Does this ever happen to you? You go shopping with a carefully planned grocery list and the items that make their way into your cart were not part of the plan? I’m guilty of this, especially when it comes to food shopping. I thought I was fairly safe on the day I went to Costco with my best pal – how much toilet paper can a person buy right? $400 later, obviously I was so wrong (the camping chairs are really comfy though, even if they’re hard to open!) So the jumbo bag of frozen, organically grown blueberries that are now resident at my house are no real surprise. I’ve been trying to come up with some creative ways to use them as I now feel obliged to make it seem like they were part of the plan all along.
This week, as my sister and my little nephew looked on, I created these Blissful Blueberry Orange Bars as part of operation “use up the blueberries”. Lucas helped me arrange the ingredients for the photos and my sister taste-tested the dough before it made it into the oven (I believe it was a two thumbs up approval).
The resulting bars are a great success – jam-packed with refreshing orange and blueberry flavour, full of whole grains and they have a good chewy texture. They will be great for fuelling up during half time at Sam’s soccer games, for a recess snack at school and definitely as a source of whole food energy during our long hikes. What types of activities do you and your family spend your energy on? Whatever they may be, if you happen to have a jumbo sized bag of blueberries in your freezer (or even a regular sized one!) then whip up a batch of these scrumptious bars to keep you energized!
Substitutions: I’m going through quinoa phase, but feel free to use quick cooking oats in place of the quinoa flakes. This is my first time using coconut sugar, and I found the results really pleasing. Coconut sugar is relatively low on the glycemic index and contains vitamins, amino acids and minerals. If you don’t want to try it (come on…try it!) then go ahead and use sucanat instead. Butter or sunflower oil can be used in place of the coconut oil.
1 1/2 cup of frozen blueberries
1 cup of quinoa flakes
2 cups of spelt flour
1/4 cup of ground flax or chia (I used a combination of both)
1/2 cup of coconut sugar
Approximately 3/4 tsp of ground nutmeg (freshly ground if possible)
The zest and juice of 1 organic orange
1/2 cup of coconut oil, softened
1/2 cup of unpasteurized honey
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In a large bowl or a mixer, combine the dry ingredients.
Add the blueberries to the dry ingredients and toss until they are coated.
Combine the remaining ingredients in a separate bowl, mix well.
Add the liquid mixture to the dry and mix until just combined, the dough will be stiff.
Press mixture into an oiled and parchment lined 9×13 inch baking pan. Make sure to leave extra parchment at the sides so that you can lift the bars out of the pan later.
Bake 25-30 minutes, until the edges are beginning to brown.
Let cool on a rack 15 minutes and then lift the bars out using the parchment paper and place back on the rack.
Once completely cooled, place on a cutting board and cut into bars.
This makes 16-24 bars, depending on how you big you slice them.
P.S. I’m sitting in my new camping chair while I write this, it really is very comfy!