For the strawberry chia jam:
- 2 cups (280 g) frozen strawberries*
- 2 Tbsp (30 ml) maple syrup
- 2 Tbsp (14 g) chia seeds
For the banana oat bars:
Make the jam:
- Add the strawberries and maple syrup to a medium saucepan set over medium heat. Heat until the berries begin to release their juices, about 5-15 minutes depending on whether or not they were thawed. Bring to a gentle boil, stirring occasionally, until the berries begin to reduce and thicken, about 5 -10 minutes. Use your spoon or a potato masher to break them apart further.
- Turn the heat down to medium-low and stir in the chia seeds. Continue to cook for another 5 minutes. Remove the saucepan from the heat and allow the jam to cool. It will continue to thicken the longer it sits.
Make the bars:
- Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C) and prepare an 8 x 8 (20 x 20 cm) baking pan by lining it with a sheet of parchment paper, leaving a few inches of overhang on the sides to allow for easy removal. Set aside.
- Combine the oats, oat flour, baking powder, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Add the mashed bananas, maple syrup, and vanilla extract, and mix until everything is well combined and a dough is formed.
- Transfer 3/4 of the mixture into your prepared baking pan, using a spatula to ensure that it is evenly spread. Spoon the chia jam over the surface, and use a spatula or knife to spread it evenly, making sure to lave some space around the edges to prevent the jam from burning. Drop the remaining oat mixture on top, using a spoon to spread it around and swirl it into the jam a little.
- Bake for 30 – 35 minutes until the top turns a light golden brown. Remove the bars from the oven and let them cool in the pan for about 10 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely. Store the bars in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days. Or in the fridge if the weather is warmer.
* You can sub out the strawberries for another type of berry. Or use 3/4 cup store-bought jam if you don’t want to make your own.
** If you don’t have any oat flour on hand, toss 1 cup (80 g) of oats into a blender and process them on high until they resemble a fine flour.
Keywords: gluten-free oat bars, strawberry banana oat bars, strawberry chia seed jam, strawberry oat bars, vegan oat bars