Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Blueberry Bliss Breakfast Bars (Vegan, Gluten Free, Refined Sugar Free)


Even under the least desirable conditions (rain, snow, sleet, ice, and let's not forget those - 40 C wind chill temperatures), I always come back to thinking that walking my dog first thing in the morning is pretty much the best possible way to start the day.

An ideal opportunity to welcome the new and rinse out the old before the chaos of the inevitable takes over and the monkey mind sets in.

And this time of year, well, it's hard not to be in love with the outdoors. Everything is lush, fresh and inviting.   Flashes of life and color on every corner. 

Even our cat is getting in on the action!  Our frolicking feline will actually walk to the park with us (au naturel) and hang out while we throw balls with our dog. Then, unprompted, he makes the pilgrimage home, several blocks, turns and obstacles away. Considering most cats have a brain the size of an edamame bean, I find it rather remarkable.  The sense of direction, the desire to socialize, the ability to navigate. It's mysterious and miraculous to me all at once.  Cats are utterly cool creatures.

Here's to your morning glory!





Blueberry Bliss Breakfast Bars

Blueberry Bliss Breakfast Bars (Raw, Vegan, Gluten Free, Refined Sugar Free)
  • 1 + 1/2 cups 100% pure, uncontaminated, rolled oats***
  • 3/4 cup whole almonds 
  • Heaping 1/2 cup dried blueberries 
  • 1/2 cup pistachios 
  • 1/3 cup ground flaxseed 
  • 1/3 cup walnuts 
  • 1/3 cup pepitas 
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds 
  • 1/3 cup pure maple syrup or honey
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened apple sauce 
  • 1 cup almond butter 

Serving: Makes 16 bars

Notes:
  1. Substitute any nut/seed of choice or dried fruit as desired.  Sliced apricot, cranberries, cherries, dates & fig are all delicious here.
  2. ***Pure oatmeal does not contain gluten however many commercially sold oats do due to cross-contamination issues. If you are gluten sensitive or have celiac disease, be sure to seek out certified 'gluten-free' oatmeal.
Directions:
  1. Line an 8"x 8" (or so) baking pan with parchment or wax paper such that the paper hangs over the edges (the pan I used is 7" x 10").
  2. Combine the first 8 ingredients in a large bowl and mix to combine.
  3. Add maple syrup or honey and apple sauce and mix to combine. 
  4. Add almond butter to mixture and mix until combined. 
  5. Place batter in prepared pan pressing down firmly with palm of hands (or mini-roller if you have one) and distributing as evenly as possible.
  6. Allow pan to sit in freezer for approximately 1 hour. 
  7. Remove pan from freezer. Lift singular slab from pan by lifting up on paper. Set slab down and gently peel paper away.  Slice slab diagonally into 8 long bars and then cut each long bar in half to create a total of 16 bars.  I find these bars keep best in a sealed container/bag in the freezer.


© Inspired Edibles

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A bowl full of goodness


Try not to eat all the batter!

Press down firmly so that everything sticks together

Voila! your slab ready to be cut into bars


Monsieur Black ~ Handsome Devil! (always in formal wear ;o)


In 1945, the Dutch Royal Family sent 100,000 tulip bulbs to Ottawa 
in gratitude for Canadians sheltering Princess Juliana and her daughters 
during the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands 
Today, Ottawa showcases over 1 million tulips in its Annual Tulip Festival



39 comments:

  1. Really love all your recipes as they are so full of healthy ingredients and everything I try out from here is always a sucess! thanks for sharing such delighful healthy bites and love your write ups too.

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  2. Well thank you Radha for making my day! Truly kind of you to take the time to drop in and share your thoughts. I'm delighted to hear that my work here is serving you well - big smiles ;O) :O) :O)

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  3. Emilie@TheCleverCarrotMay 15, 2013 at 8:08 AM

    Beautiful, beautiful recipe. This has 'me' written all over it! I love the flavor of blueberry in these kinds of bars (especially with coconut!) and flaxseed is one of my personal favorites. Wonderful ingredients Kelly! I bet these go really fast in your house ;) And yes, cats are utterly cool creatures- yours is quite the handsome devil! xx

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  4. Haha, thank you Emilie! Mr. Black (oops, sorry, he prefers 'Monsieur') cracks us up. I chuckled reading about the gifts your cat presents you with... I had a cat like that when I was young... I think Black recognizes I don't have the stomach for it and gives that part of our relationship a miss ;O). Thank you for all your kind words -- you can absolutely add coconut and sub anything you like here! They are super yummy...

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  5. I really love all your recipes. I want to give this one a try as well but I'm having trouble finding pepitas. I live in a small village outside of Ottawa but I'm in the city frequently. Could you tell me where you purchase yours? When all else fails, I substitute sunflower seeds.

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  6. Another great take on breakfast bars, you are the bar queen! Well, that did not sound that lovely, does it? Forgive me, it's early and caffeine is still kicking in


    Did not know about the tulips, very beautiful... almost as beautiful and elegant as your cat ;0)

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  7. sorry for poor English. I stand by the caffeine thing. Could not go back and edit. (sigh)

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  8. To compensate, can I offer you a link you might enjoy?

    http://www.lovethesepics.com/2013/05/tiptoe-through-the-tulips-35-pics/?utm_source=feedly

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  9. Hi Lynn! I usually get my ingredients at Kardish on Bank Street (Glebe) - I find the store generally well stocked and clean. There are several Kardish locations throughout Ottawa. You can also try the Natural Food Pantry and Bulk Barn. But truly any seed would work here. Have a great day!

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  10. Haha! My husband says the same thing about my bar creations -- he thinks I should start selling them (I think it's sometimes challenging for the hubbies to see their wives work so hard at something without receiving direct monetary compensation - lol - he's always working the business angle!). Aren't the tulips something? The royal family has kept up the tradition annually - sending more each year; I just think it's such a beautiful story too. Have a beautiful day Sally - xo.

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  11. I would lick the bowl clean! O my...ain't these gorgeous!

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  12. I would love to be able to share this on my Pinterest board!!

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  13. By all means Kim, thank you!

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  14. Me too!! Thanks Angie ;O)

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  15. What gorgeous images Sally... thanks for the link!

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  16. Ohhhhh these look so good! The pistachios are like hidden gems in them! These would be so good made with a flavoured honey from my local market...ahhhh I want them now!

    Your cat is so pretty and that is so funny that he follows you all the way to the park. I love that!!

    Beautiful tulips, too! If I drive across the border for a couple hours, we hit a town called La Connor and it's just field after field of tulips in the Spring...it's such a neat sight!!

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  17. I can't wait to make these. They sound delicious. I was just thinking how I needed snack bars for my crazy busy days like the ones I'm having now! I love my morning walk with my dog. It IS the best was to start the day. I wouldn't miss it for the world.

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  18. How cool is that! Your cat walks to the park, hangs out and walks home. Ours don't get to venture outside. I'm sure they would bolt and be lost for good. That said, they are clever so you never know. And I love the term "monkey mind." I'm going to use that from now on. It's the perfect way to describe my mental state at times. :) Your bars look fantastic. You know we love our blueberries. I do think you have become the queen of granola bars. I can see the varieties lined up on the shelves of health food stores now with the label "Inspired Edibles." :)

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  19. These look SO GOOD Kelly.

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  20. Sandra @ Kitchen ApparelMay 15, 2013 at 9:02 PM

    I think that is so amazing that Monsieur Black will join you on your walks...that is so neat how he will follow you unprompted! He probably doesn't want to miss out on the action.



    Your bars sound wonderful....I have to look around for some dried blueberries because they sound like they would be perfect. Actually I wonder if I could make my own??? Well you've given me something new to try now!!! :)

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  21. mjskit @mjskitchen.comMay 16, 2013 at 3:12 AM

    I totally agree that cats are utterly cool creatures! And SO smart! We've had several cats over the years and at this point, it would be quite hard for me to switch over to a dog. You know that I could probably just live on all of your wonderful energy bars and this one is not exception! It looks so crunchy and chewy and utterly delicious!
    I know I'm late with this, but I hope you had a wonderful Mother's Day!

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  22. I'm with you KoKo, I love the bright flecks of green that the pistachios deliver - so vibrant and full of life. I remember making a few trips to the town of Washington when I summered in Vancouver... fun proximity!

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  23. Hello France! The bars are really handy for busy days... I hope this one serves you well!

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  24. Hi Kristy, thank you for your kind words -- nothing would make my husband happier than seeing my bars in a health food store :)


    I wish I could take credit for 'monkey mind' but yes, it pretty much sums up our common state of mind, doesn't it? ;o).

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  25. Thanks for stopping by Elly! :O)

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  26. Hi Sandra, Black is a pretty cool dude, isn't he? He really does make me wonder in a good way.


    I think you should absolutely experiment with dehydrating blueberries! Can't wait to hear how it works out.

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  27. Ah, but that's my point, they really are amazingly smart! Cheers Debra :)

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  28. I love them both! I don't see it as a one over the other -- kind of like apples and oranges, they deliver completely different things but I'm not sure I could live without either :o).

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  29. hahaha, i can't believe your cat walks to the park with you!!! Omg, I wish my cat could do that. If she was even allowed outside she'd run away the first chance she had. But she's declawed so i'm paranoid about her getting outside.


    So on to these bars. That picture of the almond butter cascading into the bowl....holy cow. I want some of these now!

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  30. Sissi_Withaglass.comMay 17, 2013 at 8:40 AM

    Kelly, you are the queen of healthy sweet energy bars! These look irresistible and so easy to prepare! (Although I'm sure that in my case they wouldn't look half as good as yours).
    You are so right about the dog walking! I haven't had a dog for many years now but I remember that as much as I hated walking it when the weather was bad or when I was in a "stay at home" mood, once I came back, I felt so much better. Morning walks, as you say, were particularly pleasant.
    You have reminded me that I liked tulips a lot, much more than expensive roses (though only when they grow; I hate cut flowers). It's such a lovely spring post!

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  31. I was wondering where you were off to with that first paragraph — sleet and snow in Ottawa in May? Not far off, we had snow last Sunday, hail in Toronto and a real snow storm in the Muskokas. What is Monkey brain?

    My hubby's family had a cat when he was growing up that would go on long walks with them 'au natural' as you put it. Right now, I'm rather annoyed at the cats in our neighbourhood (or the owners is more like it) because they sleep in our back yard on our furniture so I have to brush off the cushions from cat hair before I can even think of sitting out. And they aggravate the squirrels and birds who like to come around to our feeder. Not to mention their stinky poop. I'm not much of a cat person, sorry. I prefer dogs and bunnies because they are better behaved.

    Eva http://kitcheninspirations.wordpress.com

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  32. Eva, have I told you lately how much I adore your honesty? You're awesome.

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  33. I love them too! They've got this great chewy texture that makes them taste naughty even though they're not ;o)

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  34. FYI: No bake is not the same as raw. This is not a raw recipe, but a delicious no-bake vegan one.

    And, I have to agree: the BEST start to the day is a walk with the four-legged fur kid (even in a raging blizzard). ツ

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  35. Yeah, we find it kind of remarkable that he makes the journey too. He has always been such a social guy; he cracks us up :). Have a great weekend Amy!

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  36. These bars are super easy to make... really small (invisible?) margin of error which is a good thing for a clumsy baker like me :). That's precisely how I feel about the morning walks -- even on the days when I'm really not in the mood, once I'm out the door, I'm already feeling grateful for the day ;o).

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  37. Thanks for dropping by Mother Earth and weighing in on the real deal. It’s true that most commercial rolled oats
    are gently steamed. On the other hand,the process of converting nuts and seeds into meal, flour and/or butter also involves heating so at a certain point, I find these distinctions spurious. Unless you’re pulling it up from the ground or off a tree, all food is processed/changed to some degree. Cheers.

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  39. I love the idea of a breakfast bar packed with nutrients! Great for busy mornings.

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