Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Breakfast Bars

posted by Andrea | 01/23/2014

chocolate chip oatmeal breakfast bars

I’ve already shared that Dave and I really love breakfast foods — so much so that we often eat breakfast for dinner at least one night a week (plus big breakfasts on the weekends).

I’ve also already shared how much Dave and I REALLY REALLY love chocolate, desserts, or pretty much any type of sweet food — and yes, Nora is following in our footsteps!

birthday brownies and ice cream

Although I promise we don’t do it on a regular basis, if we have the opportunity to eat chocolate for breakfast, we will probably both take that opportunity. For example, every now and then, we’ll consider my banana chocolate chip muffins (our favorite muffins) or these yummy homemade granola bars to be a suitable breakfast — especially on busy mornings or if we’re traveling.

I realize these foods are not the healthiest way to jump-start our day — but at the same time, I’m also a huge “everything in moderation” advocate when it comes to food, so I don’t stress out about an occasional delicious breakfast splurge. I just make sure we have some hearty homemade oatmeal and healthy fruit salad the next day!

Recently I came across a variety of “breakfast bar” recipes that piqued my interest. These bars actually seemed to be pretty healthy, really easy to make, and sounded like something we would want to eat.

So I took aspects of each of those recipes, swapped out some of the ingredients for things we more readily have in the house, and came up with the recipe below.

breakfast bars

If you’re looking for a super-easy, make-ahead, busy-morning breakfast that will ALSO satisfy your sweet tooth — you’ve come to the right place. These Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Breakfast Bars are super delicious, and definitely healthy enough for ME to consider them a proper breakfast (or any-time-of-day-snack!)

Recipe for Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Breakfast Bars:

Makes one 9″ x 13″ pan or 24-28 muffins

{print this recipe}

Ingredients:

  • 4 overripe bananas mashed (I always keep peeled, over-ripe bananas in the freezer and then just pull out what I need for certain recipes)
  • 3 c. water
  • 1/4 c. unsweetened applesauce (or vegetable oil)
  • 2 t. vanilla
  • 1 t. salt
  • 1/4 c. brown sugar
  • 2 T. ground flax seed (totally optional and will not change the taste at all)
  • 1/2 c. sweetened shredded coconut
  • 1 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips (you could also do raisins or other dried fruit if you didn’t want to do chocolate)
  • 6 c. traditional oats (not quick cooking)
  • additional shredded coconut for topping (optional)

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 375*F and grease the bottom of a 9″ x 13″ pan (or two 12-cup muffin tins)
  • In a large bowl, stir together the mashed bananas, water, applesauce, and vanilla
  • Add in the salt, brown sugar, flax seed, coconut, and chocolate chips — stir until combined
  • Stir in all the oats until everything is well mixed.
  • Dump mixture into pan (or muffin cups) and top with additional shredded coconut if desired
  • Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes, or until bars are set and slightly browned on top
  • Cut into bars and freeze or refrigerate for quick breakfasts on the go

I don’t know about you, but I love quick convenience foods that make my mornings (and snack times) easier.

And I feel like these breakfast bars offer the best of everything — they are relatively healthy, easy to make, very dense and filling, quick to eat on busy mornings, delicious, and just the right amount of sweet chocolaty goodness to satisfy my sweet tooth! Plus, I can make them ahead and keep them in the freezer for months (if they last that long).

This recipe will definitely be a regular on my baking list for a long time — especially now that our newly defrosted freezer is just begging for me to fill it up again before this baby arrives :)

chocolate chip oatmeal breakfast bars

What are your favorite on-the-go breakfasts?

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27 comments

  1. Stel

    01/23/2014

    Just printed this out to make next week – have to say, I love you Clean Print option! Could cut and edit until everything fit onto 1 page.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks Stel — I like the clean print feature too… and also, not sure if you noticed, but you can print every recipe off as a Google Doc too (or save it to your Google Docs)!

    [Reply]

  2. Deni

    01/23/2014

    They look yummy, Andrea! Perfect for a cold, snowy morning and I think I have all of the ingredients. Thank you for all of your wonderful recipes, every one I have ever made turned out easy and delicious. Such a sweet picture of you and Nora :)

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks Deni — I’m definitely not a fancy world-renown chef (or an expert food photographer) but I am OK at simple tasty recipes :)

    [Reply]

  3. Victoria

    01/23/2014

    These look really good. I love chocolate too. I often sprinkle chocolate chips on my whole grain cereal.

    [Reply]

  4. Suzi

    01/23/2014

    These are in the oven now and they smell AMAZING! I had planned to make oatmeal chocolate chip cookies today but when I read your post this morning, these sounded too good not to make for breakfast today. My 9-month pregnant belly and I thank you in advance for the treat!

    [Reply]

    Lindsey Reply:

    This recipe is great for nursing mommas too! I literally made cookies today with most of the same ingredients (would love to add banana!) that are supposed to help boost lactation. As a mom of 3 month old twin boys, I need all the help I can get! Thanks for sharing another recipe to try!

    [Reply]

  5. Debbie

    01/23/2014

    Thanks for this new recipe! I am always bringing breakfast snacks to church for our youth group.
    Can’t wait to bring this!

    [Reply]

  6. Katy

    01/23/2014

    These look yummy, but I’m not a fan of banana baked goods. I wonder if I could use canned pumpkin in place of the bananas? Thanks for sharing :)

    [Reply]

    lily Reply:

    I have made something similar with pumpkin and it was great. I would use less pumpkin than banana tho because of consistency.

    [Reply]

  7. Tracy

    01/23/2014

    My local stores have been selling off the chocolate chips after the holidays half-price!

    [Reply]

    Kristen @ Joyfullythriving Reply:

    Wow, Tracy! That’s incredible. I’d stock up on lots (well, because I use them all the time). Not only do they have a long shelf life, but they last even longer in the freezer! I store mine in the freezer and use them straight from the freezer. It works without fail!

    [Reply]

  8. Kristen @ Joyfullythriving

    01/23/2014

    I don’t think there is every a wrong time for chocolate! I’m like you, Andrea. I’ll eat it any time of day!

    [Reply]

  9. Donna

    01/23/2014

    I am going to try these. They look delicious. Made your Sausage & Cheese Tortellini Soup today for a good friend I had over for lunch. She loved it! I make it at least once a month for my husband and I. We just love it. Thanks Andrea for all your yummy recipes.

    [Reply]

  10. Marisa

    01/23/2014

    They look great but we don’t have any coconut. Any suggestions for substitutions, or just leave it out entirely?

    [Reply]

  11. Tamara

    01/23/2014

    Hi Andrea – the recipe looks great! Will have to try it out. You mentioned that you store peeled bananas in the freezer. I have tried freezing them peeled but have had issues with the bananas getting freezer burn (oxidation). So I store mine in the freezer with the peel on. Do you have similar issues? How do you store yours?

    [Reply]

  12. Sheeshee

    01/25/2014

    I made this tonight and I LOVE IT! I will be making this more often now. Thanks Andrea

    [Reply]

  13. Christy

    01/28/2014

    We don’t particularly like coconut here. Would you suggest adding another chopped up nut or would they be fine just skipping that ingredient? I’m hoping this will be a hit with the early morning dutch dancers in my life! :)

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    you could probably just leave it out — but nuts would be a nice addition too. We don’t particularly like nuts over here :)

    [Reply]

  14. Jenn

    02/03/2014

    I made these last night to stock the freezer. It was serendipitous that I had because we woke up late and I was able to hand a baggie off to my kids and husband as they were on their way out the door. Rave reviews! Thanks a bunch.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    awesome (not that you woke up late, but that you had breakfast ready to go!) Planning ahead saves the day again!

    [Reply]

  15. Michele

    02/20/2014

    Want to make these tonight, but only have quick oats on the shelf. Anyone know if this will throw off the recipe?

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    I think they’d probably work with quick oats — you could always try a half batch first just to see ;)

    [Reply]

    Michele Reply:

    Made them for tomorrow and just HAD to taste test them.

    Maybe not as healthy with the quick oats, but they sure are delicious!!

    (I added just a little more liquid because I thought they might cook faster. Not sure if that would be true, but an FYI for anyone else who might want to give ‘me a try.)

    [Reply]

  16. joy

    04/24/2014

    this recipe is a regular in our home now…. Its the first baked oatmeal we ALL like….. In fact, we like it so much, the kids cheer andbask for more, or bigger pieces :-)
    I love it for the days we all have to be out of the house in a hurry. Thanks for sharing this healthy treat :-)

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    yay — so glad you like it!

    [Reply]

  17. Caitlyn @ City and the Cubicle

    08/25/2014

    what the heck are traditional oats? haha. old-fashioned? so many kinds of oats, i get confused! :( recipe sounds awesome, i found it on pinterest :) thanks for sharing.

    [Reply]

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