Blueberry filling sandwiched between two layers of a cinnamon-infused cookie crust. The result is a comforting, sweet bar cookie that can be dressed up for dessert or left casual as a mid-day snack.
I discovered these delicious blueberry-oat bars on Susan’s blog, FatFree Vegan Kitchen. These bars not only taste like a million dollars but they contain no added fat, no refined flour, no dairy, and no added sugar. Granted, you should eat them in moderation but they are healthy enough that you won’t hate yourself if you eat more than one.
As I continue to scour the web for healthy food ideas, I find myself stumbling into Susan’s blog more and more often. She provides a wide variety of different dishes, each of which can be adapted for non-vegan lifestyles should you choose to do so. Although I am not vegan myself, I enjoy cutting back on animal related products. I do find it funny how some people have an aversion to the ‘V-word’ though. When I announced that the bars were vegan, I could literally see my friends clench in unison.
Maybe people fear that vegan foods remove flavor or sacrifice the sanctity of a dish. In reality, I find it quite the opposite — a good vegan cook is like MacGyver, he or she is resourceful and able to create amazing taste sensations from healthy ingredients. Susan is no exception.
The blueberry-oat bar recipe can be found on Susan’s site. The only substitution I made was to use brown rice syrup in place of the agave nectar. I substituted in equal amounts and didn’t notice that this made any difference to the outcome. I also used frozen organic blueberries instead of fresh because I had them on hand.
The thing I enjoyed most about making these bars is that you grind a portion of the oatmeal into flour. For the brief 30 seconds or so that the oatmeal pulsed around in the processor, I felt as though I was back on the farm and grinding grains into whole flour (ok, maybe I was being a bit too nostalgic). Basically, I enjoyed turning the oatmeal in to oat dust.
The dessert comes together quickly and is then baked for 30 minutes. The cookie crust is moist yet firm, so the bars hold their shape remarkably well and are not messy to eat with your fingers (why use a fork when you can eat with your hands?).
And, they simply taste great – everyone who tried them agreed. I’m sure the recipe can be adapted for other fruits as well, if you’re not in to blueberries – I immediately thought how good these would also be with cherries and a bit of almond flavoring.
If you’re looking for any other bar ideas, I recommend the blueberry power bars that I made a few months ago. They are chewy and crisp, loaded with dried blueberries, flax, and lots of crispy brown rice.