There are fancy squares and there are not-so-fancy squares. These are the not-so-fancy squares. In fact, they look a bit boring to the untrained eye, but they are actually packing interesting and healthy ingredients like flax and chia seeds. This is exciting, especially if you are a health geek like me. The beauty of these squares is you can dress them up anyway you like. Just like a basic bowl of oatmeal, they can be changed up on a whim.
Despite inhaling half the batch, I actually made these for my husband to bring to work. He now spends the better part of his days in meetings without any healthy food on hand, so I thought these would be a perfect pack-and-go snack.
They aren’t super sweet or bursting with chocolate and fancy mix-ins, although, you could make them that way if you want too! Filled with flax, chia, and whole grains, they are practical yet tasty at the same time. Whether you need an effortless breakfast on-the-run or an afternoon snack during a busy work day, I hope you will enjoy these squares as much as we do.
On the glow basic oatmeal squares
Think of this oatmeal square as basic baked oatmeal that can be dressed up any way you like. Each large square contains a tablespoon of flax and a teaspoon of chia seeds as well as 7 grams of fibre and 6 grams of protein. Feel free to add in nuts, dried fruit, chocolate, and other mix-ins as you desire. Just be careful about frozen fruit. When I made a trial with frozen blueberries they became quite soggy. Use fresh blueberries (or even dried) and you should be fine.
Yield: 9 large squares
• 2.5 cups regular rolled oats (not instant oats), divided
• 3 tbsp chia seed
• 1/2 cup + 1 tbsp ground flax
• 1 tsp cinnamon
• 1 tsp baking powder
• 1/4 tsp kosher salt
• 1.5 cups almond milk (or other milk)
• 1/2 cup pure maple syrup (or other liquid sweetener)
• 2 tbsp nut or seed butter
• 1 banana, chopped small
• 1 tbsp pure vanilla extract
• Dry sweetener, to taste if you want them a bit sweeter
1. Preheat oven to 350F and line an 8 inch square pan with two pieces of parchment paper.
2. In a blender or food processor, blend/process 1 cup of the oats until a flour forms. Or you can just use 1 cup of oat flour.
3. In a large bowl, mix together the dry ingredients: oat flour, 1.5 cups rolled oats, chia, flax, baking powder, salt, cinnamon. In a smaller bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients: milk, syrup, nut/seed butter, banana, vanilla until no clumps remain. Add wet to dry and stir until combined. Add dry sweetener to taste if desired. Fold in any nuts or dried fruit that you desire.
4. Pour mixture into prepared pan and smooth out. Bake for 35-40 minutes until lightly golden along edge and it springs back slowly when touched. I baked them for 40 minutes, but baking time may vary. Place pan on cooling rack for 10 minutes, carefully remove, and cool on rack before slicing.
Nutritional Info: (per square, makes 9 squares): 228 kcals, 9 grams fat, 110 mg sodium, 33 grams carbs, 7 grams fibre, 13 grams sugar, 6 grams protein.
Angela Liddon is the creator of Oh She Glows — a popular healthy vegan recipe website receiving over 1.6 million page views a month — and one of Chatelaine‘s Women of the Year 2011. Angela’s passion for healthy vegan food is contagious and she’s eager to show others that vegan (and often gluten-free) food can blow your taste buds away.