Blueberry Pumpkin Bars
No baking necessary with these crunchy blueberry and pumpkin seed squares. Simply follow the instructions then chill at least 1 hour before cutting to serve. The mixture is a blend of dates, oats, nuts, seeds and spices and the result is delicious.
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 2 teaspoons water
- 1 cup Driscoll's Blueberries
- 1/4 cup light agave nectar, divided
- 6 Medjool dates, pitted and chopped (about 3 ounces)
- 1/4 cup creamy almond butter
- 1/4 cup old-fashioned oats
- 2 teaspoons coconut oil, melted
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1/3 cup unsalted pumpkin seeds, roasted
- 2 tablespoons whole golden flax seeds
- 2 cups crispy brown rice cereal
- Line an 8 x 8-inch baking pan with parchment paper. Set aside.
In a small bowl, combine cornstarch and water and stir until the cornstarch is dissolved. Set aside. In a small, heavy-bottomed saucepan, combine blueberries and 2 tablespoons agave nectar. Set pan over medium heat. Cook, stirring frequently, until most of the blueberries break down and juices begin to simmer, 5 to 6 minutes. Stir in cornstarch mixture and cook until mixture thickens, about 1 minute. Remove pan from heat and set aside to cool.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine dates, almond butter, oats, remaining 2 tablespoons agave nectar, coconut oil, ginger, vanilla, and salt. Mix on medium-high speed until the dates are broken down and mashed, scraping down the side of the bowl with a rubber spatula occasionally, 2 to 3 minutes. Add pumpkin and flax seeds and mix 1 minute. Add crisp brown rice and mix 1 minute, scraping down the sides of the bowl halfway through. Using your hands, knead the mixture to fully incorporate the crisps. Transfer the mixture to the prepared pan and press down with your fingertips to flatten and spread completely in the pan.
Using a small spatula spread the blueberry mixture on top of crisp layer. Refrigerate at least 1 hour before serving. Cut into 9 squares.
I think the squares look yummy, but there are too many ingredients that I don't have on hand. Too bad.
Not sure why people review/rate recipes they have not tried. Yes, there are a lot of "different" ingredients, however, people who cook using healthier alternatives would have most ingredients on-hand. These are very different from a standard bar recipe, and they are good and filling. I did sub honey for agave but kept everything else as-is.
I doubled both the almond butter and the blueberry topping, and the mixer made no difference - I had to mix by hand. Maybe a food processor would help but the problem was that there were too many dry, sticky ingredients to be "mixed" by machine. The prep time says "10 minutes" at the top, but when you read through the directions, you can see that you'll be spending that much time just to make the topping. It took extra time to adjust the batter by adding another measure of almond butter, then more time to cook up a second batch of topping. I left the recipe in the fridge overnight and we tried the bars in the morning. They're crunchy and tasty, but they don't stay together very well. This was a fun experiment; it might work better with date paste than chopped dates.