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Healthy Recipe Doctor

with Elaine Magee, MPH, RD

Elaine Magee's blog has now been retired. We appreciate all the wisdom and support she has brought to the WebMD community throughout the years.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Making Over Martha: Oatmeal Berry Bars

They are called Oatmeal Bars on Martha Stewart’s website and they call for white flour, 2 1/2 cubes of butter, heavy whipping cream, 48 caramels, and a cup of semisweet chocolate chips. We made them more whole grain, decreased the brown sugar by 25%, substituted a light plant sterol margarine in place of butter and used low sugar berry preserves instead of chocolate chips, heavy cream and caramels. Granted the berry bars aren’t going to give you the chocolate fix the other version will…but you are better off getting your daily dose of chocolate with a couple bites of dark chocolate anyway…and this version can double as a breakfast bar!

Oatmeal Berry Bars

Use the margarine cold from the refrigerator, it will crumble more easily. Each bar contributes 1.4 grams of plant sterols as well.


2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1 cup whole-wheat flour
1 cup unbleached white flour
3/4 cup dark brown sugar, packed
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cup light margarine with plant sterols (i.e. Smart Balance Heart Right Light with 5 grams fat and 1.7 grams plant sterols per tablespoon)
1 1/2 cups low sugar berry preserves (i.e. Smucker’s Low Sugar Strawberry Preserves)


  1. Preheat oven to 350-degrees. Coat a 9 x 13-inch baking dish with canola cooking spray.
  2. In large mixing bowl, combine oats, whole wheat and white flours, brown sugar, baking soda and salt by beating on low speed. Add the margarine to the oat mixture, cold from the refrigerator, breaking it up into small pieces with your fingers or two knives or forks. Run mixer on low speed just until a crumbly mixture forms.
  3. Press half of the oat mixture onto bottom of prepared baking dish. Bake until just set (about 15 minutes). Spread berry preserves evenly over warm bottom crust. Sprinkle the remaining crumb mixture evenly over the top, breaking it up into smaller pieces with fingers if necessary. Bake 15 minutes more. Let cool in pan before cutting into 24 squares.

Yield: Makes 24 bars

Nutrition information per serving: 170 calories, 4 g protein, 28 g carbohydrate, 5 g fat, 1.4 g saturated fat, 1.6 g monounsaturated fat, 1.7 g polyunsaturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 3 g fiber, 180 mg sodium. Calories from fat: 25 percent. Omega-3 fatty acids = .22 g, Omega-6 fatty acids = 1.5 g

Original bars contain 335 calories, 16 g fat, 9 g saturated fat, 33 mg cholesterol, 46 grams carbohydrate, and 2 grams fiber per bar if the recipe makes 24 bars.

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Posted by: Elaine Magee, RD at 7:32 am

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