Animal crackers. Cheese Doodles. Frosted Flakes. The snacks of our youth will always have a soft spot in our hearts. The additives they contain? Not so much. So we set out to recreate one of our favorite childhood breakfasts–Pop-Tarts–using better-for-you ingredients but without skimping on flavor. The result? These seriously good strawberry oat pockets that add a hint of sweetness to even the busiest of mornings.
Unlike store-bought alternatives, these pockets contain whole-food ingredients like rolled oats, whole-wheat flour, milk, strawberry preserves, butter, coconut sugar, and an egg. The oats add satiating fiber to the pockets while the strawberry preserves lend a natural sweetness (just make sure you opt for a spread that isn’t sky-high in added sugar!).
Making your own pockets may sound tricky, but it’s actually simple. After making your dough and cutting it into rectangles, just spread a bit of jam on half of the rectangles, top with another rectangle, and lightly press around the edges with a fork to seal. Once you’ve assembled your pockets, brush each with an egg finish and sprinkle a few oats on top before popping the bars in the oven for 20 minutes. They should come out lightly browned on top and warm and gooey on the inside.
Best of all, each pocket only contains 8 grams of sugar and provides 4 grams of protein for less than 175 calories. Pop one in your purse for an afternoon snack or enjoy it with a cup of plain Greek yogurt for a protein- and probiotic-rich morning meal. Finally, you can have your (healthier) Pop-Tart, and eat it too.
2 cups whole-wheat flour
3 tablespoons coconut sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/3 cup uncooked old-fashioned regular rolled oats, divided
1/4 cup cold unsalted butter, cubed
1/2 cup whole milk
6 tablespoons strawberry spreadable fruit (such as Smucker’s Simply Fruit)
1 large egg, well beaten
Calories per serving 156
Fat per serving 5g
Saturated fat per serving 3g
Cholesterol per serving 27mg
Fiber per serving 2g
Protein per serving 4g
Carbohydrates per serving 25g
Sugar per serving 8g
Sodium per serving 107mg
Iron per serving 1mg
Calcium per serving 72mg
How to Make It
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment.
Combine flour, coconut sugar, baking powder, salt, and 1/4 cup of the oats in bowl of a food processor. Pulse until oats are coarsely ground, 2 or 3 times. Add butter, and pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal, 8 to 10 times. With motor running, add milk, and process until mixture forms a ball, about 15 seconds. Turn dough out onto a work surface, and divide into 2 equal portions. Flatten each portion into a 1/2-inch-thick rectangle. Wrap each rectangle in plastic wrap, and refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour.
Working with 1 dough rectangle at a time, roll between 2 pieces of parchment into a larger 12-by-8-inch rectangle (about 1 /8-inch thick). Cut larger rectangle into 12 (6-by-4- inch) rectangles. Spread 1 1/2 teaspoons spreadable fruit on 6 of the small rectangles; brush edges with some of the beaten egg. Carefully top each with another small rectangle, lightly pressing around edges with the tines of a fork to seal in jam. Repeat with remaining 1/2-inch-thick rectangle and jam. Brush tops with remaining beaten egg; sprinkle evenly with remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons oats.
Place bars on prepared baking sheet, and bake until lightly browned and cooked through, about 20 minutes.