11 Jul 2016

BLUEBERRY HAZELNUT OAT BARS


I am living for music right now. I've gone out dancing a bunch in the past month and cannot wait til the next underground party comes my way. Generally speaking - and at the risk of sounding like a jerk - I don't like most clubs because the crowd is too mainstream and heteronormative for my taste, and I don't like most popular dance music (except for Mariah Carey: omg.) But if you look under the surface a tiny bit, Vancouver has a terrific after-hours trance/house/alt electronic music scene that provides all the groovy audio moods I need...

Onto blueberry bars and [vegan] ice cream!

This recipe was inspired by blueberry crumble. But I made my own version, and it is more bar and less crumble. There IS a crumble topping. And a creamy blueberry filling. And a hazelnut-y crust. You cannot go wrong. I saw the most incredible scoop of coconut ice cream on Instagram the other day - honestly, the sentences I hear myself saying sometimes - and haven't stopped thinking about it since. In my brain I was envisioning a perfectly sliced blueberry oat bar topped with a sexy orb of melty ice cream. A precious new friend - who is probably the kindest person I have ever met - bought me a pint of vanilla coco ice cream for this recipe, so all my dreams have now come true.

This post is sponsored by the BC Blueberry Council and I am NOT afraid to hide that fact. Collaborating with local farmers is my favourite way to promote "products" because not only I am just giving shout outs to gorgeous whole foods, I'm supporting growers that live in my community. Imagine a world where all the ads we see are from local farmers saying: "Hey, I grew these fruits and veggies... please eat them!?" *Dreamy sigh*. You can find more info about the Blueberry Council on their website, plus over 100 recipes that use bloobs as the star ingredient. BC-grown blueberries are available fresh in July and August, and all year round if ya dig 'em frozen. Look for labels that say they're from BC or Canada, since BC is the main region they're grown in in the world.


BLUEBERRY HAZELNUT OAT BARS
[ Makes 9 fat bars. ]

Base:
1 cup hazelnuts
1 cup rolled oats
2 tablespoons maple syrup
2 tablespoons melted coconut oil

Filling:
2 cups blueberries
1/3 cup raisins
1/2 teaspoon vanilla powder
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon melted coconut oil
1/4 cup chia seeds

Topping:
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup almond flour
1/8 teaspoon Himalayan salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon powder
1/2 teaspoon ginger powder
1 tablespoon melted coconut oil
1 tablespoon maple syrup
2 tablespoons water or lemon juice

To make the base: grind the nuts and oats into flour. Stir in the coconut oil and maple syrup with a spoon until you have a moist dough that holds its shape. Press into a lined pan and leave in the fridge.

To make the filling: blend all the ingredients - except the chia seeds - until as smooth as desired (I like mine a little chunky for texture). Stir in the chia seeds. It should soon start to thicken up thanks to the chia: you want a yogurt-like consistency. If it's too thin, add more chia seeds and/or coconut oil. Scoop onto your crust, spread evenly, and leave in the fridge or freezer until solid (a couple hours).

To make the topping: mix together all the ingredients with a spoon then press on top of your blueberry filling layer. Leave in the fridge or freezer overnight, then slice and serve with vegan ice cream! I used vanilla coconut ice cream and it was heavenly.

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