The best part of the summers are the surplus gorgeous berries,melons and stone fruits brimming in the local markets,all at affordable prices.After picking your favorite kind of berries ,how do you use up these delicate fruit with short shelf life before spoiling?I say,make preserves that can go great on a toast ,biscuits or for baking. Or enjoy them whole in a cooling yogurt smoothie ,blend it in the Nature's best drink,parfait,fruity pancakes or sprinkle over the morning bowl of cereal.
I've made bars before with whole oats,for this recipe I use ground oats and didn't use any wheat flour keeping them gluten-free bars.With crumbly texture, blueberry filling and soft almond butter topping these were totally enjoyable.You could even use mangoes or plums or which ever fruit is in season in your part of the world.
Agave Nectar,the Low GI Sweetener
I use Agave Nectar as a sweetener.Agave is extracted from the heart of the agave plant.It is a low glycemic sweetener,best suited for diabetics,as it is slowly absorbed in to the body preventing spikes in blood sugar.It is 25% sweeter than sugar,so you need less.The sweet mild taste is perfect for sweetening beverages,baking and as a multipurpose sweetener.Read more more other natural sweeteners with low GI in my post here.Agave is available in many natural food stores,I bought mine from Costco.
For Blue Berry Filling
3 cups Fresh blueberries
1/4 cup water
1 tablespoon cornstarch mixed with 1 tablespoon water.
For Bottom Oatmeal layer
2 cups Whole rolled oats
1/4 cup Flax seed meal
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoon Olive oil or vegetable oil
1 Organic egg (Vegans could replace with 1/2 cup applesauce or tofu)
1/4 cup Agave or 1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup reduced fat milk or soy milk
For Top Almond Butter Layer
1/2 cup Almond butter
1/2 cup whole rolled oats
2 teaspoon Agave or 1 tablespoon sugar
*If you can't use almond butter,use 1/2 cup roasted ground almonds,blend with 3-4 tablespoon of water to smooth paste .
Prepare the filling by Cooking the berries and water,until bubbly and soft,then mix in the cornstarch dissolved in water,stir constantly until thickened.Let cool.
Grind the oats used in both the layers to a coarse mixture in a food processor or blender.Grind together then measure and use separately.Approximately 3/4th for the bottom layer and rest for the top layer.
Preheat oven to 350F. Grease a 8X8 inch baking dish with oil or line with parchment paper.
Mix the bottom layer in medium bowl,whip egg or tofu with agave or sugar,then stir in rest of the ingredients.Spread evenly on the bottom of the baking dish,next spread the blueberry filling.
In the same bowl mix the ground oats ,almond butter and sugar.Spread over the blueberry filling using a spatula or with fingers.
Bake in the middle rack of the oven,for about 25-30 minutes until the top is nice and brown.Cool completely and cut in to squares.Enjoy these nutritious bars with morning or evening cuppa tea or coffee .
These bars are my entry for Heart of the Matter : Best of June's produce