Blueberry Streusel Bars

You know what’s real? The wait for something you’re very much looking forward to. The lead-up. And sometimes, the never knowing how it will go or when exactly it will happen. It’s awful, truly.

It’s like how we waited all winter for summer, and then we wait all summer for autumn. But it comes eventually, right? There’s that saying about you can’t have a rainbow without a little rain… yeah. That’s pretty important stuff.

From now on, it’s just one foot in front of the other, and trusting the ground will stay beneath your feet with the next step. You got this.

We’re still waiting for local fresh blueberries. That’s okay. We can cheat this once and create our own rainbow.

Blueberry Streusel Bars

vegan, gluten-free, soy-free, nut-free, corn-free

1.5 cups white or brown rice flour
1/2 cup + 1 tsp virgin coconut oil, divided
1/3 cup + 1 Tbsp organic sugar, divided
1/4 tsp guar gum
Pinch salt
2 cups frozen blueberries
1/8 cup organic sugar
1.5 Tbsp tapioca starch
1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line an 8-inch square pan with an aluminum overhand and spray or grease the foil. Set aside.

For Base: In a large mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine flour, 1/2 cup oil, 1/3 cup sugar, guar gum, and salt. Mix until you get a crumbly, sandy mixture that holds when pressed together.

Reserve 1/2 cup of the mixture. With the rest, evenly press into bottom of prepared pan and bake 14-16 minutes, until firm. It will not brown at the edges or turn colour at all. Cool on a rack.

For Filling: combine blueberries, sugar, and vanilla in a saucepan and heat over medium high until mostly cooked down. There should be quite a bit of liquid—pour it out into a small bowl and cool in ice water while the blueberries continue to cook. Whisk starch into the blueberry water until smooth. Turn heat to low and quickly add starch-water mixture back to the pot. It will thicken almost immediately, so as soon as it does, remove from heat and pour filling into a bowl. Mixture should be very thick.

Evenly spread filling over top of the base.

For Topping: To the reserved flour mixture, press in the 1 Tbsp sugar and 1 tsp oil to achieve large clumps. Crumble over top of the filling.

Return bars to the oven and bake for 20-22 minutes more, until set. Cool completely in pan on a wire rack. These are much easier to cut when chilled, so I recommend putting them in the fridge for at least 2 hours before slicing. Store in the fridge in an airtight container or individually wrapped.

Yield: 12 bars/squares


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