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May 28, 2016

Lemon Blueberry Oat Bars {gluten free + vegan}

You may have noticed my obsession with all things lemon these days (or always). Interestingly enough, I never knew the difference between a "regular" lemon and Meyer lemons. I've heard of Meyer lemons and that they are delicious, but I never knew why. I found that my local grocery store had bags of Meyer lemons on sale last week and I was intrigued to taste the difference for myself.

From what I have read, Meyer's are kind of a cross between a lemon and a mandarin orange. Personally I noticed they are slightly less tart than a regular lemon but still with a bright, fresh flavor. I decided they would be perfect for my Lemon Blueberry Oat Bars and boy, was I right. (I am positive these bars would be just as delicious with regular lemons if you cannot find Meyers.)

Lemon and blueberry are two of my go-to summer flavors, although I always love to find fresh, delicious fruits to incorporate in my desserts whenever possible. These bars incorporate a sweet crust with a creamy filling with pops of fresh blueberries and a delicious crumble on top. Make them a couple of days ahead, wrap them up, and you have a sweet, on-the-go treat!

Lemon Blueberry Oat Bars

  • 3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 cup dairy-free butter substitute, at room temperature
  • 1 1/3 cup gluten free all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup gluten free quick cooking oats
  • 2 cups So Delicious Dairy Free coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice (juice from 3 small Meyer lemons)
  • 3 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 2 tsp lemon zest
  • 1/4 tsp lemon extract
  • 3/4 cup fresh blueberries
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8x8 glass baking dish with parchment paper and spray the parchment with non-stick spray.

In a large bowl, cream together the brown sugar and dairy-free butter substitute. In another medium bowl, whisk together the gluten-free flour, baking powder and salt. Once combined, stir in the gluten-free oats. Gradually mix the flour mixture into the brown sugar/butter mixture until well combined.

Spread two-thirds of the mixture into the baking dish and press to form a crust. Bake crust for 8 minutes. 

While crust is baking, combine coconut milk and sugar in a saucepan over medium high heat. Allow mixture to come to a boil and continue stirring until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture begins to thicken slightly. 

In a small bowl, combine the lemon juice and cornstarch to form a slurry. Add slurry to the coconut milk mixture and turn heat down to medium. Stir gently until liquid begins to thicken. Allow the mixture to cook for about 2 minutes or until it is the consistency of pudding. Remove from heat and stir in the lemon zest and lemon extract. 

Remove the crust from the oven and allow both the crust and the filling to cool slightly. Add blueberries to the filling mixture and pour over the crust. 

Add shredded coconut to remaining one-third of the crust mixture and stir to combine. Spread evenly over the filling, ensuring the the topping covers all the way to the edges as much as possible. 

Bake for 25 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool on a baking rack. Once cooled, place in te refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. When ready to serve, use the parchment paper to remove from the baking dish and cut into squares. 


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