Your easy, healthy, on the go breakfast ideas DON’T have to be limited to store-bought packaged breakfast bars and ultra-processed breakfast biscuits. These no bake peanut butter oatmeal bars are just as convenient and portable, affordable on any budget, and they taste amazing!
Plus, they’re made with clean, wholesome ingredients that you can feel good about. Between the peanut butter, coconut milk, and raisins, they’ve got an indulgently chewy bite and salty-sweet flavor. Almost like oatmeal raisin cookies, except healthy enough to eat for breakfast…so more like a bowl of oatmeal, in grab-and-go form!
But, if you aren’t a fan
of coconut, don’t worry—you can’t taste it at all! It adds a subtle sweetness, but you don’t notice its mild flavor
between the rich, salty peanut butter and fruity raisins. More than anything, the
whipped coconut milk makes for a creamier, more luscious texture, and packs
even more wholesome nutrients to these
oatmeal breakfast bars!
Best of all, this breakfast bar recipe is SO simple to make. Only 6 ingredients, 15 minutes to prep, and
NO baking involved! Just pop your dish in the fridge for a few hours, slice
into squares, and you’ve got peanut butter oatmeal bars ready to go for busy
mornings. Seriously, you never knew breakfast meal prep could be THIS easy!
Healthy Aldi Meal Prep for the Week & Haul!
Quality Nutrition, Conveniently Packed into Healthy Breakfast Bars
Each of these peanut butter oatmeal bars offers 11g of plant-based protein, 41g of
slow-digesting complex carbs, and 6g of fiber. One bar also contains 12g of
total sugars, most of which are natural sugars
from the coconut milk and raisins—and only 4g are added sugars. Feel free
to adjust the amount and kind of sticky sweetener in this recipe, if you like!
Along with the 21g of
wholesome fats from the coconut milk, these healthy breakfast bars have the
perfect balance of macronutrients. Plenty of protein, fat, and fiber to keep
you feeling full and satisfied! Plus, the complex carbs and fats provide
sustained, long-lasting energy to keep you feeling FUELED throughout the day.
A great on the go breakfast option to grab as you’re heading out the door to work or school! Better yet, these peanut butter oatmeal bars are a quick healthy breakfast that kids can manage on their own before school, with minimal mess. All the same convenience of those store-bought breakfast bars, except with REAL nutrients and quality morning FUEL!
Homemade Peanut Butter Oatmeal Bars vs. Store-Bought Breakfast Bars
Often, store-bought breakfast bars appear healthy because they’re low in calories and moderate in sugar. But, that isn’t an indication that they’re truly healthy, fuel-filled breakfast options. In fact, many contain anywhere from just under 200 calories up to 250 calories, which isn’t a lot of calories. But it’s also not enough FUEL for a satisfying breakfast!
Most importantly, those calories are coming from not ideal sources, so you’ve got to READ the ingredients lists. Sure, many will list whole grains as the first ingredient. But, this can be so misleading, because most processed breakfast bars use a blend of whole grains AND plenty of nutrient-lacking refined grains. (Mainly, to cut down on costs.)
Then, the 2nd or 3rd ingredient in most store-bought breakfast bars is some form of refined added SUGAR! (Usually followed by 2 or 3 other kinds of added sugars.) Most of the total sugar content provided on those labels is coming from added sugars—a.k.a. the most damaging to our health—and not natural sugars.
On top of that, there’s the questionable additives, artificial flavors and colors, preservatives, and inflammatory vegetable oils! Plus, some still use sneaky sources of trans fats like shortening—but in small enough amounts that they can claim 0g trans fats on the label. All things considered, you’re better off making homemade breakfast bars!
Adjust for your Lifestyle: Nut Free, Vegan, or Gluten Free Breakfast Bars
One of the best things about simple recipes is they’re simple to
adjust! Whether you follow a specific dietary lifestyle or members of your
household deal with specific food allergies, you can make these peanut butter
oatmeal bars suit your needs with some easy substitutions.
For Nut Free Breakfast
Instead of peanut butter,
try making your no bake oatmeal bars with sunflower seed butter! I used a natural peanut butter when I made this recipe, which
has a fairly similar texture to most sunflower seed butter. If you can find it,
I recommend opting for an unsweetened variety
of sunflower seed butter!
The texture of your nut free breakfast bars might be slightly different or a bit stickier,
but they should hold together just fine. A great option if your household is
nut free, or if you have kids at a nut free school and they’d like to pack
their oatmeal bars for lunch!
For Vegan Breakfast Bars:
Already, these peanut butter oatmeal bars are dairy free, thanks
to the coconut milk. The only ingredient
you’d need to substitute for vegan breakfast bars would be the honey—and
that’s an easy fix! A plant-based sweetener like agave or maple syrup
will work in this recipe just as well.
Since agave has a thicker, stickier texture, it will likely hold
your breakfast bars together better than maple syrup. But, maple syrup will get
the job done, too—your oatmeal bars may just be slightly crumblier!
For Gluten Free Breakfast
Oats are an amazing whole grain option that’s naturally gluten free, but be sure to choose certified gluten free oats for anyone with celiac disease or a gluten sensitivity.
Although oats themselves don’t contain any gluten, some brands are processed on shared equipment with gluten-containing grains. To minimize the risk of cross-contamination, go with certified gluten free oats for 100% gluten free breakfast bars!
1 cup full-fat coconut milk (or coconut cream)
3 Tbsp honey, maple syrup, or agave
1⅓ cups peanut butter
½ tsp cinnamon
5 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
⅔ cup raisins
Add coconut milk or coconut cream to a large mixing bowl and whip with a hand mixer, until smooth.
Drizzle in honey and stir to combine. Add peanut butter and cinnamon and mix well.
Pour in oats and raisins, stirring to combine thoroughly.
Press mixture into a 9×13-inch baking dish lined with foil or parchment.
Cover and refrigerate 2 hours, until firm.
Lift foil or parchment sheet to remove from pan, slice into bars and enjoy!
Store in an airtight container in the fridge for 1 week or freeze 1 month.
Yields 12 peanut butter oatmeal bars.
If using coconut cream:
Place can of coconut cream in the fridge overnight. Make sure it stays still and standing upright—don’t move it or shake it!
When ready to make your bars, flip can upside down to open it. (When cold, the thick coconut cream separates from the liquid and the liquid goes to the bottom of the can. By flipping the can to open it, you can drain the liquid and scrape the cream!)
Add coconut cream to a large mixing bowl, whip with a hand mixer, and follow above procedure to make oatmeal bars.