Got Blueberries?

Blueberry Crumb Bars

Pike Place Market Berries Photo by Lorelle

 Here in the Northwest, our local blueberries almost make up for the fact that we don’t have long, hot summers.  When my children were young and I could pack them into the car for adventures, we’d visit blueberry farms and pick buckets full.  The most civilized of all fruit to pick, blueberry bushes have no thorns and there’s no tree-climbing or crawling along the ground.  We’d always have enough to freeze* some for winter, when they’re an even more special treat. 

 Recently, a big flat of blueberries at the Pike Place Market called my name, and I couldn’t resist.  I set aside a couple of cups of berries for one of my favorite cookies, Blueberry Crumb Bars.  They made a tasty finale to a Sunday dinner with friends.  Made with healthful ingredients, at least compared to the usual cookie, you won’t feel guilty if you have two. If there are any left, they freeze well, wrapped airtight.

*To freeze berries: Spread washed and dried berries on a baking sheet and place in the freezer. Once solid, transfer to a freezer bag or other airtight container and return to the freezer.

Nutrition Note: Blueberries are a rich source of vitamin C and fiber.  According to the American Institute of Cancer Research, “Blueberries contain a family of phenolic compounds called anthocyanosides, which many scientists believe are among the most potent antioxidants yet discovered.”

Photo by Lorelle Del Matto

Blueberry Crumb Bars

Use all whole wheat pastry flour, if desired.  For more citrus flavor, add a teaspoon of grated orange or lemon zest to the crumb mixture.

1 cup old fashioned oats
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
11/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup canola oil
1/4 cup orange juice concentrate, thawed
Blueberry filling, recipe follows
1/3 cup finely chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 9-inch square baking pan with nonstick spray. In large bowl combine oats, whole wheat pastry flour, sugar, all purpose flour, cinnamon, baking powder and salt. With pastry blender or your fingers, mix in oil and orange juice concentrate until blended. Press 2 cups oat mixture in bottom of pan. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and spread blueberry filling over crust. Stir walnuts into remaining oat mixture and sprinkle evenly over blueberry filling. Press down gently to make an even layer. Bake 20 to 25 minutes, until topping is golden. Cool. Cut into 16 bars.

 Blueberry Filling: In small bowl stir together 1/2 cup granulated sugar and 2 tablespoons all purpose flour.  Set beside stove.  In saucepan, combine 3 cups fresh blueberries (or 12 ounces frozen thawed blueberries with juice) and 2 tablespoons lemon juice; cook and stir over medium to medium-low heat until blueberries begin to break down.  Stir in sugar mixture and stir constantly until mixture comes to a simmer and is very thick, about 1 minute.

 Copyright © Lorelle S Del Matto 2011

lorelle About lorelle

Crazy about cooking, eating and sharing good food – my work and leisure revolve around the kitchen. As a culinary dietitian my professional life encompasses nutrition counseling and education, recipe development, product development, food and nutrition writing, marketing communications, corporate test kitchen and consumer affairs management, food styling and work as a product spokesperson.

Comments

  1. Mary Ann johnson says:

    Great blog. Very informative. Best wishes.

Trackbacks

  1. […] more berry baking ideas, link to a couple of my favorite recipes, Blueberry Crumble Bars   and Berry Tart  […]

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