Carrot Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Bars
Carrot Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Bars are the ultimate veggie-loaded snack or lunch box goodie. Mixed all in one bowl and made from oats, flax, a cup of grated carrots, and naturally sweetened with applesauce and maple syrup. Made extra delicious with some chocolate chips, these healthy oatmeal bars will be a new favorite snack!
I have been on a mission to make veggie-loaded granola bars!
Oatmeal bars are such an easy grab-and-go snack and are a lunch box staple in many households. So when readers started asking me for a homemade version of granola bars with a veggie-loaded twist, I came up with my Banana Zucchini Oatmeal Bars . And, oh boy, did you all go nuts for them!
Since then, I have been experimenting with ways to get more veggies into those lovely, travel-friendly bars and now I have created this gem of a recipe: Carrot Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Bars.
These healthy oatmeal bars aren’t just amazing because they are rocking a cup of grated carrots (!) and ground flax, but because they are also lower in added sugar than many other homemade granola bar recipes. Plus, they are mixed up all in one bowl and only take 10 minutes to prep. Pop them into the oven for 30 minutes, let ’em cool, cut into 8 servings and enjoy for days to come! Since these oatmeal chocolate chip bars are nut-free, they are perfect for school lunches. They are also dairy-free and easily gluten free when you use certified gluten free oats.
- Use mashed ripe bananas instead of applesauce. Bonus, carrots and bananas are delicious together!
- Omit the chocolate chips to reduce the sugar.
- Replace chocolate chips with raisins.
- Add in chopped nuts if nut free isn’t needed. Walnuts, slivered almonds, or pecans would be a lovely additions to these chocolate chip oatmeal bars.
- Cut them into smaller pieces for younger kids or more servings.
How to store these healthy oatmeal bars
Because these Carrot Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Bars are loaded with fruit and veg, they are moister than a store-bought granola bar. They are okay on your counter top for 24 hours, but to keep them fresh longer… I suggest slicing them and storing them in an air tight container in the fridge for about 5 days. If you stack them in a container, place a layer of parchment paper in between the layers to prevent sticking. You can also freeze them after slicing and thaw each portion overnight in the fridge or on the counter.
Tips & Tricks
- Be sure to firmly press the bars into the baking dish before baking. I like to do this with the back of a wooden spoon or with the bottom of a measuring cup. This will help ensure that the oatmeal bars will be solid instead of crumbly after you cut them.
- Let cool before cutting. They will seem soft when warm, but the chocolate chip oatmeal bars will firm up as they cool and will hold together better. I actually like to chill the bars in my fridge for about an hour before cutting.
- Don’t skip on squeezing out the carrots. Carrots (like all veggies) hold a lot of moisture. To ensure these oatmeal bars are as solid as possible, it is important to press out as much of the moisture in the carrots with a paper towel or a clean dish cloth before adding it to the oatmeal bars.
Wondering how to store your carrots so they stay fresh as long as possible? Check out my post on How to Keep Cut Carrots Fresh and get the most out of your produce buck!
More easy veggie-loaded snack ideas
- Sweet Potato Banana Oatmeal Bars
- Veggie-Loaded Breakfast Cookie Recipe
- Banana Zucchini Oatmeal Bars
- Watermelon Cucumber Popsicles
- Veggie-Loaded Chocolate Protein Muffins
- Healthy Morning Glory Breakfast Muffins
- Peanut Butter Banana Spinach Smoothie
- Parmesan Kale Chips
Loving this chocolate chip oatmeal bar recipe and are hungry for more?
Carrot Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Bars
- 1 cup grated carrot
- 2½ cups rolled oats or quick oats, not instant
- 1½ teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ cup flax meal, can sub chia seeds
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup unsweetened applesauce
- ⅓ cup maple syrup
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ cup mini chocolate chips, optional
- Preheat oven to 350°F and line an 8×8 inch square baking pan with parchment paper. Set aside.
- Take grated carrots and wrap in paper towels or a clean dish towel. Press down a bit to help draw out moisture and set aside while you prep the other ingredients.
- In a large bowl, combine oats, baking powder, cinnamon, flax, and salt. Stir together. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl or large measuring cup, combine applesauce, maple syrup, egg, and vanilla. Whisk together.
- Pour wet mixture into the bowl with the dry oat mixture. Stir to combine. Add grated carrots and chocolate chips (if using) and mix again.
- Spread mixture evenly into your prepared baking dish. Using the back of your spoon or the back of a flat measuring cup, firmly press the mixture downing in the baking dish. This will help the bars hold together better after they have baked. Top with more chocolate chips, if desired. Bake for 30 minutes or until slightly golden brown on top and edges look dry.
- Let bars cool in pan before slicing. The cooler the bars, the better they will slice. I find chilling them in the fridge helps for an easy clean cut.Slice into 8 bars and enjoy or let cool and store in an air-tight container for up to 5 days or freeze to enjoy for up to 2 months.