Fresh Blackberry Oat Bars

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"Jam" bars made with fresh fruit!!  Uses chia seeds, less sugar, less butter, and they're GLUTEN FREE!

Ever see pictures of “jam bars?”  Feel the rise of excitement that “yes, I do have all the ingredients!” only to have guilt sink in when you realize it’s really just butter, sugar, and store-bought jam?

What if we could make them healthier with a more “whole food” approach and not forgo the taste?

This is what I’ve done for you today:  Real fresh fruit.  Less butter.  You control the sugar.

"Jam" bars made with fresh fruit!!  Uses chia seeds, less sugar, less butter, and they're GLUTEN FREE!

The taste?  Just as good (better I think) than their “Jam Bar” counterparts.

How’d I do it?

Ch-ch-ch-chia!

I always think of those silly Chia Pets when I think of chia seeds.  I worked as a cashier at Walgreens during the height of the Chia Pet craze.  At least they didn’t make sound like the singing bass.  It takes a special amount of mental fortitude to work next to a singing fish for 8 hours a day.  Anyone remember that thing?  It was a fish mounted on a “wood” board that sang when you pushed a button.  Horrible awful thing.  And people bought them in droves!  (or should I say schools? lol).

Back to the bars.

"Jam" bars made with fresh fruit!!  Uses chia seeds, less sugar, less butter, and they're GLUTEN FREE!

Chia seeds combined with milk or yogurt make chia pudding.  So why not fresh fruit and chia seeds to make jam?  The Internet told me it could be done so away I went.  The interwebz was right – a jam-like texture!

"Jam" bars made with fresh fruit!!  Uses chia seeds, less sugar, less butter, and they're GLUTEN FREE!

I used blackberries but you can use any fruit you like.  Adjust the sugar however you want.  Heck, change the sugar to coconut sugar, agave, splenda, honey, whatever moves you.

Gluten Free Fresh Blackberry Oat Bars
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Yields/Serves: 12
Ingredients
  • 12 ounces fresh blackberries
  • ¼ cup chia seeds
  • 2-4 tablespoons sugar
  • ½ cup brown rice flour
  • ½ cup gluten free oats
  • ½ cup almond flour
  • ⅓ cup potato starch
  • ⅓ cup sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon xanthan gum
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ⅓ cup butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
Instructions
  1. In saucepan use a potato masher to mash the blackberries almost completely, leaving small chunks if you like. Stir in chia seeds and 2-4 tablespoons sugar to taste. Allow to rest for 20 minutes.
  2. Place over medium heat and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Boil gently and stir 3-5 minutes until it has thickened slightly. Set aside to cool. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  3. Meanwhile in medium bowl combine brown rice flour, oats, almond flour, potato starch, ⅓ cup sugar, salt, baking soda, xanthan gum, and cinnamon. Stir in melted butter and vanilla. The mixture will be slightly crumbly.
  4. Line an 8x8-inch baking dish with parchment paper, letting it hang over the sides.
  5. Press a bit over half of the oat mixture into the bottom of the baking dish. Spread the blackberry "jam" over the top. Then sprinkle on the remaining oat mixture. This does not need to be pressed down at all.
  6. Bake in 375 degree oven 45-55 minutes until top is lightly golden brown. Allow to cool completely then remove by grabbing the sides of the parchment paper and pulling the entire thing out. Cut into bars and enjoy.

 

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Comments

  1. says

    I wonder if flax seeds could be mixed with the fruit to make the same effect? These look seriously awesome – I keep seeing recipes with brown rice flour and almond flour and I just need to buy them already.

    • says

      Chia seeds “gel” much more than flax seed. However you could probably cook it down longer to get the same effect. You can sub white rice flour for brown rice flour but almond flour substitutions get a little trickier (often sorghum flour works 1:1 but not always). Hope that helps some!

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