Thursday, May 9, 2013

{Not quite} Nutrigrain bars...

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but as a busy family always on the run, breakfast sometimes needs to be portable. Enter Nutrigrain bars: one of the quintessential grab-and-go breakfast foods. I've been wanting to make my own breakfast bar, modeled after the soft, chewy, fruity Kelloggs brand. As I searched online, I couldn't find very many recipes that were not crumb top. While those are delicious, they don't travel well! 

I can just imagine driving in the car, crumb topped breakfast bar in one hand, steering wheel in the other. As I begin to unwrap my breakfast bar, crumbs fall off onto my shirt and lap, jam oozes onto my hands. I reach behind me into the diaper bag to retrieve a wet wipe, still holding onto the bar and steering the car with my knees...More crumbs in my lap and jam on my pants. 

These are a much safer option. :-) And! They don't contain high-fructose corn syrup, which I'm very pleased about. 

1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup old fashioned rolled oats
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/3 cup brown sugar
6 Tb. Earth Balance Margarine
1/2 cup canned coconut milk (you can also use soured soy milk - see directions below)
1/4 cup chia gel
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Reduced Sugar Strawberry Preserves (or desired fruit jam: fig, blackberry, raspberry, cherry)

*Soured soy milk: 1 Tb. lemon juice mixed with 1 cup of soy milk. Stir and allow to thicken slightly. Use as needed. 

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Spray a large cookie sheet with Pam and set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together all dry ingredients (first seven listed). Add margarine and cut in until smallish pebbles form. In another small bowl, whisk wet ingredients together, then pour into dry ingredient mixture. Stir until a soft dough forms and all flour is incorporated. It should feel like biscuit dough. Turn out onto a floured surface, adding a bit more flour to dough to make it kneadable. 

With a rolling pin, form dough into a rectangle shape that is approximately 8 x 10"  and 1/4-1/2" thick.  Divide this into smaller squares--about 4 x 4. Spoon about a tablespoon of fruit preserves into the center of the square. Fold other side of dough over the jam and slightly press the seams to close. 

Transfer bars onto greased cookie sheet. Bake at 375 for 20 minutes or until lightly browned on top. 

Yield: 10 bars


  1. how do you make your chia gel?

  2. Hi Staci,
    One of the easiest ways I've found is to grind 1 Tb. chia seed in a coffee or nut grinder and mix it with 1 cup of water. This makes a very loose gel. If you'd like a thicker gel, the proportion is 2 Tb. to 1 cup of water. Just let it rest for a few minutes to gel, then stir and use like flax seed gel.