Friday, August 26, 2011

Better for You Blueberry-Almond Crumb Bars

Awhile ago, when I was still blogging on Yumology, I made some Whole-Wheat Blueberry Crumb Bars. Well, just when I didn't think I could make them better-- I did!

These crumb bars contain everything good for you and are mom (and tummy) approved. I loaded these with fantastic grains including whole-wheat, steel cut oats, and old fashioned oats. These ingredients make for a very filling bar that is great for a snack, breakfast, and/or dessert. Additionally, instead of a ton of butter, I used just a tad and used almond butter with flax seed to help attain the crumbly shortbread texture. Adding almond butter was such a great decision-- my belly told me so! These bars have a perfectly balanced flavor blend of delightfully sweet berries and wholesome almond butter and definitely channel memories of P.B. and J. lunches from my childhood with every bite.

Here I added a little scoop of coconut was delish!

Better for You Blueberry-Almond Crumb Bars
makes 12-16 2-3" squares

1 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup quick cooking steel cut oats
1/2 cup old fashioned oats
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup organic white sugar (divided use)
1/2 tsp baking soda
5 tbsp cold butter, cut into cubes
1/2 cup almond butter
2 cups fresh blueberries
1/4 cup honey
2 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp cornstarch
additional sliced almonds.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

1. In a food processor, pulse together the whole wheat flour, steel cut oats, old fashioned oats, salt, 3/4 cup of organic white sugar, and baking soda. Add the cold butter and pulse a few times. Add the almond butter and pulse the mixture again until a coarse crumbly texture with pea-sized balls of dough is achieved. Reserve 2 cups of the mixture for later and pour the rest into an lightly greased 8x8" baking dish. Pat down and compact the mixture well into the dish. Set aside.

2. In a medium-small sauce pot, stir together the blueberries, honey, remaining 1/4 cup organic white sugar, and lemon juice. Bring the mixture to a simmer and continue to cook on medium-low heat until the berries break down and the sugars are well dissolved. Add the cornstarch and continue to cook and stir until the mixture becomes quite thick. Turn off the heat and pour it all on top of the prepared crust; use a spatula to gently spread the blueberry mixture evenly around the dish. Evenly top with the remaining crumb mixture; pat down well when finished. Sprinkle additional sliced almonds on top, if desired.

3. Bake in the oven on the middle rack for 25-30 minutes. Crust should be golden brown. Allow the baked crumb bars to cool for 10-20 minutes for easier cutting and serving-- bars will be very crumbly regardless, but will fall apart less if you wait a bit before chowing down. :)

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