These Blueberry Oatmeal Crumble Bars are healthy, wholesome, and packed with juicy blueberries for a fruity treat any time of the day!
I have been waiting all winter long to make crumb bars, cobblers, and crisps thinking fresh blueberries, strawberries and raspberries come spring time. Ironically, knowing what I know now, EWG in one report finding 38 various pesticides on strawberries and raspberries that DO NOT wash off with water, I ended up baking these blueberry oatmeal crumble bars with frozen blueberries LOL.
My mom was never a baker but she baked crumble bars with jam often. I personally do not like jam in desserts or chocolates (call me crazy) but I loved her bars, the plain part. Unlike with jam, berries were bursting while I was cutting bars and then later on with each bite. Nothing messy, don’t worry.
This blueberry oatmeal crumble bars recipe is not overly sweet; made healthy with whole wheat flour, oats, applesauce, coconut oil, maple syrup, fresh or frozen blueberries, and a hint of lemon. Bars would be safe enough for breakfast or a snack – instead of muffins like these healthy blueberry muffins or oatmeal muffins. I was happy to add another type of snack to the menu.
Plus, if you love blueberries as much as I do – then you’ll want them for every meal of the day; blueberry breakfast cake for breakfast, kale blueberry salad for lunch, blueberry quinoa dish for dinner – and of course, these blueberry crumb bars for every time the sugar cravings hit!
Last year I thought no way I can make a healthy version of this sugar, butter, and jam-loaded classic. You just simply can’t replace white sugar and butter with maple syrup and coconut oil and expect the same cookies. No way! But these bars were quite flexible and turned out amazing!
I have included 2 sweetener options: maple syrup or coconut palm sugar. My kids were baking healthy donuts and I bought coconut sugar and spelt flour for that purpose. Donuts came out top-notch, they even rolled them in melted coconut oil and then sugar. Huge hit and something they can make on their own and I do not mind cleaning after them.
So, I used that sugar for these bars and they came out just like the original. With maple syrup, the bottom layer was a bit fluffier and cake-y, just like with healthy chocolate chip cookies, but still delicious. So, up to you what you choose as I know some of you use coconut palm sugar and some don’t. I will be exploring it further for sure.
Welcome to my dark morning kitchen! The dough will not be crumbly but rather moist and stick to one piece. That is because I used less fat and added applesauce. If there is liquid accumulated at the bottom of blueberry filling that is perfectly fine. In fact, I squeezed half lemon for more flavour.
When you pat the whole wheat dough into baking dish it will stay together. Press on it to pack tightly so it bakes into a nice cookie like layer. Leave only 1/4 of dough to crumb on top. Many recipes call for 1/2 of dough on top but I found that too much with no berries in sight.
Place berries in a layer on top of dough. You should have more than me because I was a little bit short on blueberries. Then make fine crumbs using your hands. I mean small so it is easier to cut bars without much mess.
That is pretty much it. Bars freeze really well and 1 square goes a long way – very filling. My boys loved these except my little one. Oh well, he gets clean eating banana muffins from the freezer then. If you like baking with fresh or frozen berries, check out my whole wheat coffee cake and almond muffins.
Other Related Recipes
- Healthy cobbler
- Healthy Coffee Cake
- Healthy almond flour cake
- Pumpkin protein bars
- Banana oat bars
- quinoa breakfast bake
- Oat bran muffins
- Almond flour carrot cake
Or you can look through my entire list of healthy desserts, for more inspiration!
Blueberry Crumble Bars
- 2 cups quick or rolled oats
- 1 1/4 cups whole wheat or spelt flour
- 1/2 cup maple syrup, cane sugar or coconut palm sugar
- 1/2 tsp baking powder aluminum free
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 egg large
- 1/2 cup coconut oil room temperature (not melted)
- 1/4 cup applesauce sweetened or unsweetened (1/2 cup if using sugar)
- Cooking spray I use Misto
- 3 cups blueberries fresh or frozen (if using frozen thaw in hot water & drain)
- 2 tbsp maple syrup, cane or coconut palm sugar
- 1 orange or lemon zest of
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1 tbsp cornstarch
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F, line square 8" x 8" baking dish with unbleached parchment paper and spray with cooking spray.
- In a large mixing bowl, add oats, flour, cane or coconut palm sugar (if using maple syrup add it later with liquids), baking powder, cinnamon and salt; mix well with spatula.
- Add maple syrup (only if not using sugar), egg (quickly whisked in a small bowl), coconut oil and applesauce. Mix with a spatula and with your hands more towards the end until well incorporated. Dough will be moist and should stick to one piece, not crumbly.
- In a medium bowl, add blueberries, maple syrup (sugar), orange zest, vanilla, cornstarch and stir well.
- Place 3/4 dough in prepared baking dish, flatten with spatula and press well with your hands.
- Spread blueberry filling on top evenly and crumble remaining dough on top. Make sure crumbs are small - will be easier to achieve with sugar dough, and crumb will be bigger with maple syrup dough.
- Bake for 45 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool completely before slicing into 16 squares.
Store: Store in a cool dry place for up to 3 days, refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
Freeze: Freeze in an airtight container for up to 3 months.
- Sweetener of choice: I have included 2 sweetener options: maple syrup or cane/coconut palm sugar. I tried both and I personally prefer the sugar version because bars and their crumb taste and look more like the original. With maple syrup, the bottom layer was a bit fluffier and cake-y but still delicious. So, up to you what you choose as I know some of you use sugar and some follow refined sugar free diet. You can also use regular white sugar. 🙂
- Fresh or frozen blueberries? I also prefer to use frozen blueberries (make year round and save money, usually most recipes benefit from fresh berries). They pop during baking creating a nice singly thick layer of jam like filling. Fresh blueberries work as well but I found they don't pop as much during baking and stick out. Which is fine as well.
- Flour: You can use only whole wheat or spelt flour. Maybe gluten free flour blend or white flour will work. Almond flour or coconut flours will not work.
- Butter: I have not tested but I think it will work. Just make sure it is very soft so you can crumble it.
- Other berries: Raspberries, blackberries, Saskatoon berries will work.
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