Last Updated on April 5, 2016 by smartkitchenpicks
I’m so ready for summer. So ready. Not only could my skin use a little bit of sun so that I can stop giving Casper a run for his money in the paleness department, but my belly could use a little more variety in the fruit department as well.
Don’t get me wrong. I really do love bananas, oranges, apples, and grapes, but you can only eat so many of the same 4 winter fruits for so long before those fresh berries at the supermarket start looking mighty good. I know I’m not the only one who finds herself standing in the produce section of the supermarket, clutching a tiny clamshell of fresh blueberries and trying to decide if I really want to spend an arm and a leg on something I can finish off in a single sitting and still crave more.
This is why I love frozen fruit. Not only is it available year round for a pretty decent price, but it also ends up being just as, if not more, tasty and nutritious than fresh fruit since it’s picked in its prime and flash frozen to retain the highest amount of flavour and vitamin content. That and it’s just straight up enjoyable to eat when it’s all cold and refreshing. Addicting, really.
No? Just me? No one else likes to snack on frozen fruit in the middle of winter and spend the next hour trying to stop shivering? Fine. But what about using frozen fruit to make your own jam and then using that jam to make your own fruit & oat bars that you can enjoy alongside a hot cup of coffee or tea? Now we’re talking…
If you’re anything like I was and think that making your own jam is some drawn out, complicated process, I can promise you that it couldn’t be simpler. I’m someone who doesn’t love spending a tonne of time in the kitchen, so if I can do it [and enjoy it], then you can most definitely do it [and enjoy it]. The secret, in this case, is in the chia seeds…
I know they can be a bit bothersome when they decide to get stuck in your teeth and decide to ride around with you for the entire day without you noticing, but chia seeds are little miracle workers. Not only are they little nutritional powerhouses, with plenty of plant-based protein, fiber, and omega-3’s, but the fact that they soak up liquid and become all gooey and gelatinous makes them perfect additions to things like fruit jams… which makes them perfect in things like fruit jam bars…
Welcome to my current obsession. I’ve made 4 batches of these bars with three different kinds of jams, and I have to say that the blueberry variation is my absolute favourite. Maybe it’s because blueberries are one of my favourite fruits, or maybe it’s because the blueberry-banana combo is absolutely killer. Either way, I like these bars a whole heck of a lot. And even more so because they’re good for you without actually feeling good for you, ya know?
The secret is using super ripe bananas in the crust and topping. In addition to making these bars super soft and doughy, they also add that delicious banana flavour that goes perfectly with the blueberry jam. And they take away the need for eggs and oil, which makes these bars low in fat, gluten-free, refined sugar-free, and vegan. Perfect for those who suffer from food intolerances, or for anyone who loves delicious healthy snacks.
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