I learned something shocking recently.
Not everyone loves overnight oats as much as I do. I know. It’s crazy, right? For one thing, the texture, which I find magically creamy and delicious, is not for everyone. Also, being the winter and all, not everyone is into the idea of a cold breakfast. And perhaps most importantly, I think that my definition of ‘portable’ and ‘on the go’ meals is a bit broader than most.
But there’s hope for you non-lovers of overnight oats who are still looking for a quick, easy, ready-made and on-the-go breakfast. And today hope comes in the form of a delicious and nutritious make-and-freeze breakfast bar.
<– This means these bars are freezer friendly. Neat, eh?
These bars are pretty much the easiest things. It’s basically a bunch of stuff mashed up and stirred together, then pressed into a pan and baked. The bars get cooled, sliced, and then stored in the freezer where they’ll last for a couple of months.
These bars have:
- Oats –> fiber, protein, complex carbohydrate
- Red lentils –> fiber, protein, complex carbohydrate
- Coconut –> healthy fat
- Hemp seeds –> healthy fat, protein
- Chia seeds –> healthy fat, protein, omega-3’s
- Bananas –> carbohydrate, potassium, natural sweetness
- Coconut oil –> healthy fat
Woah, so much goodness! That combo of healthy fats, protein, and complex carbohydrate means that these bars will fill you up and keep you satiated for a good while.
But we should probably talk about the fact that there are lentils in these bars. The most important thing to know about the lentil <–> bar situation is how much amazing protein and fiber the lentils bring to the table. The second most important thing to know is that you can’t taste the lentils. And if you’re weirded out by the idea of seeing the lentils, there are ways to hide them (see the recipe footnotes for that info).
So if you’re looking for a make-and-freeze solution to breakfasts on the go for your busy life, schedule these into your weekend batch cooking. They’re also great for pre and post workout snacks, and can sustain a day or two of being bashed around in your backpack. Perfect, right?
Oats are rich in indigestible carbohydrates called beta-glutens which help to lower blood cholesterol levels. Oats are also host to a number of phenolic compounds which have antioxidant properties. Due to the high levels of those beta-glucans, oats are also helpful in stabilizing blood sugar. In fact, eating oats in the morning may help keep your blood sugar stable throughout the entire day. Oats are also a good source of dietary fiber and protein. Look for gluten-free oats if you’re celiac or have another gluten sensitivity. Lentils are a nutritional powerhouse. They are a great source of dietary fiber,manganese, iron, and protein.
make and freeze breakfast bars
- 3/4 cup oat flour
- 1/2 cup split red lentils
- 1/2 cup rolled oats
- 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
- 1/2 cup hemp hearts
- 1 1/2 Tbsp chia seeds
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup dried blueberries
- 3 very ripe bananas mashed (about 1 1/2 cups)
- 1/2 cup almond milk
- 1/4 cup melted coconut oil
- 1 Tbsp maple syrup
- 1 tsp vanilla
- Preheat your oven to 350°F / 180°C
- Line a 9x11 pan with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl mix together oat flour, lentils, rolled oats, coconut, hemp hearts, chia seeds, cinnamon, salt, and blueberries.
- In a smaller bowl, whisk together mashed banana, almond milk, coconut oil, maple syrup, and vanilla.
- Add the wet mixture to the dry, and stir to combine well.
- Press the mixture into the prepared baking pan, and use a spatula or wet hands to spread into a smooth layer.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes, until the edges are golden.
- Remove from the oven and let cool completely in the pan. Slice into 12 bars, and place in a freezer bag separated by squares of parchment paper.
-If you want to hide the lentils, cook the lentils first. Drain and mash them, then whisk them in with the banana. In this case, do not use the almond milk or your bars will be too wet.