When the idea of berry oat bars aimlessly flew into my mind one lazy evening, I just hoped that I could get it right on my first shot. I wanted a blueberry oat concoction so badly I could taste it. So I set out the next day and when I constructed this recipe correctly on the first try the clouds parted and happiness filled my heart and my appetite! I wasn't joyful just because it tasted delicious, but that I was truly happy for myself and what I had accomplished. I think anybody who enjoys cooking feels that gratification that comes along with putting a great dish together. Seeing other people eat a little piece of bliss that you helped create sure makes a heart smile!
This is a very simple and filling snack, maybe breakfast, or even dessert. Serve it along with some coconut yogurt, or maybe even a nice large scoop (or heap) of your favorite non-dairy ice cream! And don't forget to enjoy your own little taste of bliss!
- 2/3 cup liquid sweetener; I use half agave and half brown rice syrup. You could also use maple syrup.
- 1/2 cup coconut oil
- 1 cup peanut or alternative nut butter
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 cups oats
- 1/2 cup dried coconut
- 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds, shelled and slightly salted
- 1 heaping cup dried cranberries infused with blueberry juice ( This is a cheaper alternative for me since the only dried organic blueberries the store offered were super expensive. Feel free to use the real deal if you want!)
- 1/3 cup chopped raw almonds
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 cup dairy-free chocolate chips
- In a large saucepan, combine the nut butter, oil and sweetener. Stir over medium-low heat until well combined and smooth. Remove from heat and stir in your vanilla extract.
- Add all of your dry ingredients to the nut mixture, besides the chocolate chips. I save these for last when the mixture has cooled just a bit so that the chocolate doesn't melt completely and turn the mix brown. If you want a more chocolate taste throughout add the chocolate with the rest.
- Simply stir very well, let it cool for five minutes. Add your chocolate chips if you haven't done so already, and fold them into the mix.
- Line an 8"x8" baking pan with wax or parchment paper. Spread your oat mixture evenly and freeze it for 2 hours.
- Remove the wax paper and oat block from the pan. Allow to sit for just a few minutes. Cut into squares. Serve immediately or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
*Image courtesy Flickr creative commons.