If it weren’t for peanut butter, I might not have made it past 5 feet. As a notorious fussy eater, I engaged in a 15 year eating jag consuming a daily peanut butter-jam sandwich for lunch from toddlerhood until college. I found most other healthy foods revolting. My mother looks for audiences to share the stories which best illustrate my former fussy self, but only if I am also a member of the audience—like the time I made a spectacle of gagging on ham at a formal dinner or the time I scraped half-eaten stew back into the pot at our pastor’s home before anyone could stop me.
She must find it particularly galling that I later became not only an adventurous eater but also a nutrition and culinary educator who teaches parents how to raise healthy eaters. So I submit to her small revenge, and not a Mother’s Day passes when I don’t sincerely apologize for these childhood transgressions. She says she forgives but clearly she doesn’t forget.
Peanut butter spared me a lifetime of short jokes and step-stool fetching. Perhaps because of this, my love affair with this supreme legume continues. So when I began thinking of a DIY breakfast bar to avoid buying the exorbitantly priced “all-natural” ones at the supermarket, my thoughts turned to peanut butter. Jam made the short list too not only for the classic taste combination but also to clear my pantry of it’s jam surplus. (Jam making season is around the corner though in Wisconsin it doesn’t feel like it.)
This recipe is dead simple, contains wholesome and nutritious ingredients (mind you, I didn’t say low-calorie) including, of course, peanut butter–that protein-rich legume chock-full of heart healthy fats. So enjoy! You just saved 5 bucks as you passed the breakfast bar aisle at the supermarket, and now it’s… peanut butter jelly time, peanut butter jelly time.
- 4 T unsalted butter
- ¼ cup brown sugar, packed
- ¾ cup quick oats
- ¼ cup whole wheat pastry flour
- ¼ t kosher salt
- 1 t baking powder
- ¼ cup quick oats
- ½ cup whole wheat pastry flour
- ¼ cup 100% all natural peanut butter (no palm oil)
- 1 large egg
- ⅓ cup jam or jelly
- Preheat the oven to 350◦F. Lightly grease an 8” x 8” pan.
- In an up-right mixer or using a fork, mix the first 5 ingredients together (butter, sugar, oats, flour, salt).
- Remove 1 cup (loosely packed) of the combined ingredients and set aside—this will be the crumble topping.
- Now add the remaining 5 ingredients (baking powder, oats, flour, peanut butter, and egg) and thoroughly mix together.
- Pat the dough into the 8 x8 pan.
- Spread the jam evenly on top of the dough, careful not to touch the edge of the pan with the jam as it will burn.
- Evenly sprinkle the reserve crumble topping over the jam.
- Bake for about 25 minutes.
- Remove from oven and allow to cool. Cut into 20 even pieces.
Cooking with Kids: Simple baking projects like this can and should be entirely executed by the kids. Have them do the measuring and mixing. Take the time to teach them about fractions while you work.
Storing: Double or even triple the recipe, bake it, and store the surplus in the freezer. It doesn’t take much more time, and now you have a supply of wholesome breakfast bars to last the next couple of weeks.