Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Blueberry Breakfast Bars

These yummy bars are very nutritious! They are filled with wonderful blueberry antioxidants and provide a nice dose of protein. Blueberries are also a source of fiber and are low in calories. Despite the use of 3 eggs, I cut these up quite small so they are still relatively low in fat (only 1-2g sat. fat per bar; around 7g total fat).

The combination of dried and fresh blueberries makes these doubly delicious and the crust is amazing!
The photo does not do them justice... lol

Serves 16/Makes 16 bars

Ingredients:
~Crust~
18 graham crackers (according to the original recipe, whole wheat ones are the best. Honey, I couldn't find whole wheat crackers, ones are also yummy!)
3 tbsp. olive oil
2 tbsp. minced fresh ginger
2 tbsp. packed light brown sugar (see note below)
1/8 tsp. salt

~Filling~
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 tsp. aluminium-free baking powder
1/8 tsp. salt
3 eggs, room temperature
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
2 tsp. grated lemon peel (I always use organic citrus when I need the peel)
3/4 cup dried organic blueberries (a 1/4 lb. package was perfect!)
1/4 cup freshly-squeezed lemon juice
1/2 cup fresh organic blueberries
1/2 cup chopped toasted walnuts (see note below)

Method:
*Before you begin, soak the dried berries in a little lemon juice (additional to that listed in the ingredients) for 30 minutes. Drain the liquid before adding to the recipe.

1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray an 8-inch square baking pan with cooking spray.

2. Process the graham crackers in a food processor until finely ground (you will need about 1 1/3 cups crumbs). Add all the remaining crust ingredients and pulse just until combined. Press the crumbs into the bottom of the pan and bake 8 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.

3. Whisk the flour, baking powder, and 1/8 tsp. salt in a small bowl. Beat the eggs, 1/4 cup brown sugar, and lemon peel in a large bowl at medium speed for 1 minute or until frothy and the sugar is dissolved. At low speed, beat the flour mixture into the egg mixture just until blended. Stir in the dried blueberries and lemon juice. Pour the filling over the cooled crust; sprinkle with fresh blueberries and walnuts.

4. Bake 25-30 minutes or until the top is light brown and the edges start to brown. Cool on a wire rack for 30 minutes. Cut into 16 bars; cool completely in the pan (about 1 hour).

Notes: *Brown sugar rave - Just a quick product rave! I've been using "Wholesome Sweeteners" sugars for a while now and just got their brown sugar after running out of some national brand (I'll protect the not-so-innocent by letting the company remain un-named). Wow! I've never had such molasses-rich brown sugar. Yum...
It's organic and certified fair-trade (yeay!) Plus, it is processed without any animal products/by-products so it's suitable for vegetarians/vegans.

*Toasting walnuts - To toast walnuts, place on a baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 6-8 minutes or until pale brown and fragrant. Cool.

*Changes I'd like to try :) - The original recipe listed several other options for these bars.
~Soak the dried berries in orange juice for 30 minutes; drain.
~Substitute chopped pecans or slivered almonds for the walnuts.
~Replace the fresh blueberries with raspberries.

*Organics - I realise some people scoff at organics and think they aren't worth the expense. I happen to not feel this way! I can't always find organic everything but I do always try to buy certain things organic. This includes berries, anything I'll be eating/using the peel from, etc. Not only are they healthier, they taste better, and have a lower environmental impact than traditionally-grown products.
Just to add to the rave, organics are also more likely to come from sustainable farms as well as being more likely to be produced fairly. *Jumping down off soapbox* ;)

Reference:
This is the Double Blueberry-Lemon Breakfast Bars recipe from the June/July 2008 issue of Cooking Pleasures magazine.

2 comments:

Sherri said...

Oh, my! I can't WAIT to try these!
I'm glad you're back :)

bakingblonde said...

These will be perfect for our 4th of July brunch! Thanks for such a great looking recipe and your ideas for jazzing them up a bit!