These Whole Grain Blueberry Breakfast Bars are healthy breakfast option packed with whole grains and fiber.
~by Regan Jones, RD
Holly was my roommate in college and will always be one of my dearest friends. She was one of the funnest people you’d ever dance with on the front row at a party. She kept the messiest bedroom imaginable. And she shared my love of cereal for dinner (a quality that served us both well as college students with budgets that got awfully slim toward the end of each month. I’m really glad my dinner palate has evolved and my budget is better).
Her love of cereal, though, was mostly segmented to non-breakfast meals. Breakfast for Holly almost exclusively consisted of a Nutrigrain bar. She ate one every morning for breakfast. Always. It didn’t matter whether breakfast came at 12 noon after a night of
band parties studying or bright and early to make a rarely scheduled 8 o’clock class.
I didn’t share Holly’s love of breakfast bars back then. But I’ll make a confession - as the
most imperfect RD mom of two small boys I’ve found myself tossing them in my grocery cart frequently in recent years.
[Don’t judge. The low depths I will sink to in the name of surviving as a mom is surprising sometimes. I know they are just a Poptart in a healthier looking package, but I offer my confession to you as an endearment of my imperfection.]
While I’ve never been a Nutrigrain bar fan myself, both my kids and I have a sweet tooth at breakfast. On my good days, I’m cooking up bars like these to replace the “box of bars” I would otherwise be buying.
Sugar-filled, fiberless and protein-poor breakfasts are a prescription for a sinking feeler later in the day. So I’ve made these with whole grain flour, oats and protein powder. But I also balance them out as a Morning Meal with Greek-style yogurt for protein, plus a side of fresh fruit.
I’m not sure how Holly keeps her room these days. I know for a fact she’s still the funnest person on the front row of any party. And I’m guessing she’d welcome these bars to breakfast for her family now, just as I have.
Whole Grain Blueberry Breakfast Bars
- 2/3 cup light brown sugar, divided
- 1 cup + 1 Tablespoon spelt or whole wheat flour, divided
- 1/2 cup old fashioned oats
- 1/2 cup unflavored whey protein powder
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 cup cold, unsalted butter
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 2 Tablespoons milk
- 1 pint fresh blueberries
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Coat an 8- x 8-inch baking dish with cooking spray.
- Combine 1/3 cup brown sugar, 1 cup flour, oats, protein powder, baking powder and cinnamon; cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add egg and milk; mix until blended.
- Pat two-thirds of dough into prepared dish. Bake for five minutes.
- Meanwhile, combine remaining 1/3 cup brown sugar, blueberries and 1 tablespoon flour.
- Remove pan from oven; top with blueberry mixture.Divide remaining dough evenly over blueberries, pressing slightly into blueberries. Bake for 30 minutes or until top is lightly browned.
- Allow to cool before cutting into squares. Store in refrigerator.