For the blueberry chia jam:
- 2 cups (280 g) blueberries, fresh or frozen*
- 2 Tbsp (30 ml) maple syrup
- 2 Tbsp (14 g) chia seeds
For the bars:
- 2 cups (80 g) rolled oats (gluten-free, if needed), divided
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 2 medium-size ripe bananas, mashed (~1 cup or 200 g)
- 1/4 cup (60 ml) maple syrup
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
Make the jam:
- 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.
Make the bars:
- Preheat your oven to 375F (190C) and prepare an 8×8 (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.
* You can also use 3/4 cup store-bought jam if you don’t have time to make your own.
Keywords: banana, bars, blueberry, chia seeds, gluten-free, healthy, oat, recipe, snack, vegan