These delicious Blueberry Oat Bars are full of the flavor of fresh blueberries but contain no refined flour, oil, or white sugar.
Sometimes I really miss living in the country. When I was growing up, acquiring fresh blueberries was just a matter of walking outside and picking them from one of the bushes in our yard. Getting my blueberry fix these days takes a little more effort. For the past few summers, E and I have visited a local U-pick blueberry farm where we’d spend an hour or so in the sun and come home with a couple of gallons of blueberries, some to be eaten immediately and most to be frozen for later.
Well, this year “our” U-pick farm has gone out of business, and we haven’t succeeded in finding another. So we’ve had to make do with the next best thing: organically grown blueberries from the local natural foods store. When I saw them there a few days ago, I just had to pick up a pint; even though the cost was several times what I’d pay to pick my own, blueberries are such a part of summer to me that I couldn’t pass them up.
Besides, I really needed them to make these bars, which I’d been craving for a few weeks. You won’t believe how healthy they are: no refined flour, no white sugar, no added fat, no soy, and no gluten*. They’re not super-sweet, but they’re full of fresh fruity taste.
- 1 pint blueberries
- 1/4 cup agave nectar , maple syrup, or other liquid sweetener
- 1/4 cup apple juice
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch mixed with enough water or juice to form a smooth paste
- 3 cups rolled oats (regular, not instant)*
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 6 ounces unsweetened applesauce
- 6 tablespoons agave nectar or other sweetener (3/8 cup)
- 6 tablespoons water (3/8 cup)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
Preheat oven to 375F. Oil an 8×8-inch baking dish or line it with parchment paper.
In a small saucepan, combine the blueberries, 1/4 cup agave nectar, and juice. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. When it boils, stir in the vanilla and the cornstarch mixture. Continue to stir as the mixture boils and thickens. Remove from heat and set aside.
Put 1 1/2 cups of the oatmeal into a blender and grind it to a fine powder. Pour it into a medium-sized mixing bowl and add the remaining oatmeal, cinnamon, baking powder, and salt. Mix well. Stir in the apple sauce, remaining agave nectar, water, and vanilla, and mix well.
Spread half of the batter into the prepared pan, smoothing well to cover the bottom of the pan. Spoon the blueberry filling over the batter, and cover the blueberries with the remaining batter.
Bake for 30 minutes, or until the top is lightly browned. Allow to cool before cutting into bars.
*Use gluten-free oats to make these gluten-free.
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