It’s summer time and these thick, chunky, blueberry crisp bars, are the best way to celebrate! They make the perfect healthy treat to bring to the cookout, BBQ, or picnic. These bars are made with all natural ingredients like fresh blueberries, chia seeds, and oats so you can indulge in summer’s sweetest treat while feeling good!
Ingredients to Make Blueberry Oat Crisp Bars
Homemade Blueberry Jam
Let’s talk about what’s in the middle - the blueberry chia seed jam. It’s thick and juicy and made with four wholesome ingredients! If you’ve never tried chia seed jam, it is quite literally my jam (corny but I had to).
Chia seeds are tiny seeds that are packed with all kinds of nutritional benefits (omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, and protein). But, they also soak up liquid like a sponge so they are fun to play with in the kitchen! For the jam, you’ll heat up some blueberries in a skillet, mash them up when they become soft, and add a touch of coconut sugar and vanilla. Then stir in the chia seeds and let them do the rest. The result - the thickest, sweetest, juiciest, all-natural jam you’ll ever need.
How to Level up Oat Bars
These bars are super crispy with clusters of oats on top for a little added bonus. If you want to be even more extra (don't we all?) drizzle some melted coconut butter on top and you’ll be sporting some bakery-style goods!
Coconut Butter Drizzle
Coconut butter can be tricky. Out of the jar, it's quite thick and not super spreadable. There are a few key tricks to melt coconut butter that I swear by:
- Do not microwave. I know you'll try it just to see how it turns out anyways but trust me, it won't work well. Coconut butter needs indirect heat to melt so I recommend heating it up slowly over the stove.
- Low heat. Make sure your stove is on a low heat. You can turn it up to a medium-low to expedite things but I wouldn't go any higher.
- Double boiler method. Like chocolate, coconut butter loves indirect heat. I create my own "double boiler" when melting both chocolate and coconut butter. To do this, heat a little water in a pot on the stove over low to medium-low heat. Place a skillet on top with your coconut butter. The indirect heat from the water simmering below will melt the coconut butter without the risk of it burning.
- Add a little coconut oil. Depending on the type of coconut butter you use, you may find that adding a small spoonful of coconut oil will help the coconut butter melt and become runny (perfect for drizzling!).
How to Make the Perfect Oat Crust
The crust for these bars is simple to make with no fuss. The key is to mix the wet ingredients in with the dry really well to form clumps of dough. I prefer to use regular old fashion rolled oats (not the thick rolled oats) as they are easier to mold. You also want a nut butter that has a good bit of oil to it. Try to find the kind that has naturally occurring oil separation. Simply give it a big stir before adding it to the mixing bowl. Here are the steps I use to prepare the prefect oat crust:
- Whisk together the dry ingredients. This is the rolled oats, oat flour, and coconut sugar. You want to disburse the rolled oats throughout so that there aren't big pockets of dry oats that are hard to mold together
- Stir in the melted coconut oil, nut butter, and vanilla with a rubber spatula. When I say "stir" I really mean press the wet ingredients into the dry. Sometimes it's best to use your hands. This may take a minute or two but you should have big clumps of dough at the end
- Reserve a cup of the dough to sprinkle on top (the best part). Use the remaining dough and press it into a lined baking pan, making sure to get some in the corners. After to add the blueberry jam, sprinkle the reserved dough liberally on top. When baked, the clumps should turn a soft golden brown and will firm up as it cools
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