We have this game that we sometimes play at dinner time. It’s called The Question Game and that’s basically all it is. Questions. So it’s not really a game at all, but we call it a game because we’re fun like that. There is a container full of questions, and we take turns reading and answering random questions. It’s from Melissa and Doug, if you’re curious, and is called Family Dinner Box Of Questions.
Anyway, we played one night recently and the question was “If you could eat one food everyday for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, what would it be?” Guess what Meghan’s answered was? How’d you guess?! Peanut butter and jelly.
Anyone else have a kid who would eat peanut butter and jelly for every meal if you let them? When Meghan planted that seed in my head, I started brainstorming ways she could get her peanut butter and jelly fix outside of the standard sandwich. She has a PB&J sandwich about 4 times a week for lunch…I try to get her to mix it up as much as possible, but that is still, by far, her #1 request.
I made her this PB&J Protein Smoothie from Hummusapien a few times. It was amazing, by the way. She’s not too much into cold smoothies in the mornings these days, though. She says they make her too cold. So I created these homey Peanut Butter and Jelly Oatmeal Breakfast bars instead.
Meghan, Luke, and Tim all really like these. I think I’m the most obsessed of all. Have I told you how much I love PB&Js, too? It’s not just kid food! I’ve been snacking on them whenever I need a quick bite and trying to hold myself back from eating the whole pan. So while I’m calling these breakfast bars, they make a perfectly acceptable snack bar as well.
I made the jelly portion of these bars with a grape chia seed jam. It’s just like my 5-minute raspberry chia seed jam, but with grapes. I think grapes give that classic PB&J flavor, but you are welcome to use whatever fruit you prefer. The jam takes 5 minutes to prepare, but then you have to let it set. Once that’s ready, this recipe is a breeze. One bowl, no fuss. Only 8 ingredients.
It’s also a dairy-free, gluten-free (use certified GF oats), low sugar, and almost vegan (I used honey). You can easily sub agave nectar if you’d like to keep this vegan. If you have a peanut allergy, I think it’d be fantastic with sunflower seed butter. This can definitely be an allergy-friendly breakfast option. I hope you love these as much as me and my whole family do!
Peanut Butter and Jelly Oatmeal Breakfast Bars
Makes 16 bars
for the jelly
1 cup grapes
2 tablespoons chia seeds
1-4 tablespoons honey*, to taste
for the base and topping
3 cups rolled oats, divided
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/3 cup honey*
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
First, prepare the jelly/jam. Place the grapes, chia seeds, and honey in blender and blend until smooth. The amount of honey you use will depend on how sweet you prefer your jam. Start with a tablespoon, taste, and go from there. Transfer the mixture to an airtight container and refrigerate until set, at least 1 hour. I let mine set overnight.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8×8 or 9×9 inch baking pan with parchment paper. Set aside.
Take 1 1/2 cups of the oats and process them in a blender or food processor until they are a fine crumb. Transfer them to a large bowl. Add the remaining 1 1/2 cups oats, peanut butter, honey, vanilla and salt and mix well. The mixture will be dry. Press a little more than half of the mixture into the bottom of the pan. Use your hands or a spatula to spread it evenly into the bottom of the pan and press it down firmly. If you are using your hands and they mixture is sticking to you too much, wet your hands slightly and it will be easier to press the mixture down. Spread the grape jelly over the top of the bottom layer. Use the rest of the oats mixture as your topping. Crumble it evenly over the top of the jelly.
Bake in the preheated oven until the top is lightly brown, about 30 minutes. Allow to cool before cutting into squares. They hold together better if you let them cool completely. Enjoy!
*Substitute agave nectar or maple syrup to make this vegan.
Recipe adapted from my Vegan Blueberry Oat Bars
I just looked at the recipe I adapted to make these bars, and I used the exact same towel in both photo shoots. I think it’s a sign I need to expand my photo prop stash, don’t you? 🙂 I hope everyone is having a great week!