Blissful Blueberry-Chia Streusel Bars

Yield 9 bars

Crust:

  • 1 tablespoon flaxseed meal (ground flaxseed)
  • 3 tablespoons filtered water
  • 2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats, divided
  • 1/2 cup raw pecan halves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom (optional)
  • 1/8 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
  • 1/4 cup virgin coconut oil, melted
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Blueberry-Chia Filling:

  • 3 cups (18 ounces) fresh blueberries
  • 3 tablespoons chia seeds
  • 2–3 tablespoons pure maple syrup, depending on sweetness of the blueberries

Streusel Topping:

  • 1/2 cup raw pecan halves
  • 1/4 cup coconut sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

For the Crust:

1. Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Line an 8 × 8-inch metal baking pan with parchment paper.

2. In a small bowl, whisk together the flaxseed meal and water. Set aside for 10 minutes to thicken.

3. Add 1 cup of the rolled oats to a food processor. Process for 4 minutes, or until a fine flour develops. Add the pecans and process for another 30 seconds, or until ground into a fine meal. Transfer to a large mixing bowl and whisk in the remaining 1 cup rolled oats, cinnamon, cardamom (if using), and sea salt. Add the flaxseed mixture, melted coconut oil, maple syrup, and vanilla and stir well to combine.

4. Scoop the crust mixture into the lined pan, and use a spatula to press and spread it into an even layer.

5. Bake for 25–30 minutes, or until light golden throughout the top with light golden-brown edges. Remove from the oven and transfer the pan to an oven-safe cooling rack. Cool completely.

For the Blueberry-Chia Filling:

1. While the crust is baking, add the blueberries, chia seeds, and maple syrup to a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes, or until thick and bubbly, stirring occasionally. At first it will seem like there isn’t enough liquid, but as the blueberries heat, they’ll burst and release their juices.

2. Use the back of a fork to mash about half of the blueberries to thicken the filling. Chill in the refrigerator until ready to assemble.

For the Streusel Topping:

1. Add the pecans, coconut sugar, and cinnamon to a food processor. Pulse 5–10 times to create a fine streusel.

To Assemble:

1. Once the crust is almost completely cool, reheat the oven to 350˚F.

2. Spread the filling over the crust. Sprinkle with the streusel and use the back of a spoon to evenly distribute. Bake for 15 minutes, or until the streusel is deep golden brown. Remove from the oven and cool completely.

3. Gently lift the bar out of the pan and slice into 9 squares.

4. Refrigerate leftovers, covered, for up to 4 days.

Find more plant-based recipes just like this one in Ashley Melillo’s cookbook, Blissful Basil: Over 100 Plant-Powered Recipes to Unearth Vibrancy, Health, and Happiness.