We are currently experiencing a polar vortex in the Midwest. It’s way too cold to set foot outdoors, so I had fun making these blueberry bars yesterday with simple ingredients I already had on hand.
If the kids are home from school, and you want a healthier replacement for conventional high-fat, high-sugar cookies, these blueberry bars are the perfect solution.
They are also great for Super Bowl parties, to share with a family who is welcoming a new baby, or teens on the go.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Line a 9” x 13” jelly roll pan with parchment paper.
Mix the following ingredients together in a large bowl:
5-6 cups rolled oats (start with 5 cups and increase only after adding the date paste below)
1 (10-ounce) package of unsweetened coconut flakes (optional*)
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 (16-ounce) bag of frozen blueberries (add last to ensure they don’t thaw)
Mix the following ingredients together in a high-speed blender until smooth and creamy:
1 (8-ounce) bag of pitted dates
1/2 cup natural peanut or almond butter
1/3 cup raw, hulled sunflower seeds
2 apples (any variety)
2 ripe bananas
Create a well in the center of the ingredients in the mixing bowl and add date paste. Using clean hands, massage everything together until thoroughly saturated. (Start with only 5 cups of oats and gradually increase if the batter needs more.)
Press into the parchment-lined jelly roll pan. Bake for 30-35 minutes.
Allow to cool. Cut into bars.
* coconut adds a delightful, chewy texture
Note: Even though blueberries and nuts/seeds are full of life-giving nutrients, the bars aren’t low-calorie, so don’t eat more than one per day if you want to maintain weight. If you want to lose weight, reserve eating them only on special occasions.