A gentle GF warning: Your gluten-eating friends will clean you out of these addicting bars when you take them to share to summer BBQs and parties this year. Just prepare yourself by maybe placing a few gluten-free slices on a separate plate before the gluten-grubbers dig in and lose are perspective on maintaining a gluten free dish for you. :D
Life is good around our house. Unlike most Pacific Northwesterners, I have not be lamenting our lack of warm temperatures but I have missed seeing the sunshine. I think being pregnant has made me even more sensitive to the heat than I was before – which isn’t always comfortable. However, with no sunshine and raining/gloomy days, it has been hard to find time to enjoy the outdoors with Zoe as much as I would like. Today, however, is looking to be over 80F and it’s sunny already at 7:30 in the morning! Perfect timing! Our “water table” fund reached the goal and along with a gift card and a coupon, the little Chicklet has a new water-addiction table for the backyard. I can’t wait to play with her today in the yard! She’s going to love it!
Since backyard play has been far from on the agenda, she and I have been cooking up a storm when I can. (The doctor has ordered “modified bed rest” which generally equates to a whole lot of laying on my left side these last several weeks.) Only two more weeks to go for the official “due date” is upon us. Everyone in the family is anxious for a firm DATE for the baby’s arrival. The doc tells us he’d play the lottery rather than work if he could truly call baby birth dates accurately. So… we wait.
Thankfully, my mom and dad are probably going to make it. My dad has been in the hospital a few times this summer with heart issues and his travel will officially be approved or denied at a doctor’s appointment on Thursday. And while I am seeking the comfort of my mom and dad during this new experience, my dad’s health is first and foremost on my mind. The baby will come when s/he decides. Dad/Mom need to come when they can.
In addition to welcoming my parents, Zoe will not only be meeting her new sibling for the first time but also meeting FOUR cousins (ages 1 – 8) and an aunt too. My in-laws are taking a road trip in a week or so from Chicago through Colorado, Las Vegas, Washington State, and California with FOUR kids in the car and three adults. They are completely outnumbered and I’ve told them I can’t figure out if they are super brave or ridiculously insane. Regardless, I am looking forward to meeting my twin nieces (age 1) for the first time and my nephew (age 3) for the first time too. It’s going to be baby/kid central in our house for a while, I think.
So now you see why I am getting a few recipes and some baking in now. Not only am I anticipating the need for some recovery time for my Love, the Chicklet and I , but there are going to be a few adjustments to be made that are beyond my control in the beginning of this new little life. However it all works out, I am thrilled to have family around to welcome her/him to our little clan.
So, I’ll start by sharing a recipe that Z and I made for a drop-in lunch with my sister. The beautiful part about having friends/family around who eat sweets is that I can BAKE SWEETS! My Love is not a sweet-eater (something I’ve mentioned before) but I have to keep saying it. People email asking for sweet treat recipes and I think how delicious it sounds…. And then I think about the dozens of cookies or pans of delectables that will be in the house that only I will consume… and THAT becomes a problem. So when you know you can bring the pan of goodness over to someone’s house to share? I’m all over it!
This bar recipe is super. You can make the base or the filling layers be as thick or thin as your heart’s desire. These are sweet, but you control the sugar based upon how sweet your fruit it. And PLEASE! Vary your fruit to your tastes and seasons! I happened to have had some delicious blueberries on hand (like 6 quarts!) that I wanted to use up, so this was perfect for me.
I hope you enjoy these bars as much as my family and I did.
Gluten Free Blueberry-Apricot Oat Bars
Recipe makes one 8 ½” x 8 ½” pan of bars
You can find a printable copy of this recipe here.
1 ½ cups chopped dried apricots (put 2 cups dried apricots into your food processor to chop easily)
3 cups fresh blueberries
1 cup orange juice
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
2/3 cup sugar (ADJUST this more/less based on how sweet your berries & juice are!)
1 Tablespoons cold water – reserve
1 teaspoon cornstarch – reserve
Crust & Crumble Topping Ingredients:
1 ½ cups GF oats
½ cup GF oat flour (grind 2/3 cup GF oats in blender/processor to flour)
¾ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon each: dried orange peel and freshly ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
¾ cup slightly softened (or room temperature) butter
- Put the chopped apricots, blueberries, orange juice, sugar (to taste) and lemon juice into a pot on the stove. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer for 10 – 12 minutes. (Do step 3 while your fruit simmers.)
- Mix the teaspoon of cornstarch into the 1 Tablespoon of cold water. Pour this mixture into the simmering fruit. Stir together and simmer for another 2 – 3 minutes until thickened.
- Mix together all crust ingredients in the bowl of your mixer.
- Preheat your oven to 350F.
- Press ½ of this mixture into the bottom of a 8 ½” x 8 ½” pan.
- Pour your fruit mixture over the bottom crust.
- Crumble the remaining crust mixture over the top.
- Bake at 350F for 30 – 35 minutes or until your crumble topping is golden brown.
- Allow to cool before serving as bars– or serve warm with a scoop of ice cream.
Enjoy it while it lasts!
Happy GF Eating, All!