Ready, Set, Weekend with Simply Beautiful Eating

Photo 2016-02-07, 10 48 26 AM
Photo 2016-02-07, 10 48 26 AM

I think I may have mentioned that I have gone “gluten” and “dairy-free” this month. I’m giving it a try to see if it makes a difference and let me tell you it’s been a pretty easy changeover to make (I’m not even missing my bagels because I found some that are even better than the ones I usually have on the weekends).

Photo 2016-02-06, 4 21 45 PM
Photo 2016-02-06, 4 21 45 PM

I wanted to make an easy “take away”breakfast bar that would sustain me throughout the morning without getting to the 11:00 a.m. hunger pang stage.

I’m not sure about you, but a couple of hours after I finish my first meal of the day I seem to be looking around for something to snack on.

I made these blueberry oat bars on the weekend and not only are the STUNNING, they are outta control delish. It’s like having a bowl of breakfast in bar form. How perfect is that? They are transportable, keep well and they are very satisfying which in my case, is a miracle because I’m always hungry.

Photo 2016-02-07, 10 51 44 AM
Photo 2016-02-07, 10 51 44 AM

And of course, there is a story behind these bars which involves my current obsession – my new Cuisinart Food Processor.

Photo 2016-02-07, 11 05 04 AM
Photo 2016-02-07, 11 05 04 AM

I received it as a gift in December and it sat packaged up in my studio until last week. Here’s a little video on what transpired when I unboxed it. You already know I’m nuts, so I don’t see the point of hiding this from you. Check it out by clicking here → Cuisinart

Photo 2016-02-07, 10 32 32 AM
Photo 2016-02-07, 10 32 32 AM

Okay, time to get back to these bars. I’m of the belief that if you try something once, and it’s this good, you need to try it again. This recipe is so versatile you can add any combo of ingredients on top of this base. Experiment with other dried fruits and berries, weird seeds and perhaps a dash of something that is in your spice cupboard, which could make these YOUR signature bars.

Photo 2016-02-06, 2 46 16 PM
Photo 2016-02-06, 2 46 16 PM

I’ve decided that I need to make them every week now. They’re THAT good.

Photo 2016-02-07, 10 42 30 AM
Photo 2016-02-07, 10 42 30 AM

Hello beautiful.

Nom.

Nom.

Nom.

Photo 2016-02-07, 10 55 15 AM
Photo 2016-02-07, 10 55 15 AM

GLUTEN AND DAIRY FREE BLUEBERRY OAT BREAKFAST BARS

CRUST

-2 cups old fashioned oats, large flake -1 cup sliced or slivered almonds, I used a combo of both -4 tablespoons agave or honey if you're not doing vegan -1 tablespoon solid coconut oil -1 teaspoon salt -1½ teaspoons ground cinnamon -2 bananas, the riper the banana, the sweeter the crust will be. -1½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract -1 scoop protein powder

TOPPING: -½ cup old fashioned oats, large flake -¼ cup sliced or slivered almonds -¼ cup pumpkin seeds (pepitas) -¼ cup dried fruit, I used cranberries -1 cup fresh blueberries -¼ cup of almond milk (can use plain coconut, soy milk or rice milk) -¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon

1) Preheat oven to 350°. 2) Line 9 x 9 or 8 X 8 baking pan with parchment paper, lightly grease with coconut oil. If you are using the smaller pan like I did, you will end up with a thicker crust. 3) Add all crust ingredients into food processor until completely combined and wet. This takes about 2 to three minutes. 4) Pour into prepared pan and smooth out with spatula evenly in your pan. 5) Bake the crust for 8-10 minutes.

Topping:

1) Combine ingredients in medium bowl and stir to combine.

Photo 2016-02-06, 3 25 15 PM
Photo 2016-02-06, 3 25 15 PM

2) Removing pan from oven, spread topping evenly over and lightly press down into base.

Photo 2016-02-06, 3 59 21 PM
Photo 2016-02-06, 3 59 21 PM

3) Bake an additional 15 minutes. Let cool completely before slicing. 4) Can be stored in the refrigerator in a sealed container for up to one week.

Photo 2016-02-07, 10 24 38 AM
Photo 2016-02-07, 10 24 38 AM
Photo 2016-02-07, 10 41 56 AM
Photo 2016-02-07, 10 41 56 AM
Photo 2016-02-07, 11 06 16 AM
Photo 2016-02-07, 11 06 16 AM