These Blueberry Oatmeal Bars are wise teachers in the beauty of simplicity in cooking and baking. I am often tempted by the idea that the more ingredients I add to a recipe, the better the dish will taste. These easy blueberry oatmeal bars prove me wrong with every bite. They couldn’t be easier to make, I’d wager you have all the ingredients you need to make them in your pantry right now, and the only thing I could possibly add to make them taste even better is a scoop of vanilla ice cream!
This idea that simple is often better in cooking is a lesson I know I’m going to keep learning over and over. I might even have to eat a few extra blueberry oat bars to continually refresh my memory. It’s a hard order, but life lessons are life lessons, and it’s important that I stay sharp.
I adapted these Blueberry Oatmeal Bars from one of the all-time most popular recipes on my site, these healthy Strawberry Oatmeal Bars. Both are fresh, fruity, and showered in buttery crumble topping. Both need only one bowl to prepare. Both even clock in at approximately 100 calories. Swap that ice cream I mentioned earlier for a scoop of Greek yogurt, and you can be eating baked strawberry or baked blueberry bars at breakfast.
Although I’m not going to be committing myself to a single fruit bar recipe for the rest of my life anytime soon (particularly with such delights as Caramel Apple Bars and Cherry Bars to consider), these Blueberry Oatmeal Bars do have a serious advantage over any other oatmeal crumble bar I’ve ever baked: blueberries take exactly zero prep work.
Blueberries don’t need to be sliced like strawberries, pitted like cherries, or peeled like apples. In fact, you don’t need to do another blessed thing, other than prevent yourself from eating them all before you’ve finished the recipe.
It feels especially appropriate to be sharing this Blueberry Oatmeal Bar recipe today, because I’m currently in a place that does simplicity perhaps better than any other: Italy. In case you missed Tuesday’s update, I’m spending five days in Verona learning all about how fresh pasta is made, then heading to Paris for a few days to revisit all of my favorite Parisian bakeries and chocolate shops. ? Be sure to follow my Instagram (I’ll be sharing both posts and stories), and I’ll eventually be sharing a recap of my trip here too.
Wishing you all a sweet weekend, with a pan of Blueberry Oatmeal Bars to go along with it!
- To Make Gluten Free. Be sure to use certified gluten-free oats like these and swap the white whole wheat flour for a 1:1 baking blend (I’ve had good luck with this one).
- To Use Frozen Blueberries. I have not tried this recipe with frozen, thawed blueberries, but I think that it would work. Be sure to thaw the blueberries completely first.
- To Double the Recipe. The recipe can be doubled and baked in a 9×13-inch baking pan. The bars will be a bit thicker but still delicious.
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Blueberry Oatmeal Bars
FOR THE BLUEBERRY OATMEAL BARS:
- 1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats gluten free if needed
- 3/4 cup white whole wheat flour or substitute all-purpose flour or, to make gluten free, 1:1 baking flour
- 1/3 cup light brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter melted (or substitute melted coconut oil to make vegan/dairy free)
- 2 cups fresh blueberries* about 10 ounces
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice from about 1/2 small lemon
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar divided
FOR THE VANILLA GLAZE (OPTIONAL BUT DELICIOUS, ESPECIALLY IF YOU PREFER A SWEETER BAR):
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar sifted
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon milk any kind you like
- Place a rack in the center of your oven and heat to 375 degrees F. Line an 8x8-inch baking pan with parchment paper so that the paper overhangs two sides like handles.
- In a medium bowl, combine the oats, white whole wheat flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Pour in the melted butter and stir until it forms clumps and the dry ingredients are evenly moistened. Set aside 1/2 cup of the crumble mixture, then press the rest into an even layer in the bottom of the prepared pan.
- Scatter half of the blueberries over the crust. Sprinkle the cornstarch evenly over the top, then sprinkle on the lemon juice and 1/2 tablespoon granulated sugar. Scatter on the remaining berries, then the remaining 1/2 tablespoon sugar. Sprinkle the reserved crumbs evenly over the top. You will have some fruit showing through.
- Bake the bars for 30 to 40 minutes, until the fruit is bubbly and the crumb topping smells toasty and looks golden. Place the pan on a wire rack to cool completely (you can speed this process along in the refrigerator).
- While the bars cool, prepare the glaze: in a medium bowl, briskly whisk together the powdered sugar, vanilla, and milk until smooth. Feel free to add more milk if a thinner consistency is desired. Using the parchment paper handles, lift the bars from the pan. Drizzle with the glaze, slice, and serve.
- *I have not tried this recipe with frozen, thawed blueberries, but I think that it would work. Be sure to thaw the blueberries completely first.
- The recipe can be doubled and baked in a 9x13-inch baking pan. The bars will be a bit thicker but still delicious.
- To make the bars gluten free, substitute the white whole wheat flour with a 1:1 baking mix like this one.
- Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
- To freeze, let the bars cool completely and do not glaze. Wrap tightly in plastic before placing in the freezer. Let thaw in the refrigerator and top with glaze before serving. (Bars can be frozen already glazed if needed.)
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