These wholesome strawberry oatmeal bars are bursting with juicy strawberry flavour and whole grain goodness. SO easy to mix up, they’re the perfect, not-too-sweet, fruity treat for dessert, tea time or even breakfast! 

strawberry oatmeal bar on white plate with fork
These healthy oatmeal bars are bursting with fresh strawberries plus whole grain oats and hemp hearts for a nourishing treat!

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I find myself completely shocked to say that I am now firmly a fruit dessert kind of person. And not in that cliche, dietitian, “fruit makes the best dessert!” kind of way. 

I’m talking, take some gorgeous juicy fruit and transform it into the most craveable dessert of your dreams kind of way, like my out of this world strawberry coconut sorbet.

If you’ve been here for a while, you know these truths: 1) I’m not baking unless it’s really easy…and 2) I can’t help myself when it comes to crafting nutrient-dense desserts. 

And these easy oatmeal bars with fresh strawberries are so, so me. Like, just how me? All you need to make these is one bowl and 15 minutes of hands on time to mix everything up. The oven does the heavy lifting here. 

Plus, I’ve managed to tuck in protein-, omega 3- and mineral-rich hemp hearts into this crumble. Between that, the whole grain oats and heart healthy fats, these incredible strawberry oatmeal bars are a juicy, delicious dessert nourishing enough to make a solid stand-in for a quick on-the-go BREAKFAST. I mean, we’ve got fruit, fibre, protein and omega 3s…and they’re super low in added sugars. 

They’re a big hit with my family too. It took exactly 24 hours for the last batch to disappear! Given the side eye I get from my kids when they ask me how “healthy” my plant-based recipes are, I consider it a MAJOR win.

These strawberry oat bars have a tender, flexible crust, somewhere in between cake and granola bar because I’ve used quick oats for a more delicate texture. I eat them with a fork. Naturally vegan because they’re made with heart healthy olive or avocado oil, you can easily swap in a starch-based gluten free flour for a gluten free and low FODMAP version (plus, no nuts!).

How to make these easy strawberry oatmeal bars

Before we go any further, we need to talk strawberries. Obviously, these bars taste the most delicious when your strawberries are SO sweet and juicy but guess what? That’s not always gonna be the case.

So what’s a hungry girl to do? Well, you’re gonna taste those strawberries and adjust accordingly. What’s that mean? If your strawberries aren’t super sweet (they likely aren’t really juicy either), then you need MORE maple syrup. The maple syrup adds sweetness, which enhances the flavour, but/and/also, because it’s a liquid sweetener, it will add moisture to the strawberry layer so it doesn’t get all dried out (CLEVER!!!)

And yes… you can make these with frozen strawberries but I’m gonna give it to you STRAIGHT: some frozen strawberries taste just awful (HOW?), and well, you’ll need to fix that. If you can get them, Costco frozen strawberries are super good and I dunno, taste like actual strawberries? If that’s not what you have, just follow the above advice: thaw until choppable, taste, and sweeten accordingly.

NOW we’re ready for the step by step (full recipe at the bottom of the post!)

Alright chef, grab those ingredients: you’ll need quick oats, hemp hearts, whole wheat or gluten free blend, salt, baking powder, maple syrup, olive or avocado oil and vanilla plus some fresh or frozen strawberries, arrowroot powder, and lemon.

fresh strawberries, oats and flour in bowls
You’ve got some options here: fresh or frozen strawberries; then whole grain, white or gluten free flour!

Step One: mix up the oatmeal base in a bowl. You’ll stir the oats, hemp hearts, flour, salt, baking powder, maple syrup, oil and vanilla with a fork until it looks all crumbly with no visible flour spots. Be sure to scoop out and reserve one cup of the base because it will become the crumble on top!

Step Two: press that oat base firmly and evenly into the bottom of an 8×8 square baking pan. If you find the base is sticking to your hand, making it difficult to press, here’s a hack: run your hand under the tap so it’s wet and then press. Damp hands for the win!

Step Three: in the same bowl (give it a quick wipe), add strawberries, arrowroot, maple syrup, lemon and salt, gently smashing them as you mix. Taste…not sweet or juicy enough? Add more sugar or maple syrup, one tablespoon at a time. 

Step Four: evenly spread the strawberry mixture over the oat base. Then sprinkle the reserved oat mixture over the strawberries as your crumble topping.

Step Five: bake at 350F (175C) for 38 – 45 minutes until the strawberries are bubbling and the crumble topping is golden. Let cool COMPLETELY and then cut into 9 bars. 

These juicy strawberry oatmeal crumble bars are so so good on their own, but you could absolutely serve them with a dollop of Greek-style yogurt for breakfast, or some ice cream for dessert!

strawberry oatmeal crumble bars in pan
These juicy, nourishing strawberry oatmeal bars have a lovely nutrient-dense oatmeal base and crumble.

Looking for more epic berry desserts?

strawberry oatmeal bar on white plate with fork

Fresh Strawberry Oatmeal Bars with Hemp Hearts

These wholesome strawberry oatmeal bars are bursting with juicy strawberry flavour and whole grain goodness. SO easy to mix up, they’re the perfect, not-too-sweet, fruity treat for dessert, tea time or even breakfast!
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Ingredients

Oatmeal Base + Crumble

  • 2 cups quick oats, see note if you want to use rolled oats
  • 1 cup whole wheat or spelt flour, swap a starch-based GF flour blend if desired
  • ½ cup hemp hearts
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil, or avocado oil
  • cup maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Strawberry Filling

  • 4 cups fresh strawberries, diced, see notes for frozen
  • 2 tablespoons sugar or maple syrup, use up to 1/4 cup to taste, see notes in post!
  • 2 tablespoons arrowroot powder, cornstarch works too!
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • pinch salt

Equipment

  • 8 x 8 inch square baking dish

Instructions 

  • Preheat the oven to 350℉ (175℃). Line an 8 x 8 square baking dish with parchment paper to prevent sticking.
  • In a large bowl, mix together the oats, flour, hemp hearts, baking powder, salt, oil, maple syrup, and vanilla until well combined. Reserve 1 cup (250 mL) of the mixture for the topping.
  • Using damp hands, press the remaining mixture firmly and evenly into baking dish. You want to use firm pressure as it helps the base come together!
  • Give the bowl a quick wipe if desired, and then mix the diced strawberries, maple syrup, lemon juice, arrowroot and salt. Gently smash the berries as you mix. If the mixture isn't getting juicy at all, this is your sign that you might need some more maple syrup.
  • Evenly spread the strawberry mixture over the oat base. Then, crumble the reserved oat mixture over the strawberries.
  • Bake until the strawberries are jammy and bubbly, and the oat crumble looks golden, about 38-45 minutes.
  • Let cool completely in the pan, set on a cooling rack. Once cool, carefully lift the bars onto a cutting board and cut into 9 or 12 squares.

Notes

Bars will keep in the fridge for 3-4 days…if they last that long!
Want to use rolled oats? It will change the texture but you can do it. Use 1  1/2 cups rolled oats with some extra hydration: add either 1/4 cup more oil or some almond or peanut butter.
And yes… you can make these with frozen strawberries but I’m gonna give it to you STRAIGHT: some frozen strawberries taste just awful (HOW?), and well, you’ll need to fix that. If you can get them, Costco frozen strawberries are super good and I dunno, taste like actual strawberries? If that’s not what you have, just thaw until choppable, taste, and sweeten accordingly.
For my low FODMAP friends, 1/9 of the recipe is low FODMAP, as long as you’re using a low FODMAP baking blend. This means a starch-based flour like Bob’s Red Mill 1:1 (the blue bag, NOT the red and yellow bag…that one is chickpea based).