Thursday, January 23, 2014

Vegan Blueberry Cobbler Bars

Going vegan is a challenge. It's really not, but that is what you are supposed to say, right? Well, I mean, you have to get past the whole mental thing and thinking that all you are going to be able to eat is grass, and, yeah, that's pretty much it. Seriously that is 98% of the difficulty in adopting a plant based diet. Luckily with the invention of internet, Pinterest, Instagram, and all of the information known to man at the touch of an iPhone button, there really is no legitimate reason for letting that kind of thinking last for more than a few minutes. 

All that being said, I had a church event that I had to bring something delicious to. I am known for my "something delicious", so I couldn't disappoint just because I was eating plant based. Challenge accepted. To the internet I went for inspiration. It didn't take long before I realized that I wanted to do some kind of yummy bar, and I wanted something amazing that non-vegans would go crazy over. These looked like they would fit the bill perfectly. They even have greens in them as a bonus! These things weren't originally vegan, but by substituting other things for the butter, and honey, they very easily became vegan. I made some tweaks here and there and voila...gorgeous triumph! I also included a way to make them Gluten Free for my celiac homies. 

Don't you love it when that happens?


4 cups rolled oats
1 1/4 cup unbleached flour 
1 1/4 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 cup organic sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cup Earth Balance organic spread (chilled)
3 cup frozen blueberries
1/4 c. organic sugar
1 cup spinach leaves, food processed
1/2 c sliced almonds
2 Tbsp poppy seeds

To make recipe GLUTEN FREE, omit flours and baking powder and substitute 2 1/2 c of a gluten free baking mix like Bob's Red Mill or Pamela's and make sure your oats are gluten free. 

1. Preheat oven to 375. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper

2. In a large bowl, combine oats, flour, sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, salt and vanilla. Give it a good stir.

3. Incorporate the margarine by cutting it in with two butter knives until the mixture looks like a coarse streusel topping  and is no longer powdery. But do not cream. You want bits of the spread visible in little chunks throughout.

4. Set aside about half of the oat mixture, and press the other half firmly into the cookie sheet. Bake until just slightly toasty at the edges (not fully baked) 11-13 minutes

5. While that bakes, In a saucepan, heat the blueberries and 2 Tbsp organic sugar over medium heat. Bring to a simmer and reduce. (should take about 15 minutes) Once it is thickened to a syurpy consistency, take off heat and add the spinach and stir. 

6. Pour the blueberry mixture over the parbaked oat mixture, then sprinkle the reserved mix. Sprinkle sliced almonds and poppy seeds evenly over the top. Pop it back into the oven until the top is lightly browned and fragrant, approximately 20 minutes. 

7. Cool on a rack completely before cutting into bars. 

Yield 32 bars.

***A quick note about the sugar. While I used all organic ingredients in the version I made, I only specified organic sugar in the ingredient list. Why? Sugar should be vegan, it is made from  sugar cane (or sugar beet depending on the brand of sugar you are using). Well, yes, technically that is true. The sugar itself is a plant, but unfortunately, the traditional method of processing sugar includes filtering it through animal bone char, making it decidedly NON-vegan (and pretty gross in my opinion). For that reason, only the organic version can be considered vegan.***

I was so tickled when these turned out amazing. Hope you guys enjoy! I had to get these pictures before my kids decimated them!