It’s back-to-school time and we’re about to enter baking season so I thought it’d be a good occasion to make some bars that are great for lunch boxes or treats no matter your age. These bars, gently sweet with juicy blueberries, have a wholesome crust and crumble that holds them together and makes them easy to eat without a fork. These are also easy and fairly quick to make. They are really tasty cold as well. Enjoy!
2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries (if frozen, do not defrost and don’t use wild blueberries) ½ cup pure maple syrup ¼ cup apple juice 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 2 tablespoons arrowroot and 2 tablespoons water stirred together until dissolved 2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats 1 cup gluten-free or regular all-purpose flour (I use this one) ½ teaspoon salt ½ teaspoon baking soda 1 teaspoon cinnamon ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg ⅔ cup pure maple syrup 3 tablespoons melted, refined coconut oil or other neutral oil 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly oil a square baking pan.
In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, bring the blueberries, maple syrup and apple juice to a gentle boil. Add the vanilla and arrowroot mixture and stir until thickened, a minute or less. Remove from heat.
In a medium bowl, combine the oats, flour, salt, baking soda, cinnamon and nutmeg, stirring with a large spoon until mixed. Add the vanilla, maple syrup and vanilla extract, mixing well.
Set aside ½ cup of the mixture. Press the rest into your prepared pan by hand, smoothing to keep it uniform. Add the blueberry filling and crumble over the rest of the mixture.
Bake for 30 minutes or until browned. Cool and slice.