I know. I know. This picture isn’t exactly salivating-worthy. Let me explain.
I originally saw a recipe for blueberry oat bars on this website and wanted to give it a try – with a few modifications based on what I already had and what I had access to. However, I accidentally forgot to add the applesauce and water to the crust, but by the time I realized my error the layers had already been made. Instead of throwing everything away and starting over I decided to peel off the layers and save what I could. I purchased the blackberries at the farmer’s market the day before for the sole reason of making this recipe (there weren’t any blueberries available) and didn’t have a back-up supply on hand. So I added the water and applesauce and put everything back into the baking dish according to the recipe’s directions.
So while this outcome you see pictured above is not as aesthetically pleasing as it could be and the layers are not distinct, you can’t tell at all by the taste.
These bars are sweet enough for dessert, but light enough to compliment the summer heat. Personally, I love chocolate desserts year-round, but some of my friends prefer fruity desserts and I think this will make the perfect go-to recipe next time I’m dining with these folks.
I thought about waiting to share the recipe with y’all until I could make the bars correctly the first time around, but decided against it. I’m not a professional chef and don’t pretend to be one. Sometimes I mess up and my meals don’t always look pretty. But I use real ingredients and that is more important to me than what it looks like.
There was a time when I would have, without a doubt, thrown everything out and started over so that everything would look perfect for my readers. Perspective is a powerful thing and can completely change the way we deal with stress and expectations. I had 2 options once I realized my mistake. (1) I could have gotten upset and frustrated that I screwed up these oat bars. My entire day could have been ruined. A little bit of a drama-queen-like example, but I’m sure we all know people like this on some level. Instead of a baking mishap, may be it’s getting stuck in traffic, arriving late to a meeting, bad weather on a special day, you get the idea. (2) Or – I could say “Oh well. They still taste good.”
We’re only human. And sometimes stuff happens.
What really matters is how we handle it.
1 pint blackberries
5 tablespoons agave nectar or honey
¼ cup water
½ teaspoon vanilla
3 tablespoons cornmeal
3 cups rolled oats (not the instant variety)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1.5 teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup unsweetened organic applesauce
6 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons agave nectar or honey
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease an 8×8 inch baking dish.
In small saucepan combine blackberries, agave nectar and ¼ cup water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
When it is boiling, add vanilla and cornmeal. Stir as mixture boils and thickens. Remove from heat and set aside.
Put 1.5 cups of rolled oats into blender and grind to a fine powder. Pour into medium-sized mixing bowl.
Add 1.5 cups of rolled oats, cinnamon, baking powder and salt. Mix.
Add applesauce, agave and water. Mix well.
Spread half of the crust batter into the greased pan – smoothing to cover the bottom of the pan.
Spoon the blackberry filling over the batter and cover the filling with the remaining crust mixture.
Bake for 30 minutes or until the top is lightly browned. Allow to cool before cutting into bars.
*** Store somewhere cool – like your refrigerator – to extend “shelf life”.