Blueberry Breakfast Bars – Gluten-Free, Sugar-Free Kids

As you know, I am working hard at getting my family to be mostly sugar and gluten-free.  I don’t feel that they need to be as low carb as I am, but I am committed to eliminating the majority of wheat-based products we keep in this house.  I have a strong supporter in my husband, who actually crowed with delight the other day when he discovered that we’d already used up the last loaf of wheat bread in the freezer.  But winning over the kids is a much more difficult task and I have to savour whatever little victories I can achieve.  They are young yet, and want to eat what they see their friends at school eat, so my sugar-free, gluten-free recipes often meet with more than a little suspicion.

And I have some stiff competition in the world of pre-packaged foods.  Heretofore, they were allowed some of these snacks as long as they passed mum’s nutritional standards.  Breakfast bars and cereal bars, as long as they actually had a decent amount of fiber and weren’t loaded with high-fructose corn syrup, used to pass those standards.  But they don’t any longer and now I’ve had to rethink my approach.  Just purchasing gluten-free cereal bars isn’t really an option because they may not contain wheat, but they often still contain a fair amount of sugar.

But what is a cereal bar, anyway?  A layer of crust, a fruity filling and another layer of crust.  It can’t be that hard to make them gluten-free AND sugar-free, can it?  And if you happen to have a jar of homemade, sugar-free blueberry jam in your cellar, they are even easier.    Whip up a healthy crust, spread the jam, bake…and pray that your kids like them.  Hold your breath as you offer them to your children for breakfast.  Wait for it…wait for it…oh, hey!  They like them.  They really like them!  Mum 1:  Gluten 0.

If you don’t happen to have a jar of homemade, sugar-free jam, you can use storebought easily.  I try to avoid the kinds with sucralose, as I am not a fan of either the taste of how it’s made.  There are some that are made with no sweeteners at all, like Polaner’s, but you  may find that the filling melts into the crust (should still taste good, though!).  Other jams are made with xylitol, and would work well.

Blueberry Breakfast Bars – Gluten-Free, Sugar-Free Kids

Yield: 16 bars

Ingredients

  • 1 cup oat flour
  • 1 cup golden flax seed meal
  • 1/2 cup all purpose gluten-free flour (I used Bob's Red Mill)
  • 1/4 cup Swerve Sweetener or erythritol
  • 1 1/2 tsp xanthan gum
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 10 tbsp butter, melted
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 30 drops stevia extract
  • 2 cups sugar-free blueberry jam (I used homemade)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375F and butter an 8x8 inch baking pan.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together oat flour, flax seed meal, all purpose GF flour, erythritol, xanthan gum, baking powder and salt.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together melted butter, vanilla and stevia. Add butter to flour mixture and stir until combined.
  4. Press half of mixture firmly into bottom of prepared pan.
  5. Spread blueberry jam over crust, then sprinkle with remaining flour mixture and press lightly to adhere.
  6. Bake 20 to 25 minutes, until bubbly and crust is golden brown. Remove and let cool in pan.
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Comments

  1. These look fantastic! Love the lack of sugar. :) The middle layer looks to be just the right thickness. Yum!

  2. Bravo to you, Mum! We don’t have any wheat problems here but I am trying to keep the family away from the high sugar foods too. These look absolutely fantastic. I love anything that combines fruit and an oat crust.

  3. These look delish! I’ve got some sugar free strawberry jam that I’ll try as a sub. I’m so glad your husband is on board with the gluten free. Mine is, too, and it makes a huge difference! Have you tried packing them in a lunchbox? Do they hold up? Even if not, I’ll make these for breakfast/after school snack.

  4. I so wish I had one of these for breakfast today! And I bet they taste a million times better than the kind you buy at the store.

  5. These look incredible Carolyn!!

  6. These sound delicious! I love how they aren’t loaded with sugar!

  7. Would oat flour be gluten free? is it wheat free? if not would almond flour work?

    • Yes, this is gluten-free oat flour, from Bob’s Red Mill. No, I don’t actually think almond flour would work well in these proportions. Thanks!

  8. I know these aren’t supposed to be low-carb but do you have a carb count on them anyway? They look SO GOOD.

  9. Pre-packaged foods are so icky! I am so glad that you are fighting the good fight! These look amazing!!

  10. Those look amazing. I applaud your efforts in getting your kids off of the processed stuff. Even though they may not now, they will applaud you in the end. My parents were quite restrictive in what they allowed us to eat at home and I know it shaped me as an adult eater that makes mindful choices. Keep on keeping on :) Thanks for another wonderful recipe.

  11. Yum! I’m all for healthy kid-approved foods. My son would probably love these, he loves blueberries. ;)

  12. These look great. Is the recipe for the sugarless blueberry jam on here somewhere?

    • No, but it’s straightforward if you follow the directions on the insert in the Pomona’s Universal Pectin packet. I used erythritol to sweeten it.

  13. These look amazing!! A must try!

  14. I love how you came up with these healthier cereal bars Carolyn – your kids are so lucky to have you as their mom!

  15. This looks awesome!

  16. Oh they look incredible! I’d eat the entire pan all by myself… no help needed from the kids. ;)

  17. Love the recipe! Cereal bars are a favorite of mine. And these would be so tasty with any jam in the middle – raspberry, strawberry, peach – yum!

  18. I don’t have oat flour, would it be possible to grind up oats in my coffee grinder like I do with flax?

    • Hmmmm….yes, I suppose so, but there’s no way you’d get it as fine as milled oat flour. But this is supposed to be crumbly, so I think it might turn out all right.

  19. These bars are AWESOME!!! I made a batch last night before going to bed and had one for breakfast this morning.
    As someone who’s insulin resistant and always looking for low-carb healthy options that I can make rather than buy I am so thankful for recipes like this one :) Now i’m just trying to convince the Mister and the Teenager that they really are good despite being healthy :)

  20. Carolyn,

    First of all, you’re amazing!
    Secondly…I’m having a terrible time finding gluten free oat flour :( I know oats are technically gluten free but I’ve had trouble with them in the past (I am gluten sensitive and do not wish to do gut-battle with oats!) and can’t seem to find anything labeled “gluten free” in the oat flour department. Even Bob’s RedMill doesn’t specify gluten free.

    Is there anything else I can use? I noticed you said almond flour wouldn’t work here. If you have another suggestion I’d love to hear it!

    Thanks so much for all you do; you are entertaining and your food is fabulous.

    • Hi Christina,

      Actually, Bob’s Red Mill makes two kinds of oat flour and one of them actually is labeled gluten-free. But perhaps your local stores don’t carry them? I think as a sub, you could maybe to 1/2 cup almond flour and 3 tbsp coconut flour. You want something drier than almond flour usually is and something that isn’t as crazy absorbent as coconut flour, so maybe a mix of the two would work. And perhaps a tbsp of arrowroot starch to get it all to hang together a little better. I hope that works!

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