Nicole MacPherson: Meatless Mummy Con Carne


Oatmeal Snack Bars



Well, here we go - jumping with both feet into September. In my house, we are juggling two different schools with two very different start and end times, intenstified karate practices for both boys, requests for school volunteers, and the usual increased work load that September tends to bring. Oh, and did I mention I'm in the thick of yoga teacher training? I am. 

It is a busy, busy season, but I'd much rather be busy than bored, wouldn't you? Fortunately for me, there's no chance of that happening. 

All of which is to say, everyone in our house needs to stay fueled. We need snacks we can grab and get-out-of-Dodge with. We need fuel for rapidly-growing bodies and minds. We need energy because our day starts at 4:30 am and go-go-goes until we collapse at 9:00 pm. Okay, that last one is just me. 

Don't try to contact me after 9:00 pm. It just isn't going to happen.

But back to this recipe! A few months ago, the lovely Seanna brought delicious oat bars to a YMC meeting, and I dreamed about them for a long time afterwards. They were that good. I decided to make my own version of the bars; this was the result, and it was the subject of much accolades in my household. It is a good source of energy and very versatile - you can add whatever fruit, seeds, nuts, or chips that you like!


1 cup coconut oil, softened
2/3 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup honey or maple syrup
2 teaspoons vanilla 
1 flax egg (or regular egg, fork beaten)
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 cups oats
1/4 cup hemp seeds (optional, but great for energy)
1/2 cup chocolate chips (non-dairy if desired)
1/4 cup dried blueberries
1/4 cup chopped dried apricot
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds



  Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9x13 pan with parchment paper, leaving enough overlap for "handles" (see photo below).

  Cream together coconut oil, brown sugar, honey or maple syrup, vanilla, and flax egg.

  Mix in flour, baking powder, and cinnamon. Stir in oats until combined.

  Fold in hemp seeds, chocolate chips, dried fruit, and pumpkin seeds. 

  Spread evenly in prepared pan and bake for 30 minutes.

  Allow to cool completely before cutting into bars.

  *NOTE* Substitute any dried fruit, seeds, nuts, or chips that you like, as long as they make a total of 1 1/2 cups. Some suggestions: dried cranberries, chopped almonds, sunflower seeds, butterscotch chips, white chocolate chips, chopped dried mangos.


Easy oatmeal lunchbox bars |

Use enough parchment paper so that you have "handles."

Easy oatmeal lunchbox bars |

Then you can lift the cooled bars right out of the pan and onto a cutting board, using the "handles."

Easy oatmeal lunchbox bars |

Easy oatmeal lunchbox bars |

Adapted from The Nutritionnaire, a.k.a. Seanna of the Alphabet Kitchen

 Want more grab-and-go snacks? Try my Chewy, Nut-Free High Protein Granola Bars, my Nut-Free Gluten-Free Sugar-Free Vegan Energy Bars, or my No-Bake, Easy Nut-Free School Safe Granola Bars. I'm sure if I think about it long enough, I will be able to come up with even longer titles for snack bars.