You know how much I love baking decadent desserts. The thing is, 99% of the time I do try to eat well and sometimes I like to combine my love of baking with eating healthy. It’s finally blueberry season (I wait all year long for my favorite fruit!) so I wanted to attempt a healthier version of Starbucks blueberry oat bars. These aren’t quite the same, but they’re really moist, have a much stronger blueberry flavor, and are much better for you.
Originally I was trying for a gluten-free version and realized after I made these that they’re actually Paleo diet friendly. The Paleo diet has become relatively popular over the last few years. It’s based on what is assumed to be the diet consumed in the Paleolithic area, before the development of agriculture and grain-based diets. These bars don’t have any grains, dairy, or refined sugar, but instead use nuts, flax seed, and coconut oil for the crust and crumble, plus honey to sweeten everything.
Even if you have no desire to follow this extreme diet, you should still try these healthy blueberry bars. The crust is hearty, the filling is bursting with fresh blueberry flavor, and the crumble on top gives it a little extra texture and crunch. Plus, no guilt!
- Blueberry Filling:
- 10 oz blueberries (around 2 cups)
- 1/2 cup orange juice
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch (optional but helps the filling thicken up more)
- 1 1/2 cups almond meal
- 1/2 cup ground flax seed
- 2 tablespoon coconut oil, melted
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon water
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Crumble topping:
- 1 cup raw cashews
- 1/4 cup unsweetened coconut
- 4 teaspoons honey
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon almond extract (optional)
- Filling: Place orange juice in small saucepan and bring to low boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes.
- Add blueberries and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add cornstarch and stir until combined. Bring to a boil for 1 minute, until thickened, then remove from heat. Set aside to cool completely.
- Crust: Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly coat an 8″x8″ pan with coconut oil.
- Place all crust ingredients in a food processor. Blend until combined and dough sticks together.
- Place dough into prepared pan and press down to flatten evenly across the bottom of the pan.
- Bake crust for 12 minutes, until just lightly browned.
- Set aside to cool for around 20 minutes.
- Crumble topping: Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Combine all topping ingredients in food processor (don’t worry about cleaning it out after making the crust) and blend until it forms a crumbly, slightly sticky dough.
- Spread blueberry filling evenly across the top of the baked crust. Sprinkle crumble topping evenly across the filling.
- Bake for 15 minutes, or until the topping is golden browned.
_Adapted from Transformed by Food_