Homemade nibble bars

When I first started to make meals for myself and the Pilot (I had no idea how to cook, and there were some legendary snafus), I finally got an idea of what it felt like to show love through food.

Cooking a meal for someone else is such a great way to show them you care about them, and the cooking process made me even more mindful and thankful for all of the care my mom put into our homemade lunches and dinners growing up. Every day, she made our breakfast and packed up a beautiful lunch to take to school. 

Since I finally did learn to cook -it was a slow process, but practice makes better- it’s been one of my favorite things to bake and cook dinners for other people. I live for dinner parties, taking appetizers and desserts to events, and now, cooking for Liv. I put so much love into everything I make for her, whether it’s a simple scrambled egg yolk, or something more labor-intensive, like her favorite turkey lentil muffins.

And now, these little nibble bars.

Oat bars  1 of 1

Before I try to recreate something at home, we’ll try the store-bought version first. My friend Jeni taught me this trick, and it’s a great one, because you can see if your baby likes something before making a ton to have on hand. Many of the combos I pureed at home were similar to those from store-bought pouches, and then I replicated them (for way less $$$!). It didn’t take much time at all, and just like feeding the rest of the family, all you need is a little planning.

She tried a store-bought version of these a couple of months ago, when she didn’t have quite as many teeth, so I just picked the raisins out of them. She seemed to really like them, but for the cost, it didn’t seem worth it to keep buying them, since she’d eat about half and the rest would be saved, only to turn into a stale, crumbly mess and into the trash can. I ate the other half of a bar once and wasn’t a huge fan. It was bland and dry- I figured it would be worth a shot to make my own version.

So, I experimented with a homemade version, with blueberries, one of her absolute favorite fruits. She recently learned how to say “blueberry” (it sounds like “Blue beh”), too :)

We had all of the ingredients on hand, and the food critic and I have been enjoying them immensely. Just slice and store, covered in the fridge. 

Oat bars  1 of 1 2

Homemade baby nibble bars

Gluten-free, dairy free, refined sugar free

Given to Liv at 12 months- as always, check with your pediatrician before introducing new foods for your baby. Adjust the recipe as you like to suit your family’s preferences.

-1 1/2 C oats (old-fashioned)

-1/2 C pitted dates (I used a supersoft variety, but if you’re using medjool, soak them in water for 1-2 hours first)

Dates  1 of 1

-2 T coconut oil (butter would work well, too)

-2 T water

-1/4 t cinnamon

-pinch salt (optional- a tiny pinch brings out the sweet flavors of the fruit)

-1/2 C fresh or dried berries of choice (we used blueberries -I chopped the large ones in half- but chopped apple, pear, dried cranberry or raisins would be lovely, too)

1. Preheat the oven to 350* and spray a loaf pan with olive oil. You can also grease it with a little butter or coconut oil.

2. In a small food processor, add 1 C of the oats, the dates, oil/butter, water, cinnamon and salt. Pulse well to fully combine the mixture and thoroughly chop the dates.

 

Oat batter  1 of 1

Transfer the mixture to a medium bowl.

3. Stir in the remaining 1/2 C oats, the berries and press into the loaf pan.

Oat batter  1 of 1 2

4. Bake for 35-40 minutes at 350, until golden.

5. Let cool completely (this is the tough part!), then transfer to the fridge to harden. After the mixture has chilled, it’s easily cut into long strips to be stored in the fridge. The bars are a little crumbly (storing in the fridge helps them retain their shape), but extremely delicious.

Hope you and your family enjoy!

xoxo

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Comments

  1. This looks delish!! Looks like a perfect snack.

  2. This sound so good! If I make them I don’t think anyone would know they are made for babies ;) Another great recipe!

  3. Such a great idea to make them yourself. They look delicious!

  4. I would eat these myself! Great idea.

  5. I cant wait to make these!! I made your amazeballs today:):):)

  6. I would eat these, good recipe!

  7. I just made these – for myself, as I don’t have kids. They are delicious and hold together pretty well. I couldn’t wait for them to cool before eating though! Yum! Thanks for the recipe Gina. You definitely don’t have to be a kid to like these! :)

  8. I want to try these and I don’t have kids either! They look great!

  9. I might just make these for myself! They look delicious

  10. I need to try these. All three of my children love cereal bars (especially my eldest son) so the cost soon adds up. The shop-bought ones are usually full of rubbish too. Thank you Gina!

  11. Izabela (yoginiselfportrayal.wordpress.com) says:

    I am soo making them soon. Thx for sharing and Happy Bday Liv;)

  12. I made these today and instagrammed the pic, tagged ya :) They’re really good! Although for some reason, mine came out pretty dryyy…I’m not sure what I did wrong but I’m sure heated up with some peanut butter they’ll be divine

  13. These look sooo yummy that I think I will be making them for myself! =]

  14. Just made these last night! They turned out pretty well, although they were a bit dry. I used raisins and dried cranberries, so that could be why – I’m sure fresh berries would add some more moisture.

    Either way, I’m hoping the little man enjoys these! Thanks for the recipe.

  15. These look delicious!! Caitlin, thank you so much for posting that! I was just going to ask if blueberries would work! (I love them and like using them in baking.) I don’t have kiddos but I am planning on making these for me :-)

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