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Blueberry Oat Crumble Bars

Blueberry Oat Crumble Bars

They’re juicy. They’re sweet. They’ve got just a hint of zip. They’re Blueberry Oat Crumble Bars!

We are lucky to have an organic blueberry u-pick farm not too far from Chicago and so we have made it a tradition every summer to go out with friends and pick pounds and pounds of that tasty berry. (In between sampling some directly from the bushes -- shhh! Its our little secret.) This July was no exception: we were able to pick Berkeley blueberries, a variety that lends itself well to being stored in the freezer, which is a useful thing because even as unabashed blueberry fans, it will take us weeks to get through the ones we’d picked. While throwing them in a morning shake is the most common use for blueberries in our home, I’d been having visions of blueberry bars dancing through my head since I saw some in a coffee shop case a week or so ago. It was time to play in the kitchen.

These bars are great year-round because they work equally well with fresh or frozen blueberries; as a winter treat, these will bring back memories of warmer months and in the summer, well, they’re perfect. With a buttery crust and a thick, sweet, slightly spicy blueberry filling, they are great once cooled to room temperature or cold from the fridge, if you can wait that long. With a modest amount of oil and sugar, these bars are a treat with just enough decadence. Easy to make, too!

Blueberry Oat Crumble Bars

3 cups blueberries, fresh or frozen
2 tablespoons organic sugar
2 tablespoons crystallized ginger (optional), cut into smaller pieces
4 teaspoons cornstarch
3 cups quick-cooking oats, finely ground in the food processor
2 tablespoons organic sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
1/4 cup coconut oil, liquid
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly oil or use parchment paper on an 8-inch square pan.

In a medium pan over medium-high heat, combine the blueberries and sugar until some of the blueberries have burst and it’s thickened a bit. This should take about ten minutes. Lower the heat to medium-low, add the crystallized ginger and cornstarch, and stir until thickened. This should take about a minute. Remove from the heat and allow to sit as you prepare the crust and crumbles.

In a medium bowl, combine the ground oats, sugar, cinnamon, baking soda and salt. In a mixing up or small bowl, whisk together the maple syrup, coconut oil, and vanilla. Pour in with the oat mixture and stir together until combined.

This will be sticky, so using damp hands may work best with this. Press half into your prepared pan. Pour the thickened blueberry mixture op top and spread evenly with a spoon. Between your fingers, crumble the rest of the dough over the top.

Bake at 350 for 25 minutes. Allow to cool and serve. Enjoy!

2013, 2014, Vegan Street

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