Healthy & Delicious Raspberry Oat Bars
GF | DF | Refined Sugar Free
Buongiorno! I’m writing this to you from the cutest little café patio in downtown Toronto on a beautiful, sunny Tuesday afternoon. The patio belongs to an Italian restaurant and makes the MOST drool-worthy Italian food you’ve ever seen. I’m staring at the Nutella-filled-donuts as I type this. MUST.RESIST.
Ever since my trip to Italy and Greece last October with my man-friend Andrew (fun fact, Andrew and I have the same initials and lately he’s been getting a lot of monogrammed items as groomsman gifts, which really bodes well for me. Thanks boys.) I love indulging in the occasional cappuccino every so often. It just reminds me so much of our whirlwind trip around Italia, and just how many cappuccino’s we both consumed in that short time. This café I’m at right now has the best authentic Italian cappuccino’s, in my completely non-coffee-drinking opinion…so obviously I know what I’m talking about. (Coffee connoisseurs everywhere are cringing at that last statement.) Now let’s get chatting about this recipe, shall we?
One of my absolute favourite items at a certain super main-stream coffee shop (the complete opposite of this cute Italian one I’m at right now) is the Blueberry Oat Bar. IT. IS. DELICIOUS. In fact, the Oat Bar alone is delicious, and then they decided to take it one step further and add blueberries and more oat crumble-type-mixture on top, and now it’s literally an oat bar on steroids. Of course, as most of my stories go, once I learned about the terrible nutritional content of both of these delicious treats, I made my peace, said farewell and moved on with my life. It was a tough separation for both of us.
But then I came across this incredible recipe and I can’t get enough. It’s the delicious, aforementioned Blueberry Oat Bar, without the high sugar, high fat and high guilt content of its coffee shop cousin. (The coffee shop version contains upwards of 350 calories, 14g of fat and 19g of sugar. Yikes.) It’s vegan and gluten free (if using GF oats) and tastes like pure heaven. It is made with zero refined sugar and it even forces you to try your hand at homemade chia seed jam. Again, the cleaner, less-sugar filled version of the traditional jam we know and love. Don’t worry, you can also use store-bought jam, but I challenge you to give chia seed jam a try first. It’s super easy to make, that even a baking-challenged individual couldn’t screw it up.
So, grab your honey on a sunny Saturday morning, go raspberry/strawberry/blueberry picking, whip these babies up and enjoy them as part of weekend brunch, or as a perfect mid-week afternoon snack. I can’t wait to hear what you think! (This recipe is adapted from the queen of vegan cooking, Oh She Glows, with a few healthier, Wholeistic Way tweaks.)
Step One: Whipping up a batch of Chia Seed Jam.
It is important to do this step first, so that you give your jam time to cool. Feel free to use ANY fruit you like. I’m a huge fan of the humble raspberry, but any berry would be delicious. You could even take advantage of peach season and use those, which I’m sure would be equally amazing.
Step Two: Making the Raspberry Oat Bars
Although this recipe's total time is 2 hours, a good hour of that is letting the bars properly cool. Once you've made the bars themselves, take the full hour to let them cool, pour yourself a glass of wine and pat yourself on the back for being a baking badass. Let me know how they go!