Us gals at Sage and Celery love experimenting with new recipes and one way we do that is by trying other like-minded blogger's creations. It's a great way to get our creative cooking juices flowing while supporting people who share the same love of healthy and delicious food. One evening we stumbled upon this recipe from Lauren Lea Balanced and we knew we had to try it out. I mean, who doesn't love a warm and gooey oat fruit bar and then you add in peanut butter...its practically sounded like it came from heaven. Laura Lea was a genius for recreating the traditional blueberry crumble into a modern day ingredient and nutrition packed bar.
So we whipped up a batch of these bars and when finally tried them we could test the potential, but knew we had to make some changes to make it perfect for our taste buds. Once we made a few tweaks to the recipe it came out SO perfect, we couldn't stop eating them! We even made a batch for a girls night so all of our friends could test-try them and they were an absolute hit! They didn't stand a chance, even next to the sugar filled chocolate cookies and pieces of cake! At that moment we knew we had to share this recipe with everyone.
You know that we strive to share recipes that are a great balance of delicious and nutritious and these bars are just that! The blueberries give these bars a big antioxidant boost. Blueberries are low in fat and sodium and an excellent source of Vitamin-C, which is necessary for the growth and development of tissues. It also promotes the healing of wounds and of course, we can't forget that Vitamin-C keeps our immune system healthy. Blueberries are also high in fiber and manganese which helps the body process nutrients like carbohydrates and protein.
We used a good amount of oats in the recipe, but thankfully they are a good source of fiber, manganese, phosphorous, magnesium and copper. Oats are also naturally rich in antioxidants, most notably Avenanthramides - which has been shown to reduce blood pressure. Since oats contain the soluble fiber, Beta-glucan, they can stabilize blood sugar and reduce LDL and total cholesterol.
This just gives you even more reason to get yourself in the kitchen and start baking these delicious bars. They are amazing as an afternoon snack or even as a dessert. We found the best way to eat them is to reheat them in the microwave and then top it with a scoop of dairy-free vanilla ice cream...can you say YUM?!?
Click here for the original recipe by Laura Lea Balanced or see below for our version!
Servings: 16 bars
Base and Crumble:
3 cups instant oats
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup coconut sugar
1/2 cup of coconut oil, melted
1 large egg
1/4 cup runny unsalted, unsweetened peanut butter
2 tsp vanilla extract
3 cups frozen blueberries
2 T arrowroot powder (or substitute non-GMO cornstarch)
3 T coconut sugar
1/4 tsp blueberry extract (optional, but it really enhances the blueberry flavor)
1.) Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit and line an 8x8" baking dish with parchment paper.
2.) Add 1 1/2 cups of the instant oats to a food processor and process until they become a flour consistency. Add oat flour to a large mixing bowl, along with the remaining instant oats, sea salt, cinnamon, and coconut sugar. Mix to incorporate ingredients evenly.
3.) In a small bowl, whisk together melted coconut oil, egg, peanut butter, and vanilla extract. Pour over dry ingredients and mix until it becomes a semi-sticky crumble.
4.) Add 2/3 of crumble mixture (about 2 cups) to bottom of baking dish and pat firmly into an even layer.
5.) In your food processor, combine all blueberry filling ingredients. Pulse just until it forms an icy crumble (make sure it doesn't become liquidy). Scrape blueberry mixture onto a baking dish and spread in an even layer. Top with the remaining crumble mixture and press it down gently.
6.) Bake crumble for 40-45 minutes, or until edges are golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow to cool at least 30 minutes before slicing with a very sharp knife.
7.) Allow bars to cool completely before storing in an airtight container and enjoy!! Bars will keep for 48 hours on the counter or 5 days in the fridge.