You’d never believe that these soft and chewy blueberry banana oat bars are vegan, gluten-free, refined sugar-free, and made without any butter or oil! The perfect healthy breakfast or snack!
I really need to start paying better attention to National Food Holidays.
Like, I have a zucchini recipe in the works right now, but instead of posting it yesterday (on National Zucchini Day), I scheduled it for this Sunday… which just so happens to be National Filet Mignon Day.
Granted, that’s not a “holiday” I’d ever really celebrate, but you get what I’m saying – it’d be nice to line things up at least once. And maybe the stars will align and it’ll happen one day… but not today. Because today, on National Rice Pudding Day, we’re celebrating the deliciousness that is blueberries in these blueberry banana oat bars…
I know, I know – two bar recipes back to back. BUT! it’s summer and there’s a tonne of fresh fruit out there that I want to take full advantage of before fall rolls around and I’m back on apples and bananas. And by that I mean that I got a little overzealous, invested in a 5 lb. case of fresh blueberries, and needed to use them up before they went bad.
So! as I tend to do with any type of fruit I inevitably end up drowning in (frozen strawberries, anyone?), I made chia seed jam. And with that jam, I made some suuuuuuuuper tender blueberry bars that you can really sink your teeth into.
(I like big bars and I can.not lie.)
So these bars are actually based off my strawberry banana oat bars from ages ago. Only this time with blueberries. And better pictures, since I’d like to think (read: hope) that I improved as a photographer over the past 2 years.
But they still have the same super simple banana oat base that’s literally made from bananas and oats… with a little bit of maple syrup for extra sweetness. There’s no processed sugars, no butter, no oil, no flour… nothing but soft, tender, chewy, healthy, flavourful goodness that also happens to be vegan and gluten-free. They’re perfect for breakfast (you could even cut them into slightly larger bars if you want them to be a little more substantial) or as a snack at any time of the day.
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- 2 cups (280 g) blueberries, fresh or frozen*
- 2 Tbsp (30 ml) maple syrup
- 2 Tbsp (14 g) chia seeds
- 2 cups (80 g) rolled oats (gluten-free, if needed), divided
- 1 tsk baking powder
- 2 medium-size ripe bananas, mashed (~1 cup or 200 g)
- 1/4 cup (60 ml) maple syrup
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Add the blueberries and maple syrup to a medium saucepan set over medium heat. Heat until the berries begin to release their liquid, about 5 - 15 minutes depending on whether or not they were thawed first. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally, until the berries begin to reduce and thicken, about 5 -10 minutes. Use your spoon to break them apart further if desired.
- Stir in the chia seeds, continuing to cook for another 5 minutes. Remove from heat and allow the jam to cool. It will continue to thicken the longer it sits, which is why I usually like to make it the night before I'm planning on making these bars.
- Preheat your oven to 375F (190C) and prepare an 8x8 (20x20cm) baking dish by lining it with a sheet of aluminum foil or parchment paper, leaving a few inches of overhang on the sides to allow for easy removal.
- Place 1 cup of oats in a food processor or blender, and process until they resemble a fine flour. Transfer the oat flour to a large mixing bowl, and add the remaining oats and baking powder, mixing well.
- Add the mashed bananas, maple syrup, and vanilla extract, and mix until everything is well combined and a dough is formed.
- Transfer 2/3 of the dough into your prepared baking pan, using a spatula to ensure that it is spread evenly. Spoon the chia jam over the surface, and use a spatula or knife to spread it evenly, making sure to only go within 1/4 inch of the edge to prevent the jam from burning. Spoon remaining oat mixture on top, using your spatula to spread it around.
- Bake for 30 minutes, until the centre has set and the bars begin to turn golden brown. Remove from the oven and let them cool in the pan for about 10 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely. Use a star[ knife to cut them into individual bars and store them in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.
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