Thursday, April 7th, 2011
So, if you’re of the opinion that nothing can be delicious without two sticks of butter or two cups of sugar, you might want to move on now. These little squares of berry goodness are so healthy that they’re almost too good to be true, except that they are. I would know. I’ve eaten three so far.
It’s that time of year where the berries are starting to turn up in full force, and when I find myself thanking the good Lord for our proximity to California. I made these with lots of strawberries and some blackberries thrown in for good measure. And then I continued to munch on the blackberries as I worked. There’s a reason these are more pink than purple.
These squares are lovely and rustic and completely natural. There is no guilt here (so forgive me the lack of butter and sugar). You can thank me later!
Berry Bliss Oat Squares
Slightly adapted from Oh She Glows
Use any berries you like for these — I think frozen berries would work just fine, though they might need a little extra stove time thanks to the extra liquid. I think the next time I make these I’ll increase the batter mixture by about a third — I’d like a little more crumble on top! These could be easily made gluten-free simply by using gluten-free oats.
Makes about 12 squares
1 1/2 cups strawberries, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup blackberries
1 ripe banana, chopped
1/2 cup maple syrup or agave nectar, divided
2 teaspoons vanilla extract, divided
2 tablespoons cornstarch mixed with 2 tablespoons warm water
3 cups old fashioned oats, divided
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/4 cup water
Preheat oven to 375°F and line a 8inch square pan with two pieces of parchment paper. In a small bowl mix together cornstarch with warm water to form a paste. Make sure all clumps are gone. Set aside.
In a small saucepan, combine the berries, banana, and 1/4 cup maple syrup. Bring to a boil and stir well. Remove from heat and stir in 1 teaspoon vanilla and the pre-mixed cornstarch. Whisk until all clumps are gone and set aside.
Place 1 1/2 cups of oats into a food processor and process until a flour/fine powder forms. Add this processed flour, remaining 1 1/2 cup of oats, baking powder, and salt into large bowl. Stir. Now add in the wet ingredients (applesauce, remaining 1/4 cup maple syrup, water, remaining 1 teaspoon vanilla) and mix well. Pour 2/3 of the batter into the prepared pan and push down firmly with fingers to smooth out.
If you want a smoother berry filling, pour berry mixture into the food processor and process until desired consistency (an immersion blender would work as well). Grab the prepared berry filling and spread over the top of the oat base until smooth. Now crumble the remaining oat base mixture on top.
Bake for 30 minutes or until the top is slightly golden and firm. Allow to cool for at least 20 minutes before cutting into squares.