

Just half a banana was put into the batter, but I know I would’ve liked to have a little more. In fact, if you have the option, I would consider mixing in the entire banana or adding some fresh slices on top because when the bars had no banana they tasted a bit bland.



Happy baking, stay energized, and remember your brain needs nutritious foods to ace those mid-terms!

Sargent Choice
Oatmeal Breakfast Bars
Recipe from Well Plated by Erin

Yield: 8 bars

2 cups old fashioned oats
1 cup whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
1½ cups non-fat milk (or unsweetened almond milk)
3 tablespoons honey or agave
2 tablespoons peanut butter
½ cup unsweetened applesauce
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ large banana quartered and diced (taste testers recommend a whole banana)


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly coat an 8×8 baking pan with cooking spray.
  2. In a medium bowl, stir together the oats, whole wheat flour, cinnamon, baking soda and salt. In a separate large bowl, combine the milk, honey, peanut butter, applesauce, egg and vanilla.
  3. Pour the dry ingredients into the wet mixture and stir to combine. The batter will be very wet. Fold in the diced banana, then pour into the prepared baking pan.
  4. Bake for 35 minutes or until thickened and golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in the pan, cut into bars, and serve.

Storage: Once cooled, bars can be wrapped individually in plastic and kept in the refrigerator for 5 days or frozen in a zip-top bag for up to 4 months. Let thaw in the refrigerator for 24-48 hours before serving. For a larger yield, increase the ingredient quantities by 1.5 and bakes in a 9×13 inch pan for 25-30 minutes.

Nutrition Facts per serving:

Calories 220
Fat 4 g
Saturated Fat 0.5 g
Protein 9 g
Carbohydrate 38 g
Fiber 4 g
Sodium 170 g


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Adlena Hales posted on January 24, 2024 at 4:23 am

Caroline, your delightful description of the oatmeal breakfast bars has me eager to try out this recipe myself! The combination of oats, peanut butter, and a touch of sweetness from honey and applesauce sounds like a perfect treat, whether for breakfast or a late-night snack. I appreciate your practical approach, especially with the emphasis on easy preparation and the grab-and-go convenience, ideal for hectic mornings during midterms. And your tip about adding more banana for an extra burst of flavor is duly noted. I’m envisioning these scrumptious bars neatly wrapped in custom brownie packaging, making them not only a wholesome energy boost but a visually appealing one too. Happy baking indeed, and thank you for sharing this nutritious and practical recipe!

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