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Chewy Apple Oatmeal Bars (Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Refined sugar-free)

These Chewy Apple Oatmeal Bars are a deliciously healthy on-the-go breakfast. They’re perfect for workout fuel, as well as a tasty afternoon snack you’ll feel great about. 

chewy apple oatmeal bars baked oatmeal recipe apple baked oatmeal
Only 10 ingredients for these Apple Oatmeal Bars

Apple Baked Oatmeal Bars

Aside from a bit of necessary glucose for fueling my long runs, going without refined sugar has been pretty manageable for one month. I’m once again surprised how doable a sugar fast can be. And this is coming from me, the girl who eats cookies for breakfast.

It absolutely helps that I allow a small amount of raw honey or pure maple syrup occasionally throughout the month. Truth: the boys have gone from mugs of hot chocolate with ‘mallows to cups of herbal tea with a teaspoon of honey. I casually act like it’s no biggie when my teen boys reach for chamomile tea. I’m not about to mess with that.

It also helps that when the baking bug strikes hard, I can whip up delicious goodies like these Apple Oatmeal Bars —  sweetened with pure maple syrup and applesauce. If it prevents me from running to Dairy Queen, it’s a total win.

These Apple Oatmeal Bars are gluten-free, dairy-free as well, making them perfect for those who are intolerant to either of those ingredients.

Apples and oats, here we go…

chewy apple oatmeal bars baked oatmeal recipe apple baked oatmeal

Ingredients for Chewy Apple Oatmeal Bars

  • Gluten Free Old Fashioned Oats – Be sure you’re using the old fashioned rolled oats, rather than quick cooking oats. This helps with the chewy good texture.
  • Ground Cinnamon – We’re not shy here, going with 2 tsp good quality cinnamon in the bars themselves, and a little sprinkle on top after baking.
  • Baking Powder – Always be sure your baking powder is fresh and not even close to expiring. Baking powder gives these bars a higher lift and a soft texture.
  • Unsweetened Applesauce – If you want to keep these apple oatmeal bars sugar free, be sure to get applesauce that’s labeled “no sugar added.” It can be easy to accidentally grab a jar of applesauce that is laden with added sugar. If you’re into making your own applesauce via slow cooker, that’s another great option.
  • Pure Maple Syrup – Definitely use 100% pure maple syrup here; not pancake syrup or any other syrup. We only use 6TB in this recipe, as our goal was to keep these bars light and healthy. Feel free to amp up the maple syrup a bit if the batter tastes too light for you. Another great option is raw honey, in place of the maple.
  • Coconut Oil – Measure the coconut oil as a liquid, melting it before measuring. Coconut oil lends a subtle aromatic flavor, while remaining mostly undetected in this recipe. It’s a fabulous alternative to butter, and allows these oatmeal bars to remain dairy-free.
  • Egg – Eggs are classified as a protein and not a dairy product. So happy about that, as it allows those who are dairy intolerant to enjoy these bars. Just 1 large egg will help the binding of these yummy oat bars.
  • Vanilla – Only 100% pure vanilla extract belongs in these delicious oat bars. We go with a generous 2 tsp vanilla here, which provides great aromatic flavor.
  • Apple – You’ll need 1/2 cup loosely packed grated apple here. I love Honeycrisp apples, as they have such amazing apple-y flavor. You can also use Fuji or Granny Smith. If you prefer to chop your apple instead of grate them, you’ll have little chunks of apple bits to enjoy in every bite.

Optional Add-ins for Apple Oatmeal Bars

Add-ins are seriously my fave part of recipes like this. I love, love playing with various add-ins. Obviously, I kept mine basic for these pix, since I didn’t want to throw anyone off with my impulsive add-ins, but here are some yummy ideas if you’re so inclined. About 1/2 to 1 cup of any of the following:

  • Your choice of chopped nuts
  • Roasted sunflower or pumpkin seeds
  • Shredded toasted coconut
  • Your choice dried fruits (i.e., blueberries, cranberries, raisins)
  • Semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate chips

Any other ideas for fun add-ins, feel free to share!

chewy apple oatmeal bars baked oatmeal recipe apple baked oatmeal

What’s the texture of these apple oatmeal bars?

These apple oatmeal bars are similar to baked oatmeal, like this Maple Cinnamon Baked Oatmeal (Gluten-Free). They’re soft, chewy, and dense with a bit of fluff. I do find that these apple oatmeal bars are a just a tad fluffier and lighter in texture than your typical baked oatmeal. That’s possibly due to using applesauce instead of milk in this recipe.

These are definitely not crunchy nor crispy. If you’re looking for crisp, go with Crunchy Granola.  Ultimately, their texture might be like a merger of an oatmeal cake and a chewy bar. Whether that makes sense or not, I’ve no idea, but just make these bars and you’ll know what I mean.

Why we love this apple oatmeal bars recipe

  • These apple oatmeal bars are gluten-free, sugar-free, and dairy-free so pretty much all my friends can freely devour
  • These bars manage to be both healthy and super delicious
  • They’re chewy soft and stay that way for days
  • They keep well, airtight, at room temp for a few days
  • They’re a feel-good breakfast, workout fuel, or afternoon snack (read: no guilt)
  • They’re super easy to make
  • You can play with all the fun add-ins you like, changing it up every time you make them👉🏼 Even picky tweens inhale these. ‘Nuff said.
chewy apple oatmeal bars baked oatmeal recipe apple baked oatmeal

Chewy Apple Oatmeal Bars (Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Refined sugar-free)

5 from 10 ratings
These Chewy Apple Oatmeal Bars are a deliciously healthy on-the-go breakfast. They're perfect for workout fuel, as well as a tasty afternoon snack you'll feel great about. 
Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 30 mins
Servings: 12

Ingredients  

  • 1 ⅓ cup pure applesauce, no sugar added
  • 6 TB pure maple syrup
  • cup melted coconut oil
  • 1 large egg, room temp
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • ½ cup grated apple, loosely packed (I like honeycrisp)
  • 2 ½ cup GF old fashioned oats, divided
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp table salt
  • Optional add-ins: 1/2-1 cup nuts, seeds, shredded coconut, dried fruit, chocolate chips

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350F, with rack on lower middle position. Grease an 8x8 baking pan and set aside.
  • In a large bowl, combine applesauce, maple syrup, melted coconut oil, egg, vanilla, and grated apple. Use hand whisk to combine well; set aside.
  • Using a strong blender or food processor, blend 1 cup oats until you have oat flour. In a bowl, combine your oat flour with remaining rolled oats, cinnamon, baking powder, and table salt. Use hand whisk to combine well.
    apple baked oatmeal bars dry ingredients
  • Gradually pour oat mixture into applesauce mixture, using rubber spatula to fold dry ingredients into wet ingredients just until no more dry flour streaks remain (do not over mix)
  • Use rubber spatula to fully transfer batter into greased 8x8 pan, evening out the corners. Bake 30-35 minutes or just until edges are golden and toothpick inserted into center comes out clean. Do not over bake. Let baked oatmeal cool at room temp before cutting into bars. Can be stored at room temp, airtight, for 2-3 days.

Notes

These oatmeal bars may be wrapped airtight and frozen for a week or two, for easy grab-and-go. Maple syrup can be substituted with pure honey;  keep in mind honey is a bit sweeter than maple. For more texture, you can chop your apples instead of grate them, if you like.
If you enjoyed this recipe, we'd love for you to come back and give it a rating 🙂 

Nutrition

Calories: 166kcal | Carbohydrates: 22.6g | Protein: 2.7g | Fat: 6.4g | Saturated Fat: 5.3g | Cholesterol: 15.5mg | Sodium: 57mg | Fiber: 2.3g | Sugar: 9.2g
Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Diet: Gluten Free
Method: Bake

Did you make this?

Leave a comment below and tag @chewoutloud on Instagram

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Recipe Rating




40 comments

    • Janice

    don’t have coconut oil. Can i use avocado oil? Butter?

      • Amy Dong

      Yes, either of those would work!

    • Beth
    • 5 stars

    I have to leave out the egg and I use date syrup instead of maple syrup but they are really yummy for lower glycemic, gluten-free treats. I’ve used coconut oil and canola oil and I like them both! They freeze up great.

      • chewoutloud

      Thanks for that idea! Happy you liked these! 🙂

    • Sarah

    This recipe looks tasty, but the recipe is very hard to read given the format. If I did make this recipe I would have to re-write it into standard recipe format. It would be lovely if you would do it for me. 🙂

    • Judy

    Made these and they were good. Not sweet but good energy food for tennis! Kids liked them too!

    • Texas Annie
    • 5 stars

    I initially made these as a breakfast for my almost 2yo twin grandsons as they are reminiscent of things I used to make for my sons. These were not only a big hit with them but also with my husband. So easy!! My 2nd batch baked up perfectly in my 24 count mini muffin top pan making them easy to share/freeze. I am stirring up my 3rd batch in 2 weeks this afternoon. Thanks so much.

      • chewoutloud

      You’re so welcome, Annie! 🙂 I love that you can now bake for your grandsons, like you did for your sons! 🙂

    • Brianna B.
    • 5 stars

    I made these today. They were a hit with my while family. They said they are delicious and politely asked for more! I will definitely make these again! Thank you for this amazingly delicious recipe!

      • chewoutloud

      You’re so very welcome, Brianna! Thanks for coming back to let us know you guys enjoyed this! 🙂 🙂

    • Amber Faust
    • 5 stars

    These look so good. Oats are so good for you!

    • oxfordmomma

    These look so good! I could totally throw a few in a baggie to snack on at work.

    • Lynn

    Just the recipe I needed to make my own snack bars. Thanks for sharing it. Will definitely try it.

    • Catherine
    • 5 stars

    Your apple bars look absolutely delightful and perfect for this snowy day. I’d love one right now!

    • Elizabeth O

    look so good! I definitely gonna try these. love this recipe.

    • Chelle Dizon
    • 5 stars

    I would love to make that apple oatmeal bar recipe next week This will be a favorite snacks here at homefor sure!

    • Lisa

    I love granola bars, and these ones are so easy to make! Great recipe!

    • Erica Ardali (@EricaEverAfter)

    These look like the perfect afternoon snack

    • terristeffes
    • 5 stars

    They look delicious and I know that they would be a hit at my house. Apple things are pretty popular around here.

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