Monday, July 30, 2012

Somewhat Healthy Blackberry Oat Bars

My sister and I found an awesome spot to pick blackberries at when we went on a nice afternoon summer hike the other day.  So she decided to go back and get a bucket full of blackberries the next day.  Then, with the remaining ones that she didn't munch on, on the walk home I decided to make these!

They are SO delicious and because I worked out for an hour and a half I did not feel the least bit guilty about eating them.  They were a hit for the family as well! Hooray!

Ok so what you have to do for these is first make the blackberry filling/jam/whatever you want to call it.  

Then you make the "crust" (aka the top and bottom layers) while the filling is cooling in the fridge.  I had a great little helper in the kitchen with me!


This recipe will make about 15-18 servings

For the blackberry filling:
4 cups of whole blackberries (washed)
1/2 cup granulated sugar (plus about 1 tbsp or so)
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
2 tsp corn starch

For the "crust":
3 cups oats (for mine I used 2.5 cups oats and 1/2 cup of this honey granola and it turned out great but its totally up to you)
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup slivered almonds (feel free to use any kind of chopped nut you prefer)
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
2/3 cup butter (or margarine if you prefer)
2/3 cup soy milk (I used soy milk because I have some allergies in my family but I'm sure regular milk, almond milk, etc would work out fine as well)
2 tsp vanilla


First you want to measure out the lemon juice, water, and blackberries (I mashed them a little with a fork before) and put them in a medium size pot over medium-high heat.  
Let the mixture come to a boil. 
Then turn down the heat and let the mixture simmer for about 10 minutes (until blackberries are soft).  Then add the sugar and bring mixture to a boil for about 7-8 minutes.  
When you notice that it is thickening remove from heat, mix in cornstarch quickly, put it in a glass bowl (heat proof container), and place it in the fridge. 

Preheat oven to 350. 
Combine dry ingredients (oats, flour, brown sugar, almonds, baking soda, salt and cinnamon) in a very large bowl. 
In a small bowl melt the butter and mix in milk and vanilla.  
Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix well until you have a dough-like consistency.  
Take about half of the mixture and place it into a pre-greased 12x8 pan.  Put it in the oven for about 10 minutes or until you see the top starting to slightly brown.  

Take it out of the oven, pour the chilled blackberry mixture over the first layer, and crumble the remaining crust mixture on top to get an even layer.  Place back into the oven and cook for another 15-20 minutes (the top should be browning).  

The best way to eat it is to let it cool for awhile once its been taken out of the oven but for it to still be a little warm when you cut it up (even though it's a little messy).  It's just so good warmed up! And some vanilla ice cream on the side is a must. 

Great summer dish for everyone! Hope you try it out :)

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