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Wild Blueberry Oat Bars

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Wild Blueberry Oat BarsWild Blueberry Oat Bars

This month’s Recipe Redux challenge is all about using what you’ve got. Here’s what we were challenged to do: “Spring Clean Your Kitchen. Cook with at least 3 ingredients that are in your refrigerator or pantry right now. Try not to go to the store to buy anything new. Show us how you reduce food waste by being resourceful!”

It’s like this challenge was written just for me as this is something I try to do pretty much every week. In fact, the other weekend we had some friends over for an impromptu dinner. It was one of those laid-back nights with friends-who-are-like-family where everyone was relaxed and making themselves at home. At one point, my friend opened my refrigerator and said, “WOW! Your fridge is so clean!” She couldn’t believe how empty the shelves were. She was so shocked when I told her that my fridge is pretty much empty by Saturday night every week that she made her husband come over to take a peek, too.

Working with what you have

When you are trying to use up whatever you’ve got left in your house there is definitely some flexibility and creativity required. This can be especially challenging for less confident cooks so I wanted to share a couple of ways to make this easier.

Search for recipes with the ingredients you’ve got

When I was first becoming more serious about reducing food waste, one of the things that I started doing towards the end of the week was to search for recipes using whatever ingredients were left in the house. A search for eggs and sweet potatoes, for example, might yield a frittata, whereas one for rice and shrimp might result in a fried rice or quick paella.

Over time, as I did this more and more, I started to understand the dishes that worked well for using up whatever I had left around and then grew more comfortable improvising on my own.

Search for substitutes

When you’ve got a meal in mind and need to figure out how to make it with what you’ve got, searching for substitutes can be a great way to go (make sure to check out our food substitution guide to use as a quick reference).

Wild Blueberries, oats, and applesauce

When I went to work on this challenge I looked through my fridge, freezer, and pantry to see what I had knocking around. I found frozen wild blueberries, oats, and applesauce and I knew a breakfast/dessert was in our future.

These wild blueberry bars are a favorite in my house. I have been making a version of them for years, but when I saw the ingredients I had knocking around, I decided to make them healthier by cutting down on the sugar, adding whole wheat flour, and swapping out half of the butter for applesauce.

The result: an even tastier bar that I can feel good about serving for breakfast, throwing into lunch boxes, or serving with a scoop of ice cream for dessert (which is to die for, by the way)! If you wanted to bulk up the nutrition even more, swapping out the flour for almond meal would be amazing, too.

Wild Blueberry Breakfast Bars

Wild Blueberry Oat Bars

Jessica Braider
These wild blueberry bars are a favorite in my house. I have been making a version of them for years, but decided to make them healthier by cutting down on the sugar, adding whole wheat flour, and swapping out half of the butter for applesauce. The result: an even tastier bar that I can feel good about serving for breakfast, throwing into lunch boxes, or serving with a scoop of ice cream for dessert (which is to die for, by the way)! If you wanted to bulk up the nutrition even more, swapping out the flour for almond meal would be amazing, too.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Total Time 35 mins
Servings 18 servings

Ingredients
  

  • cup rolled oats (use wheat/gluten-free, if needed)
  • cup whole wheat flour (use wheat/gluten-free if needed)
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar packed
  • tsp. baking soda
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ½ cup butter or margarine melted
  • ½ cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 3 cups fresh or frozen wild blueberries or use regular blueberries
  • 1 Tbsp. cornstarch

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray or grease a 9 x 13-inch baking dish.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the oats, flour, brown sugar, baking soda, and salt until well combined.
  • Add the melted butter and applesauce and mix until just combined. (It will appear crumbly; that’s okay.)
  • In a small bowl, mix together the blueberries and cornstarch.
  • Place 2/3 of the crumble mixture in a 9x13 baking dish and, using your hands, pat down until you have an even layer covering the bottom of the dish.
  • Top with the blueberry mixture followed by the remaining crumble mixture. The remaining crumble mixture doesn’t need to be patted down. Instead, it should be sprinkled evenly over the blueberries.
  • Bake it for 25 – 30 minutes, until the top is starting to turn golden brown. Remove from the oven and cool completely in the baking dish, then cut into bars.
  • Store the bars in an airtight container for up to 3 days or freeze for them up to 3 months in an airtight container or freezer bag.

Notes

Do Ahead or Delegate: Make crumble mixture, mix blueberries with cornstarch and refrigerate, or fully prepare and refrigerate or freeze the bars. Tip: Blueberries contain more disease-fighting antioxidants than any other fruit or vegetable. A serving of blueberries provides as many antioxidants as five servings of squash, carrots, apples, or broccoli. Scramble Flavor Booster: Add 1 tsp. lemon zest to the blueberry mixture. Replace half of the flour with almond flour. Nutritional Information Per Serving (% based upon daily values): Calories 174, Total Fat: 6g, 10%; Saturated Fat: 3g, 17%; Cholesterol: 14mg, 5%; Sodium: 159mg, 7%; Total Carbohydrate: 28g, 9%; Dietary Fiber: 4g, 15%; Sugar: 7g; Protein: 3g Like this recipe? Check out The Scramble's family-friendly meal plans to see just how simple getting dinner on the table can be!
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

 

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A Father's Day Picnic Menu

Sunday 14th of June 2020

[…] Wild Blueberry Oat Bars These are a favorite in my house for any occasion, plus they’re easily packable and not too messy to eat, making them perfect for a picnic. […]

Aviva Goldfarb

Sunday 7th of April 2019

Love these! I cut the sugar in half because we don't eat much sugar and they are an easy, healthy and delicious way to start the morning!

Jessica Braider

Sunday 7th of April 2019

So glad you enjoyed them, Aviva!! :)

Jill

Saturday 23rd of March 2019

Jessica, sugar is listed in the directions, but not in the ingredients. How much is needed?

Jessica

Saturday 23rd of March 2019

Hi Jill, Thanks for catching that! I have made it both with half regular sugar/half brown sugar and 100% brown sugar, and decided to go the all brown sugar route, but forgot to delete the sugar in the regular directions. So, no regular sugar is needed, just the brown sugar! Thanks, again!

Conner

Saturday 23rd of March 2019

Love this! I've had wild blueberries in my freezer for months and never remember to use them! I'll ,make these and serve them with some Greek yogurt as I like plenty of protein for breakfast.

Jessica

Saturday 23rd of March 2019

That sounds like an amazing plan! They would be wonderful with Greek Yogurt!

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