Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Mixed Berry Oat Streusel Bar

I can't believe berries are still in season in December, and are they juicier and sweeter than the ones in Summer?!! The Fatty's mom has been too kind to stock up berries for us each weekend. There's so much left over even after our weekend fix of acai bowl (which should be more accurately named as berries bowl now). Thank you for the generosity and thank you for longer berry season! 
Happy belated Thanksgiving.

These bars are fairly simple to make as with most of my bakes. The oatmeal almond butter mixture conveniently and strategically doubles as the base and as the streusel topping, killing two birds with one stone! The mixture firmly pressed into the pan creates a hearty and dense base for the lightly sweetened mixed berry filling to lay on. The streusel along with the sliced almonds on top brings the whole thing together with its crispiness and stunning visual. 

Mixed Berry Oat Streusel Bar
recipe adapted from Sally's Baking Addiction
makes one 8x8" pan or 9-12 bars
Mixed berry filling:
2 Tbsp (15g) cornstarch
2 Tbsp (30ml) warm water
2 cups (330g) mixed berries *I used a mix of blackberries, blueberries and raspberries
less than 1/4 cup (65g) pure maple syrup
1 Tbsp chia seeds 
Oatmeal base + streusel:
2 and 1/4 cup (180g) quick oats
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup (250g) unsalted almond butter
1/6 cup (55g) pure maple syrup
1/4 cup (60ml) coconut oil, melted
1 large egg, beaten
1/2 cup (50g) sliced almonds

Bring berries and maple syrup to a boil.
What you need for the oatmeal base/streusel.
Mix everything together until evenly combined.
Mixture will be wet.
Reserve 1/2 cup from streusel.
The three layers before assembly.
Spread mixed berry filling on top of firmly pressed base.
Crumble streusel/sliced almonds and lightly press into filling.
Start by making the mixed berry filling first -
1. Mix cornstarch with warm water until cornstarch has dissolved and there are no clumps. Set aside.
2. Combine berries and maple syrup together in a small sauce pan over medium heat. Bring to a boil and stir well.
3. Remove from heat and stir in pre-mixed cornstarch and chia seeds.
4. Whisk until all clumps are gone and set aside to thicken and cool. 
For the base/streusel -
1. Preheat oven to 325F. Line a 8x8" baking pan. Set aside.
2. In a large bowl, combine quick oats, cinnamon, almond butter, maple syrup, coconut oil, and beaten egg. Mix until all of the oats are moistened and the mixture is thoroughly combined.
3. Reserve 1/2 cup of oat mixture. Firmly press remaining oat mixture into prepared baking pan.
4. Spread mixed berry filling on top.
5. To the reserved 1/2 cup oat mixture, add sliced almonds. Crumble and light press down into berry filling.
6. Bake for 25-30 minutes.
7. Allow to cool completely before cutting. 
*Squares stay fresh covered tightly at room temperature or in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
*Make ahead tip: Squares freeze well up to 2-3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before enjoying.

There's no refined sugar and no butter in these bars, however, be warned that there's a good amount of almond butter along with coconut oil added to bind the oat mixture together. This brings each bar with about 21g/1.5Tbsp of almond butter to a calorie count of 310 and 32% daily value for fat! Although all ingredients used are wholesome and "good" for you, I highly suggest limiting to 1 bar per day.

If making these again, I would decrease the amount of almond butter and coconut oil added and try substituting with pureed dates. The making of these reminded me of my granola bars

Taste: 4 stars out of 5
Lightly sweetened and lovely tart berry filling. Oat mixture is rich and indulgent tasting.
Texture: 3.5 stars out of 5
Oat base is a dense, slightly chewy, and moist/a bit oily. Streusel could be more crispy/hard.

No comments:

Post a Comment