Blueberry Spinach Oatmeal Bars
Yep, I said spinach. In dessert.
I love making these to hand out when I’m teaching a class, especially to kids/teenagers. I have them grab one to munch on before I get started. Then half way through my presentation when they are grabbing seconds, I get to the part where I’m telling them they need to be adding in more vegetables to their diet, especially greens, and that they can find creative ways to do that, including adding spinach to their blueberry oatmeal bars. A few jaws drop and a couple of people laugh nervously, wondering how serious I am about what I just had them put in their bellies. And then they go back for thirds, because yum!
What are ways you sneak in more veggies? Give me some ideas in the comments below.
I promise, you can’t taste the spinach at all in these bars, especially if they are cooled completely before you eat them. You can also use other fruits if you would like, but the blueberry most effectively hides the color of the spinach.
Do you really want to pump up the nutrition in these bars even more? Add a Balance shot to the blueberry mixture. Easy!
This is also super easy to make gluten free simply by using gluten free oats, and grinding up enough oats to make oat flour for the 1 cup of flour. Simple!
- 2 cups rolled oats
- 1 cup whole wheat flour (I like whole wheat pastry flour or white whole wheat flour)
- ½ cup sugar (organic sugar or coconut sugar)
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon baking powder (aluminum free)
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¾ cup butter, plus more to grease pan
- 1-1/2 cup blueberries, frozen or fresh
- 2 tablespoons real maple syrup (you can also use honey)
- 1-1/2 tablespoons chia seeds
- 2 cups fresh spinach
- 1 Balance superfood shot (optional, see note above)
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Brush a 13 x 9 baking dish with butter.
- In a large mixing bowl, stir together oats, flour, sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, salt, and vanilla.
- Cut in the butter using a pastry cutter or two knives. Don't mix this too much, you should still have pea sized clumps of butter visible.
- Pour half the oat mixture into the baking dish, pressing it down firmly into the pan.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes, until slightly browned but not fully baked.
- While this is baking, combine blueberries and syrup in a pan on the stove over medium high heat. Cook until blueberries start to pop, stirring frequently (about 4-5 minutes).
- As blueberries are cooking, add ½ cup water and spinach to another pan, cook just enough to wilt.
- Puree the spinach with an immersion blender, or in your favorite counter top blender. Be careful, it's hot!
- Once smooth, add in blueberry mixture and optional Balance superfood shot, then puree to desired consistency.
- Stir in chia seeds, mixing well to avoid clumps.
- Spread blueberry mixture onto partially baked oatmeal bars, then sprinkle with the rest of the oatmeal mixture.
- Bake for another 20-30 minutes, until nicely browned on top.
- Allow to cool completely before serving
Want more ways to dramatically increase your fruits and veggies? Check out this post right now. Well, pin this recipe first, and then go check it out.