For those of you who have followed us for a while, you know that we’re borderline nuts when it comes to stocking up on berries in the freezer for the winter. This past summer, it’s possible we took it to a whole new level (it was an awesome blueberry year around here).
It might have caused us some serious back issues and forced us to start bringing children’s stools with us as we hit up the woods, but hey – we came away with over 30 kg worth of blueberries. Add to that a bunch of black and red currants, blackberries and raspberries, and you can probably picture a freezer consisting of about 90% berries come September. When berry season fades away, it’s all about apples and pears for a good while though. This typically means we don’t start dipping into the berry reserves until after Christmas, which in turn means we have massive amounts to eat until the strawberry season kicks in and it all starts again. This is probably the best problem anyone could ever have. And our favorite part? Totally for free. Not a penny spent. Heaven for us frugals.
This never-ending stash of berries means we can splurge and bake some summer-tasting things even though it’s the beginning of March without having to venture to the store and dive headfirst into the freezer section (however that would certainly work too). Should this little creation be called a dessert or snack? Well, that’s the question. These really work as either – the blueberries bring on most of the sweetness (they only get a teeny, tiny bit of help from maple syrup) and there is a whole lot of oats and chia seeds in there (which means you can practically call it breakfast), so we’ll leave it up to you to decide. A scoop of ice cream on top would make it a dessert for sure, and if you’d like it sweeter, you can just go ahead and use “real” jam instead of the chia version listed below. Good luck!
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Makes 16 bars (20×20 cm pan)
300 g frozen blueberries (~5 dl)
2 tbsp chia seeds
2 tbsp maple syrup
2 1/2 dl rolled oats
2 1/2 dl graham flour
1/4 tsp salt
2 1/2 tbsp maple syrup
5 tbsp coconut oil, melted
2-3 tbsp cold water
- Start with the chia seed jam. Add the frozen berries to a small saucepan over medium heat and bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally. Simmer for 5 minutes, at which point the berries should have released a lot of liquid and started to break down. Stir in the chia seeds and syrup. Cook for an additional 2 minutes and then remove from the heat.
- Let cool on the counter, stirring every 10 minutes. Store in the fridge, where it will continue to thicken.
- While the chia seed jam is cooling, move onto the crust/topping. Using a food processor, grind the rolled oats into a flour. Mix together with the graham flour and salt in a medium mixing bowl.
- Stir in the melted coconut oil and maple syrup, along with 2 tbsp of cold water, and mix well. The dough should be loose, but come together when pressed with your fingers. Add an additional tablespoon of cold water if too dry.
- Press out the dough into a 20×20 cm baking pan, reserving about 1 dl for the topping, and place in the fridge to chill for 20 minutes. Preheat the oven to 175ºC.
- Bake the crust for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and spread the chia seed jam over the dough, and then sprinkle over the remaining topping.
- Bake for an additional 15-20 minutes until the jam is warm and bubbly and the topping is golden brown. Let cool completely, and then slice into 16 even squares. Store in the fridge for up to 5 days.
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