This is me wishing it was blueberry season.
But, I am pretty sure that is the way most of us are feeling right about now.
It’s the very last few days of winter and those can be some of the worst. I am currently looking out the window at a whiteout. So ya, I am so ready for spring. Sunshine, warmth and berries out the yazoo! Unfortunately, I am pretty sure that most berries are summer foods so I still have a few months. Although, the spring strawberries are starting to pop up. Yesss. Give me them all.
If you wanted to, you could use strawberries in these, really any berry or dried fruit you love would work. Pretty sure they’d all be good, but I wanted something other than cranberries so I went with blueberries. Well, that and I really love blueberries + they were magically on sale last week and I could not resist buying four cartons. I could have eaten them all at once, but sadly I did something friendly and shared.
I shouldn’t have. They were so good.
I can’t actually find dried blueberries where I live, so I used fresh ones that I dried out in the oven. If it’s easier for you, feel free to just buy dried ones. The bonus to quickly doing it yourself is that they are not coated in sugar. But I gotta say, stopping yourself from eating them is kind of hard.
I’d buy extra. Like a lot.
Alright, but let’s talk about the greek yogurt coating.
Yes, it’s really greek yogurt that you have to let sit out (preferably overnight), so it dries and forms a coating. Just like the yogurt covered granola bars you would buy in the store, but a little healthier. While the bars themselves are super healthy, the coating is more like a frosting with some greek yogurt. It’s super delicious, but um yeah, there is sugar in that coating. It’s all about balance.
Oh, and the photo above? Please excuse my scratched up nail polish and ring that is slightly too big for my thumb.
I was in the kitchen working with three five years old and well, they just sort of took over. Both the baking and then my hands. Before I knew it I was receiving a kindergarten manicure complete with jewelry. I have to say though, I do love that ring. It’s one of my favorites. And as far as the nails go, I mean for five-year olds, I would say that all in all, they did a pretty good job. Not sure I could have done any better to be honest.
Even though it was mad chaos with three little girls, their heels (really my heels, all from when I was living in LA, and all at least 3 inches tall) and accessories, we had fun making these.
They stirred, they dipped, they licked and things were flying everywhere in the process.
Aside from the fact that the bars require a decent chunk of time for the yogurt to dry out, they are actually pretty simple and super easy.
I used this recipe from the Kitchn for the yogurt coating and I have to say that I was really skeptical on whether or not it would work, but WOW it so did.
I left mine to dry overnight twice and would recommend doing the same. After that the bars can be stored just like any other granola bar, but they’re gonna go fast.
Asher says these are better than good, they are amazing. And that is coming from a five-year old.
And we all know that little people always tell it like it is.
- 2 cups rolled oats (gluten free if needed)
- 1 1/2 cup brown rice krispies
- 1/4 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
- 1/4 cup whole roasted almonds, roughly chopped
- 1 tablespoon chia seeds
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup peanut butter or almond butter (I typically use peanut butter)
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 (rounded) cup fresh blueberries or 3/4 cup dried blueberries
- Greek Yogurt Coating
- 1 tablespoon water
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon gelatin
- 1/4 cup greek yogurt
- 1 tablespoon honey
- pinch of salt
- 2 cups powdered sugar
*Skip this step if you are using dried blueberries. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spread the blueberries on the baking sheet. Roast for 30-40 minutes, or until the berries burst and shrink. Remove from oven and let cool.
Line an 9x13 square Pyrex pan with wax or parchment paper.
In a large bowl combine the oats, rice krispies, coconut, almonds, chia seeds and salt. Mix together.
In a small microwave safe bowl combine the almond butter and honey. Microwave for 30 seconds to 1 minute or until the mixture is hot and pourable. Add the vanilla and mix again.
Add the honey mixture to the dry oat mixture and mix until everything is moist and combined. Gently stir in the blueberries. Press the mixture into the prepared pan and then using the back of a measuring cup press the mixture into the pan until it is tightly packed. Cover and place in the freezer for 1 hour. Cut into 9-12 bars and return to the freezer.
Make the greek yogurt coating. Combine the water and vanilla in a small bowl. Sprinkle the gelatin over top and whisk with a fork until the gelatin is evenly distributed. Set aside for about 5 minutes or until needed. It will set into a thick paste.
In another small bowl, whisk together the yogurt, honey, and salt. Microwave on 15 second bursts, stirring in between each burst, until the yogurt is liquidy and very warm to the touch. Don't let it start to boil or the yogurt will curdle. I microwaved mine for 30 seconds total.
Whisk the gelatin into the warm yogurt mixture. Whisk until the gelatin is completely dissolved. Scrape the yogurt mixture into a medium mixing bowl. Pour the powdered sugar on top. Use a mixer or whisk until the yogurt and powdered sugar combine into a thick, but pourable, coating.
Line a baking sheet with wax paper or a silpat. Working with one bar at a time, dip the bottom of the bar into the yogurt and allow any excess to drip off. Flip the bars over so the yogurt coated side faces up and place on the prepared baking sheet. They will be very sticky. Repeat with the remaining bars. Let the bars sit, uncovered, until dry to the touch, about four hours or overnight (I left mine overnight). Cover the remaining yogurt coating with plastic wrap until ready to use again.
Once the bars are completely dry, flip them over so the yogurt coated side is now facing down. Transfer the remaining yogurt coating to a sandwich size ziplock bag and snip a small hole in the corner. Drizzle the remaining coating over the bars and allow the bars to sit at least two hours or overnight (I left mine overnight).
Once the bars are completely dry, store in an airtight container at room temperature.
*If you want an extra thick yogurt coating double the recipe for the Greek Yogurt and repeat the dipping process twice just as directed.
*Greek Yogurt Coating adapted from [The Kitchn | http://www.thekitchn.com/recipe-snack-recipe-ltemgtyogurtcovered-cranberriesltemgt-recipes-from-the-kitchn-183355]
Oh and Asher says to tell you again that, “they are delicious”!.