Blueberries – what’s not to love? They’re inconceivably nutritious, incredibly tasty, and insanely adorable. Call me weird, but I think even their name is adorable. Don’t ask me why.
I have about a cup of blueberries (give or take a little) everyday. Like, every. Single. Day. How? I put frozen ones in my protein shake for breakfast, and, as usual at the Hansen House, there are always plenty of fresh little blue babies in the fridge (my dad is highly addicted, too.) Frozen, fresh, always delicious. However, my past baking experience has made it blatantly clear that neither of these options work well in muffins, breads, etc.
So my mission was to find a way to squeeze these bad boys into my treats.
Then I came across dried blueberries (thank you, Trader Joe’s). Can I get an Amen?
Of course, they have a little sugar added to them for sweetness, but not enough to complete ruin the berries’ own nutritional benefits.
I could eat dried blueberries for daaaaaaays. Seriously.
The first thing I made with these heavenly berries was a recipe similar to this one, just without the protein powder. And I wish I could say they turned out perfectly, but believe me, I’m a horribly liar, even through a computer screen. I didn’t use enough honey, so the bars didn’t stick and therefore weren’t, well, bars.
So I tried again, fixed a few things, and they worked. But I wanted something that gave me a little more protein.
Crunchy, chewy, sweet, salty, blueberry-y, vanilla-y, almond-y protein bar goodness. What more could you ask for?
I’m actually considering getting up off my comfy couch (its 10:30 pm, by the way) to snag the last one (or two) of these bars in the fridge. I don't really care if they're called "Breakfast Bars", they're too delicious to be restricted at lunch, dinner, snack time, and dessert.
Makes 16 bars
2 cups brown rice cereal
1 cup rolled oats
1 scoop vanilla protein powder
¼ cup chopped almonds
½ cup almond butter
½ cup agave
1 rounded cup dried blueberries
1. Combine the first four ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Set aside.
2. In a small saucepan, continuously stir almond butter and agave (being careful not to burn) over medium-low heat until thoroughly incorporated. Remove from heat.
3. Fold the almond butter-agave mixture into the dry ingredients until everything is coated and moist (it should feel sticky).
4. Spray an 8x8* baking pan with coconut oil (or use a paper towel to coat if you don’t have coconut oil spray) and carefully pour the batter into the pan and spread evenly throughout.
*When I first made these, I noticed how much batter was in the bowl and thought it would be too much for an 8x8 pan, but I found out that a 9x13 is too big. Stick with an 8x8, I promise. They’ll be thick, but filling, sticky, flavorful, and delicious.