Homemade Whole Grain Fruit-Filled Bars are the perfect back to school treat! Kids and adults will gobble up these bars!
Labor Day is over which means it’s time to get back to school and back to the grind. I tried to ignore it for as long as I could, but I can’t pretend anymore! School is in full swing and that means it’s time to wake up early, pack school lunches, do homework, and go to bed early. Caleb isn’t old enough to go to school yet, but I still feel the need to get back to our regular schedule. We kind of let things go during the summer months. We are more flexible with our work schedule, naps, bedtime, and even diet. I ate a few too many desserts in Jackson Hole🙂
Back to school doesn’t mean we can’t have fun though! To kick off our “school” year and new routine we made Whole Grain Fruit-Filled Bars. These bars are fun to make and fun to eat!
The recipe for Whole Grain Fruit-Filled Bars comes from Catherine McCord’s new cookbook, Weelicious Lunches. Catherine’s first book is a favorite at our house so when she told me she was writing a second book all about healthy lunches, I started counting down the days until release date. Well, it’s here and the book is fabulous!
Weelicious Lunches is filled with healthy and fun recipes, lists of lunchbox favorites, facts on food allergies, and tips for picky eaters. Catherine’s recipes are sure to make even your pickiest eaters happy! Plus, there is a chapter dedicated to Peanut Butter & Jelly. I am going to be tackling that chapter very soon:)
But let’s talk about these Whole Grain Fruit-Filled Bars. I never buy packaged granola or fruit bars at the store. Most bars have ingredients that I can’t pronounce and are expensive so I stay away. I always make homemade granola bars, but haven’t tried making a fruit bar. So when I saw Catherine’s recipe for Whole Grain Fruit-Filled Bars I knew I had to try them!
There are only seven ingredients in these bars and I can pronounce all of them:) I love that they are made with whole wheat flour and oats. You can use your favorite jam or fruit preserves for the filling. I went with homemade triple berry jam that our friends gave to us.
The bars have a buttery whole grain crust with a sweet fruity filing! They are the perfect treat for school lunches or an after school snack. They are easy to pack and will keep in the refrigerator for up to a week. So you can make a pan and ration out the bars during the week.
I tried to ration out our bars, but they went quickly. Caleb wanted a taste as soon as they came out of the oven!
Whole Grain Fruit-Filled Bars are the perfect back to school or anytime treat. I know we will be making these homemade fruit bars all of the time!
And make sure you check out Catherine’s blog, Weelicious, for more healthy kid-friendly recipes! And if you want a daily dose of lunch inspiration follow Weelicious on Instagram. Every day Catherine posts a photo of a healthy lunch box. She has the best ideas! I want to be Catherine when I grow up!
Whole Grain Fruit-Filled Bars
- 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
- 1 1/2 cups old-fashioned oats
- 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup cold unsalted butter, chopped into 1/2-inch cubes
- 2 tablespoons cold water
- 3/4 cup fruit preserves or jam
- 1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- 2. In the bowl of a food processor, combine the flour, oats, brown sugar, and salt. Pulse for 30 seconds.
- 3. Add the butter and cold water and pulse until the dough holds together when pressed.
- 4. Grease a 9x13-inch baking dish, line it with parchment paper, and grease the parchment paper.
- 5. Divide the dough mixture in half and press half into the prepared baking dish, using the back of a spatula to press down evenly.
- 6. Spread the preserves evenly on top of the dough. Sprinkle the remaining dough evenly on top of the preserves and gently press down using the back of a spatula.
- 7. Bake for 45 minutes, or until golden brown.
- 8. Cool, cut into 1 ½ x 4-inch bars, and serve.
- Note-bars can be stored at room temperature up to 3 days or refrigerated for up to a week.
Have you tried this recipe?
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When you say “baking dish”, do you mean a 9×13 cookie pan or a 9×13 pyrex dish?
A pyrex dish!
I made these today, they seem great but there is NO way that mixture would have covered a 9×13 dish, I had to put it in a 8.5×11 dish and it only just fit.
I made these today and they are awesome! My very picky 5 yo daughter loves them. Thank you.
What it work if I used oil and applesauce and place of the butter? I would prefer not to use that much better. My son has a dairy intolerance.
I haven’t tried appelsauce and oil. Let me know if it works for you!
These are wonderful! My husband loved them and said they were one of the best things I’ve ever made. I love that they’re not too sweet and I know exactly what is going into them. My toddler was not a fan, but it’s ok- he doesn’t like anything. 🙂 I used organic strawberry jam from Trader Joe’s – delicious! Thank you!
You are welcome! I am glad your husband loved them!
I had the same experience where the adults all love these but the younger kids weren’t fans. So strange.
Any suggestions on how you can add veggies into the filing?
I’ve been making these for about six months, they are really great. However, I was comparing them to Nutrigrain bars for nutrition because I was going to use the recipe in a Sinners vs Saints recipe contest with family and they are really high in fat and sugar when you break it down- 12 grams of fat per bar, 17.5 grams of sugar per bar. Any tips to reduce those numbers?
I will have to play with the recipe to reduce the sugar and butter. Maybe try coconut oil?
Made these a few days ago…pan is almost empty. I love the oatmeal bars that they sell in the bakery at Whole Foods, but I’m tired of spend $2-3 every time to buy one. I ground up the oats so I had a smoother blend. I think I may need to use more butter because I had some crumbling in the bar. I used an entire jar of my mom and dad’s blackberry jam. Will definitely use this recipe again. Thank you for sharing!
Hi Mrs. Maria and Mr. Josh. I am a student at Loma Linda Academy and a writer for the school newspaper. Do you mind if I publish your recipe in the newspaper for my article about healthy snacks? Thank you so much for your help!
Does anyone have a suggestion for a good brand of whole wheat flour? I recently switched to using whole wheat flour with my baking and the last time I bought a bag I made cookies and they were very gritty. Also, they had a different texture to them. Any suggestions are appreciated.
I like to use Gold Medal Flour’s White Whole Wheat Flour. It has a nice texture and my boys don’t even know it’s whole wheat:)
can i replace the old fashioned oats to quick oats or instant oats?
Was wondering if I could freeze these?
I haven’t tried it. Let me know if you try it!
Made these during the weekend snow storm..Mine are crunchy . Are they supposed to be crunchy?
I added extra jam…Very good!!!!
Made these bars according to recipe they were delicious…we used some delicious plum preserves that is a little tart. These are great for an adult breakfast too. They are very hard to resist.
Is there any way to make these without a food processor?
Can I cut this recipe in half? I am watching my weight and want to avoid things like butter.
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