In my dreams, I wake up early every morning, do a nice, calm yoga practice, make fresh green juice, and settle into my home office with my dog to work on designs all day.
In reality, however, I usually hit the snooze 4 times, manage to grab a quick shower, and maybe scarf down a bowl of cereal before bolting out the door for my hour commute. Work and school eat up a lot of my hours in a day, and pre-planning is the best way I’ve found to ensure I don’t end up making a meal out of a bag of Veggie Straws (those things are seriously my snack-food Kryptonite).
There are lots of breakfast bars on the market, but finding one that’s vegan and also nut-free, and doesn’t taste like cardboard is a serious challenge. Not to mention that they can be expensive! I’d always rather make something at home, where I know exactly what I’m getting, and save a few dollars in the process.
Blueberry Oatmeal Breakfast Bars
makes 8-16 servings, depending on how you slice them
1 pint (2 cups) fresh or frozen blueberries
1/2 cup maple syrup (or more, if youíd like them fairly sweet)
1/4 cup apple juice
1/2 tsp vanilla
2 tbsp cornstarch + 2-3 tsp water or juice, whisked to form a paste
FOR THE REST
3 cups rolled oats (check the label if you need gluten-free options!)
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1.5 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
6 tbsp agave nectar (or more maple syrup)
6 tbsp water
1 tsp vanilla
Preheat your oven to 375F and oil an 8″ square baking dish or cake pan.
In a small saucepan, combine the blueberries, maple syrup, and apple juice, and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. When it boils, stir in the vanilla and the cornstarch mixture. Continue to stir as the mixture boils and thickens. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool slightly.
Put 1 1/2 cups of the oatmeal into a food processor and process into a fine powder. Pour it into a medium-sized mixing bowl and add the remaining oatmeal, cinnamon, baking powder, and salt. Mix well.
Stir in the applesauce, agave nectar/maple syrup, water, and vanilla, and mix well. Spread half of this mixture in the bottom of the prepared pan, and smooth into an even layer. Spoon the blueberry filling over the base, and then cover with the remaining batter.
Bake for 30 minutes, or until lightly browned, and allow to cool before cutting. I like them as 8 rather substantial bars, but you could easily do 9 large squares, or even 16 small squares if youíre feeding them to little ones or plan to eat them as snacks rather than breakfast. They would also probably be amazing warm, served with a scoop of your favorite non-dairy vanilla ice cream.
Storage & Freezing
Store leftovers in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to three days, or individually wrap and store in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator for breakfast, and eat chilled or reheated in a toaster oven.
Make a tray of these and you’ll have easy breakfasts for a week, whether you’re taking them behind the steering wheel at rush hour or on your porch with a big cup of tea and the sunrise.