I could NEVER go without breakfast. Completely skipping a meal just isn’t an option for me because whenever I do my body simply shuts down. I’m pretty uncoordinated so simple functions like walking and talking (especially at the same time) are hard for me anyway, but when I don’t have anything for breakfast, I become catatonic. Usually it doesn’t matter what I eat in order to snap myself out of the stupor, just so long as I eat something.
But because breakfast is my favorite meal of the day, I like for that something to be special. Unfortunately, with the crazy school/work schedule I’ve got going on right now, I rarely have time to make my wonderful big breakfasts in the morning. In fact, I don’t even have time to properly dress myself. Just between you and me, there have been a couple of instances recently when I’ve put my clothes on backwards or inside-out–because I often dress in the dark so as not to wake the hubs–and end up realizing it, undressing, and fixing my mistake in the car. Don’t worry, the corrections are made at stop lights or in parking lots At the time, I just pray that those around me aren’t taking pictures of the half-dressed crazy lady (me) in the car next to them.
So since I’m obviously a big mess in the morning, I decided to prepare a yummy, healthy, and portable breakfast that I can simply grab from the fridge to take with me on those hectic mornings. That’s how these Healthy Oat Bars were born.
And because chocolate just makes everything better and I’ve become OBSESSED with Nutella lately (since making my own Healthy Nutella), I decided that some of these Oat Bars just needed to be topped with Nutella frosting and chopped hazelnuts. I truly believe that the best breakfasts are the ones that are made with healthy, whole ingredients, but still taste truly decadent. Who doesn’t want dessert for breakfast?!?! (On that note, I’ve got another amazing dessert-like breakfast recipe to share soon–I’m so excited!)
Back to these delicious breakfast bars…The whole idea for them began when I was trying to come up with an excuse to make and eat more Healthy Nutella and to use my puffed millet cereal.
I love milllet and I love cereal, but after eating a bowl of this stuff, I decided that it’s way too boring on its own. At first, I tried making bars without the oats and honey, but with a lot more puffed millet and almond butter. They were tasty, but they quickly crumbled into tiny pieces (which I proceeded to eat off of the kitchen counter). I added a bit of honey on the second try and those were good too, but there was still something missing.
They say the third time’s a charm, and in this case it absolutely was! I finally got the recipe just right! I had to eat a lot of puffed millet, almond butter, and Nutella, but I’m definitely not complaining Now if only I could master getting dressed in the dark….
- 1¼ cups rolled oats
- ⅔ cup puffed millet or quinoa
- ¼ cup oat flour (if you grind your own, measure after grinding)
- ¼ cup flaxseed meal
- ¼ cup almond butter (you may need to add more if your almond butter isn’t very smooth)
- ¼ cup honey or maple syrup
- ¼-1/2 tsp. salt
- ~Optional toppings:
- 1 cup Nutella (homemade or store-bought) mixed with 2 Tbs. melted coconut oil
- OR melted dark chocolate, OR 1 cup melted coconut butter
- 1 Tbs. chopped hazelnuts, cacao nibs, or chocolate chips
- Combine the first four ingredients together in a large mixing bowl.
- Add the almond butter, honey or maple syrup, and salt. Mix with a spatula until everything has been evenly distributed and the mixture clumps together.
- Line an 8×8 baking dish or pan with parchment paper. (I like to use two long narrow pieces of parchment so the mixture is easier to remove when it’s hardened).
- Firmly press the mixture down into the baking dish using your hands. Place the dish into the freezer for at least 30 minutes to allow the mixture to harden.
- Optional toppings: Once the mixture is in the freezer, whisk together Nutella and melted coconut oil OR melt a dark chocolate bar and spread evenly over the top of the oat mixture. Sprinkle with chopped hazelnuts and gently press them into the chocolate. Place back into the freezer until set.
- When the oat mixture and topping have had time to harden, remove the baking dish from the freezer and use a sharp knife to cut into bars.
- Store in a sealed container in the fridge.
*You can find my homemade Healthy Nutella recipe here
**On a side note, this was the first time I’ve had sugar in a month and a half! I started small–taking a single bite–to see how my body would react, and I’m happy to say I didn’t have any issues. It was SO hard not to inhale the entire recipe, but once I knew that the sugar wouldn’t hurt my tum, I ate three of these bars! I just couldn’t resist!