Strawberry Oatmeal Bars

Now that it’s getting closer to spring, I wanted to reshare one of my and YOUR favorite recipes, Fresh Strawberry Oatmeal Bars. They’re easy, healthy, and just 100 calories each!

When I reshare old recipes, I typically update the post writing to include current information about what is going on in our lives. Although I did add a recipe video, because this particular post is so sentimental, I decided to leave it as it was. I hope you enjoy it, and I REALLY hope you enjoy the Strawberry Oatmeal Bars.

Four years ago today, by a dazzling combination of good fortune, mutual sacrifice, and temporary insanity (on his part), I duped a cute guy into marrying me. Thus far, our lives together have involved a healthy dose of all three, though I’ll take responsibility for more than 50% of the insanity. We’re celebrating our anniversary with two special guests: a pan of Strawberry Oatmeal Bars and…my mother.

Yes, my husband will be spending his wedding anniversary with his mother-in-law.

At my request, my mom is coming to help me decorate our still-bare walls. Whereas I feel overwhelmed and slightly panicky walking through a HomeGoods, my mom has a natural talent for picking out just the right touches to make a room feel comfortable and charming.

The dates that aligned with her work schedule happen to fall on our anniversary, so my mom and I will spend the day putting a few more nail holes in the walls, progress to a three-person anniversary dinner with Ben, then end with Strawberry Oatmeal Bars for dessert.

Strawberry Oatmeal Bars
Strawberry Oatmeal Bars

Healthy Strawberry Oatmeal Bars

Ingredients:

FOR THE STRAWBERRY BARS:

  • 1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats (gluten free if needed)
  • 3/4 cup white whole wheat flour (or substitute all-purpose flour or 1:1 baking flour to make gluten free)
  • 1/3 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted (or substitute melted coconut oil to make vegan/dairy free)
  • 2 cups small-diced strawberries (about 10 ounces), divided
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice (from about 1/2 small lemon)
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar, divided

FOR THE VANILLA GLAZE (OPTIONAL BUT DELICIOUS, ESPECIALLY IF YOU PREFER A SWEETER BAR):

  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon milk (any kind you like)

Directions:

  1. Place a rack in the center of your oven and preheat to 375 degrees F. Line an 8×8-inch baking pan with parchment paper so that the paper overhangs two sides like handles.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the oats, flour, brown sugar, ginger, and salt. Pour in the melted butter and stir until it forms clumps and the dry ingredients are evenly moistened. Set aside 1/2 cup of the crumble mixture, then press the rest into an even layer in the bottom of the prepared pan.
  3. Scatter half of the strawberries over the crust. Sprinkle the cornstarch evenly over the top, then sprinkle on the lemon juice and 1/2 tablespoon of the granulated sugar. Scatter on the remaining berries, then the remaining 1/2 tablespoon sugar. Sprinkle the reserved crumbs evenly over the top. You will have some fruit showing through.
  4. Bake the bars for 35 to 40 minutes, until the fruit is bubbly and the crumb topping smells toasty and looks golden. Place the pan on a wire rack to cool completely (you can speed this process along in the refrigerator).
  5. While the bars cool, prepare the glaze: In a medium bowl, briskly whisk together the powdered sugar, vanilla, and milk until smooth. Feel free to add more milk if a thinner consistency is desired. Using the parchment-paper handles, lift the bars from the pan. Drizzle with glaze, slice, and serve.

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