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.
Nutritional info is approximate.
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ArloJune 25, 2016 at 2:40 pm
Step 2 is just good on it’s own too, it makes great Jam!!!
Marian EricksonJuly 8, 2017 at 5:32 pm
I assume you put the glaze on after it has cooled. Is there a substitute for apple juice? Or can I just leave it out? I’m bringing it to my vegan potluck I co-host once a month in Lansing, Mich.
Susan VoisinJuly 8, 2017 at 6:27 pm
Right, wait until they are completely cooled or the glaze will slide right off. Instead of apple juice, you could just use water.
Linda MBOctober 23, 2017 at 2:43 am
I need to make a large quantity of these for next weeks school camp. Do you know if they freeze well?
Susan VoisinOctober 23, 2017 at 8:13 am
They should freeze without problems.
Maria A.September 23, 2018 at 12:56 am
Fabulous recipe! I have several Gluten free cooking friends that I am always looking to prepare new recipes for. They will LOVE these! Thank you for sharing!
BirgitJuly 25, 2019 at 6:28 am
Please let me know what kind of Vanilla you use. Thank you.
Susan VoisinJuly 25, 2019 at 8:47 am
I use pure vanilla extract.
Ro OwenJuly 11, 2020 at 11:33 pm
Hi Susan, I don’t normally like to write something before having tried a recipe but saw this in my FB feed and plan to make it as it looks so yummy, but just have one question that I hope you don’t mind me asking. I am in Australia and so am unsure of what a pint of blueberries would be (as we think of pint as a liquid measure, and we use metric also). Does a pint of blueberries equal 2 and a bit cups? Thank you for all the awesome recipes you create and share. 🙂
Susan VoisinJuly 11, 2020 at 11:57 pm
Hi Ro, yes a pint equals two U.S cups. I hope you enjoy the recipe! I’d love to hear how it comes out.
Janis MeinkeJuly 12, 2020 at 3:11 pm
Hmmm, do you think I could use frozen blueberries? I want to make these before I will make it to get any fresh?
Susan VoisinJuly 12, 2020 at 3:59 pm
Yes, frozen works fine. Measure them first and then thaw.
RoJuly 16, 2020 at 2:30 am
Thank-you Susan for responding to my question above. I have made one batch already and it is all but gone and will straight away be making another batch….it is awesomely delish and a big hit in our household….even my non-vegan and totally sceptical and suspicious of all things vegan 18 y.o. son really liked it! Yay and big thank you for all you delicious recipes. And just a note because saw Janis’s question about frozen blueberries…..that is all we had and they worked perfectly! 🙂
PattyJuly 17, 2020 at 3:22 pm
Can this recipe be adapted to use tart cherries? If so, how would you adapt it?
Susan VoisinJuly 17, 2020 at 7:12 pm
I don’t think I’d change anything except to use cherries instead of blueberries. If the cherries are whole, I’d cut them in half before measuring. If they’re really tart, you might want to sprinkle them with sugar or sweetener, but that’s a matter of personal taste.
LalaJanuary 27, 2021 at 9:56 pm
It looks like the sugar is missing from the nutritional info.