Blueberry Banana Oat Bars

I have no idea how I found this recipe but it’s been on my “to-try” list forever now. I was looking for a new, easy breakfast recipe for my on-the-go days, and while I was looking through my horde of to-try recipes I ran across this one. I’m glad I gave it a whirl because these are great breakfast bars / snack bars / whenever-I-feel-like-it bars! They’re really easy and pretty quick to make. The most time-consuming part is waiting on the blueberries to melt and then the 30-minute cook-time. 

I upped the amount of blueberry jam you make from the original recipe ’cause I felt it was a little too thin on the jam layer. Original recipe from ideahacks.com

Ingredients

Servings: one 8×8 pan’s worth, however many bars you slice it into

For the blueberry chia jam:
  • 3 cups blueberries, frozen or fresh
  • 3 tbs. maple syrup
  • 3 tbs. chia seeds
  • 1½ tsp. vanilla extract
For the banana oat bars:
  • 2 cups rolled oats, divided (or use gluten-free rolled oats)
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 2 large very ripe bananas, mashed (~1 cup)
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract

Directions

Make the jam:

1.  In a saucepan heat up the 3 cups of blueberries and maple syrup over medium heat. Whether you started with frozen or fresh blueberries will change how long it will take for them to start popping and thickening; anywhere from 5-15 minutes. Use a spatula, spoon, or whatever to mash any blueberries that aren’t popping.

2. Stir in the chia seeds and vanilla extract. Turn the stove off and allow the jam to cool and thicken. You can leave this on the stove top for quite awhile (hours), or you can cool it in the fridge overnight and finish the bars the following day.

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Make the bars:

3. Set the oven to 375°F. Prep an 8×8″ baking dish (silicone is awesome, otherwise line your baking pan with parchment paper). 

4. Put 1 cup of rolled oats in a food processor and process until it’s a fine flour. (Mash up your banana in a mixing bowl at this point if you haven’t done so already.) Transfer the oat flour to a mixing bowl with the rest of the oat bar ingredients and thoroughly mix. 

5. Take about 2/3rd of the mix and spread it evenly with a spatula or spoon along the bottom of the 8×8 pan. Carefully spoon the blueberry jam over the crust and smooth it out as mush as possible. Take the last 1/3rd of the banana-oat mash and spread it over the top of the blueberry jam.

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If you’re having trouble spreading it (and don’t care how pretty it looks), just use your fingers and spread the mash around the top so it kind-of-sort-of covers some of it. The top crust doesn’t need to completely cover the jam.

6. Bake for 30 minutes then allow it to completely cool in the pan before cutting and serving. The bars will firm up even more if you allow them to sit in the fridge for an hour or two before cutting. 

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